Chemo #3 Down

Next up stem cell transplant

Well, I’ve learned that during chemo treatments my energy to sit down by the keyboard gets pretty zapped. Since chemo cycle #2 I’ve done the following:

  • Chemo Cycle #3
  • PICC installed
  • Blood Transfusion

Chemo Cycle #3 went a little better than #2 and it only took two days in the hospital. They installed a new PICC line and pulled out my old unit. Now I have two cool red and blue lines that hang out on my upper right chest. I think they worry Kassie a little, I can’t sleep on my right side, and shower time is a major pain, but other than that not too bad. Best part about them so far is no more poking, and the surgery wasn’t hard to recover from unlike the earlier portocath. I guess I’ll have a lot of scars on my chest, but then I’m happily alive and married to an understanding woman so I don’t think it decreases my appeal much.

The blood transfusion was today as apparently my hemoglobin in my blood was crashing. I noticed this by the side effects, my heartrate was around 100-120, and climbing one flight of stairs winded me. I slept a lot this chemo cycle. It seems like the 2 units of O+ blood I got have done the trick–my heart isn’t threatening to jump out of my chest, and I’m still awake and functional after 8:00.

So that’s where I am right now. The other really good news is that I’m in full remission according to the PET scans and the lack of a bump on my neck. We had to get that clarifed as when my wife called in they told her that the scan was “almost normal.” Apparently radiologists don’t like to get specific. After both of us took a look at the slides it appeared there was nothing left in my neck. Luckily my oncologist concurred and noted that radiologists are never able to declare something completely gone.

I have a new routine now. Everyday, yes including weekends, I go in and get two wonderful nepogene shots. They go one in each arm just under the skin and they burn a lot. Unfortunately some nurses think injecting very slowly for like 3 minutes is better than doing it in say 20 seconds. Lack of understaning on the pain side there. Then every other day they clean up my new patriotic line, it has 1 red and one blue end. Then once a week they change the dressing. And finally I get a blood draw every day to check counts. Hopefully this all slows down on Monday when they do the stem cell collection.