Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Round 2 of Chemotherapy in the bag

God bless you Ifosfamide.   I do not wish you upon anyone.  (Unless of course you really need it.)  I didn't move a whole lot between April 8 and 15th.  Some of those days I ate in bed by resting my cheek on the side of the plate and shoveling food in.  At least I was eating!.    I had been carrying a pump with me delivering this drug to me 20 hours per day and then going to the hospital in the afternoon's for rehydration, steroids and the antioxidant Mesna, a bladder protectant.  I am glad that is behind me.  A patient of mine who has experienced many chemotherapies in a long bout with recurrent cancer tells me that Ifosfamide is the most difficult chemo.   I only know about this one, but what she said made me feel good.   I wonder what Adriamycin will be like?  More specifically I have not figured out my process to get ready for it.  Lance Armstrong's book carried me through this round.  I could think, "If Lance could do it so can I".  I am always looking for good motivation these days.  Does anyone have any suggestions?

Is it working?
This is a good question.  I hope so.  All I know is that I have swelling in the tumor area.  Nobody officially has told me if this is good or bad but I have concluded it is a good sign.  The tumor area on my first MRI showed  a mass of fluids, and blood and so it appears to me the Ifosfamide has gone to the area to do it's thing.  But there is another answer here - radiation.

My Dr's scheduled radiation to begin on the day chemotherapy ended.  Apparently there is  a radiosensitization effect by doing this.  I had to question myself if I could really do it.  Wouldn't I be exceptionally miserable following chemo. and the last thing I wanted to do was start on something, anything else.  Part of my answer was that Vikodin was going to help me.  Why should I suffer with so much terror and leg pain and cancer?  It's hard to fight all three at the same time.    I don't have a good history with Vikodin.  I have, since this medical oddyesy began, passed out two times from Vikodin.  Once the Paramedics were called.  My desire to escape had been greater than my tolerance for the drug.  I think I got the message now finally, Vikodin in anything but very small doses drops my blood pressure.  Much like alchol, one drink is fine.  more than that -  not good.  So this was the third time I took too much in an effort to escape.  I didn't pass out mostly because my wife had the good sense to check my blood pressure when I was balling uncrontrollably about how shitty I felt and load me with fluids.  I am now back to Motrin as my pain killer of choice.

The good part, radiation is not bad.  It is quick, thus far painless,  and most importantly it is having an effect on my pain level.  I may be walking sooner than later.