Round 2 of chemo put to rest
Today is the first day in five days that I have fully regained my energy. I must say in comparison to the first round, the second round was a little better. Even from the time I stepped into the clinic, the usual tasks of drawing blood before the actual chemo was good. I had my favorite nurse from the pathology lab to do it. This time, my oncologist ordered a full blood test to show the platelets, red, white blood count etc. That means I have to wait at least an hour before the results are ready. A good time for me to have home-made egg and cheese sandwich for breakfast. Breakfast of champions I say! ha!
When the results were in and the overall results indicated that it was ok with the exception of my low white and red cells. From what I understood of this particular drug I am trying, it would not have a huge impact on my immune system. But of course anything can happen. Overall I felt pretty good and didn’t meet anyone with virus or colds. The other indicator that I am always keen to see are the CEA markers. Comparing to the previous blood work, there is no change in terms of absolute numbers. It is good from the perspective that it has not increased. On the hand, it hasn’t decreased. My oncologist says that it will decrease after 3rd or 4th session of chemo. Cross my fingers as downward trend is the way to go.
I was sharing with the doctor some of the side effects that I had from the first round. I mentioned that the headache is rather strong and lingers on for at least 4 to 5 days. Even taking ordinary Panadol tablets to relief the pain didn’t help. The doctor asked if I had the same discomfort from the very first time I had chemo. She concluded that it is likely the anti nausea tablets that I take prior to the start of each chemo was the underlying cause of the headache. The meds are great to control the nausea but not so good with headache. My doctor did ask me if I wanted to try alternative medication. However, there is a “but” in the sentence. The alternative could reduce the headache but it doesn’t control the anti nausea very well. Hmmm… so there is no magic pill??? Meds to help with nausea that comes with headache or lesser headache but feeling nauseous. Choices, choices?? Nausea vs headache – not a great choice if you ask me. I opted for the meds that controls the nausea. I can tolerate the headache. Given the headache is a real pain in the butt, my oncologist prescribed a much stronger paracetamol to handle it. Phew! there is light at the end of the tunnel.
Happy with the prescription, it was time to start the chemo. I have been a good patient by exercising my veins with my stress ball. For round 2, I chose to be poked on my right hand. The nurse was quite happy to see that my veins decided to co-operate. It didn’t take her long to find a good vein and poke me. Yes, it did hurt from the initial poke until it needle went in deeper. Although the needle was successfully inserted, it can’t be declared that it is ok to start the drip. There is always a saline test to make sure my veins are ready to accept the real drug. I can happily report my veins passed the test and ready to administer the drug. It may sound so boring to what I just described but each step has its purpose.
A few days after the chemo, I noticed that my hand developed a bruise from where I was poked. It has happen before from past sessions. It looks like someone has taken a light green crayon and shaded around the needle hole. Yes, I am delicate and have sensitive skin.
Ok, that’s my round 2 of chemo. 10 more sessions to go!