Yesterday (2/11) I started my new chemo treatment… but first the weather report!
Like much of the state of Washington, we have had snow on and off for the last week or so. I would give you total inches here in Yakima, except we had blizzard conditions on Saturday that caused a lot of drifting, so I have no accurate measure. If I were to guess, I would guess a total of 15-ish inches in the last week. Sunday (2/10) we had a break in the snow, the sun even came out for a while, and Kevin excavated the driveway and front walk. Most of the time he was shoveling about a foot of snow. At least it wasn’t the wet-cement-and-snot-like snow that Western Washington gets.
Sunday night it snowed another inch, so Kevin was up early sweeping/shoveling the driveway, so that we could get to my 9:45 appointment at NorthStar. The schools were closed, but NorthStar was open. Cancer treatment must go on.
First I had my labs done – including a new vial of blood for the clinical trial in which I am participating (more on that in a minute). Then I waited for a bit to see Dr. Jones – there is always a wait, because she needs to see lab results before she can okay me for chemo. The labs looked fine and she is pleased with how I’m doing. She looked at my tongue and said the bit of white that I’m seeing isn’t thrush. She also was very upbeat about this next chemo and how I will feel with it. She doesn’t expect that I’ll need to take any of my anti-nausea meds. I may be achy after a few days but can treat that with Tylenol. All good news.
I think I mentioned before that I am participating in a clinical trial. It’s not a blind trial at this point, so I know that I am in the control group and NOT receiving the extra chemo med (Carboplatin) that some of the participants are receiving. So for me, the only difference is that the clinical trial nurse asks me some questions about how I’m feeling, and they draw an extra vial of blood every 3 weeks.
After seeing the doctor I went to the infusion suite which only had 2 seats left! They were really full yesterday, with no cancellations for the morning, and only 3 cancellations for the afternoon. My pre-treatment was a little different: A Benadryl pill – twice as much as previously (to pre-empt any allergic reaction); an I.V. steroid (more than previously)… maybe Dexamethasone… (to preempt any allergic reaction); and an I.V. tummy calming med (maybe Prilosec). Apparently it’s not uncommon to have an allergic reaction to Taxol, so they watch you very closely the first time they give it too you. After receiving the pre-meds they wait half an hour before starting the Taxol, giving the steroid time to get into my system.
Then they give the Taxol, I.V. over the course of an hour. I had a bell to ring in case I felt anything weird happening, and my nurse checked on me fairly frequently. I didn’t feel anything weird, so ate my pudding and my potato chips (healthy snack, right?), and read my book for a while.
About 10 minutes before my infusion was complete I started getting really sleepy (probably the Benadryl), just as Kevin arrived. So I didn’t nap… but closed my eyes while we chatted, and took a 3 hour nap when we got home! Oh, and it snowed another 2-3 inches yesterday morning and afternoon.
Other than feeling really sleepy most of the day and evening, I didn’t feel any unusual effects from the treatment. Last night I slept quite well until 3:30 a.m. – when I woke up and was wide awake the rest of the morning (probably the steroids). So now I am sitting on my couch with a nice view of our snowy neighborhood. The snow continues to fall. Yakima schools are closed again today. We had another 1-2 inches of snow, or so, overnight.