Oh my! Where did the time go? I have neglected to update on my latest chemo. Bad girl I am. It is almost 2.5 weeks ago that I completed my 6th round of chemo or the 2nd session with the carboplatin/taxol drugs. Three days before chemo, I had the case of déjà vu. Late Sunday evening, my tummy was experiencing cramps. The pain was mild and tolerable. Nonetheless I took some Buscopan to relieve the discomfort and hoped the cramps to disappear by the following morning. When I woke up the next morning, the cramps were gone and happily had my breakfast. The cramps returned an hour later after having the morning meal. From the past experience, I knew that I had to let my stomach rest by not having any solid foods and just let hydrate myself throughout the day and continued to medicate myself with Buscopan. I did just that.
By the second day, my tummy was slightly bloated. I continued to fast and hydrate my body. I was a little sad because on Tuesday, 30 August was my nephews 13th birthday. My sister and the family went out for lunch at local hamburger joint, The Fat Boys. I sat there drinking cranberry juice while the rest of the family members was tucking into juicy burgers. It is not the first time where I had to watch others eat. Last year when I was hospital, I could not consume any solid food or drink any water for 1 month because of the same reason of cramps. The surgeon prescribed liquid food delivered intravenously.
On the day of chemo, I continued to fast in the morning even though I didn’t feel any cramps. I shared with the oncologist of the cramps. She shared the cramps could be a due to the combination of radiation and surgery plus possibility of cancer cells working into my guts. She reviewed the blood test results with me. My cancer markers indicated an increase by 10% to 66.2 from 62.1 from the previous round. I was taken aback. She did explain that the “new” set of drugs theoretically takes 3 rounds to become effective. I am crossing my fingers that the downward trend holds true. The next round which takes place this coming Friday will be the 3rd round.
When it was time to start the chemo, I told the nurse that I wanted to use my left hand for a change and let my right hand rest. The nurse placed the hot pack on my hand to help to wake up and easier for her to poke me. My hand was red from the hot pack. The good thing was that she was able to find a good vein to use. After almost a year of undergoing chemo I am still scared each time the nurse inserts the needle. The first poke was bearable but as she continues to push the needle a little further into the vein I let out a little yelp. It didn’t stop there, the needle was only 70% in. One more push and the needle was in. Yes, I did cringe one more time. Then it was time to hook up the tube to the chemo drugs and test to make sure the flow is smooth. It was good to go ahead.
It wasn’t too long after the chemo started that I felt uneasy in my chest area. I felt really warm and some tightness. I had to raise the alarm with the nurse. My oncologist also stepped in to check on me. The doctor ordered to slow the flow of the drug to minimise the discomfort. It made such a big difference immediately. The doctor did say that because the drugs are derived from plants that it is not uncommon for patients to feel uneasy. With having to slow down the flow, it took over 5 hours to complete the treatment.
Over the next few days, the fatigue was the main side effect. By the 2nd day post chemo my entire body aching. The ache even spread to my bones. I took some strong Panadol to help. It was a temporary relieve. I was so lethargic that I slept for most of the day.
Only 4 days before the next round of chemo.