Third round of chemo had to be stopped. Even with the pre-med protocol of benadryl and hydrocortisone, I had another allergic reaction similar to last time. They couldn’t risk continuing given the stuff that was suppose to make sure it didn’t happen, didn’t work this time. Too strange, I actually had major flushing on both cheeks and my nose and chest from the anti-nausea medications that I had to take in prep for chemo today. So I already went in looking like Bozo the Happy Clown.
So after 2 hrs, I was sent home once I felt better. Plans change! I know they do but I was no longer Bozo the Happy Clown. I was told the Oncologist will have to change my chemo meds. They said, I would just go to my next regularly scheduled appointment in May, which was suppose to have been my last chemo round. So I am not going to lie, I went home disappointed. I really wanted things to stay on track especially as I was planning how I wanted to celebrate the end of my Chemo portion of my story. Plus I am not sure what to expect with new chemo drugs. What other reactions could I possibly get? I was thinking maybe this is a sign that 2 rounds is enough and perhaps I am being told not to continue. However with Dr. Os telling me if this spreads, it will be fatal, kind of is alarming. No one has a crystal ball and no one really knows the real risk! Well my psychic reading said this wouldn’t kill me. I guess that is subject to interpretation. Yup feeling a bit down. My cancer support group said that you are allowed to feel down so I guess I need to ease up on myself. It is what it is!
Then, nurse Jenny called me at home and said they already have identified a new chemo drug protocol for the other two sessions. She told me that I need to have an eco-cardiogram first and then meet with Dr. Os right after that is done. Eco may take 2 days or a week to get arranged. Yup, it is what it is… She assured me not too worry because they have the plan and also told me I am not the first to have this happen. I did feel a bit better after talking to her.
In my meeting with the oncologist yesterday, I went over all my crazy symptoms from Round 2. Due to my low blood pressure and heart palpitations, they were going to keep my IV line in so I could get home care come in and hook up 4 days of hydration. I was thinking but I have been drinking tonnes and I am still not getting enough?! Or was it just my body reacting to the chemo poison?! Plus the doctor said he would reduce the drugs by 10% strength which wouldn’t compromise effectiveness. He said I was on a very strong dosage given my mass. I told Mike when we left that I should have asked Dr. Os if he was implying I was fat?! We laughed and I wish I had verbalized that because Dr. Os could have handled it. He is very cool. After today, I was thinking thank goodness he lowered the strength because if it was the higher strength like Round 2, I am really not sure if my allergic reaction would have been worse than it was. Phew, I dodged a bullet! Now that Round 3 is postponed and drugs are going to change, all that part of the plan is cancelled. Yeah!
For those that know me, I can be very detail oriented and I think it has helped me and my cancer team. I felt so fatigued during the 1st week and used my home blood pressure machine to check my pressure and heart rate. My blood pressure was fairly low while my heart beat reading was fairly high for doing nothing. I wrote down the date and readings and is what I relayed to Nurse Jenny. I mean walking down the stairs to the couch was a bit of feat during the first 7 or 8 days after Chemo Round 2. It was like I was running a marathon.
By writing down symptoms, daily, over the course of any treatment, and relaying it to your medical team, it really helps to adjust treatment plans. I can’t say enough about my oncologist and the nurses. They listen and are very conscientious and want to make this as easy as possible for their patients. Plus it helps to alleviate any anxieties. It is best to talk it out and the experts can easily alleviate concerns and will tell you if it is an issue or not. So whatever ails you, pay attention, right down what you feel and don’t ignore things or chalk it up to nothing. If it happens regularly, there may be something to it… So this is not only if you are having cancer treatment BUT for any time you don’t feel right. Maybe write a journal with dates and times. Once symptoms disappear and you feel better, you tend to forget how you felt. More importantly if that same ailment rears it’s ugly head again, you can easily refer back to what you wrote and may see a pattern. I wouldn’t do this all the time and obviously use your discretion. Trust your instincts! You will know when you think it is warranted to do. What does it hurt?! Most Doctors set out to do an amazing job and want to help patients. I can say this team absolutely cares and are fantastic.
I need to rest as allergic reactions and benadryl kick the poop out of you. Feeling very drained. I expect I will be back to normal tomorrow and will wait for my call from Nurse Jenny.
Plus another tidbit, I am suppose to get 2 sessions of free house cleaning, donated by cleaning companies for people with cancer. I reached out to an organization called “Cleaning for A Reason”. You just need a doctor’s note to say you are being treated with cancer and they match you with a company servicing your area that will come in to do some general house cleaning. What a wonderful service that I think is mutually beneficial to both the company and client. For example, if they do a great job, I may just retain them ongoing, especially, if they are economical. I figure if there are some perks and it can help my family out, why not?! It is like getting a free trial before you buy. Plus I meet new people.
Anyway the cancer saga will continue….