Chemo 2, Leane 2

Chemo Wk 1 turned out to be an excellent week, with no side-effects save for a shade of nausea which passed in a day thanks to Schweppe’s Ginger Ale — a sure fire cure all for queasies. The queasies came on four days out, which is about right, because the prepack anti-nausea meds kind of wear out of the system by then. This chemo routine of doing an hour of prepacks (Tagamet, Benadryl, any steroids, you name it) is a really good way to prep the body for the chemo…and then the nurses finish off with a saline flush.

Things were good, especially when the doctor could not hide the delight that my inflamed boob was no longer red as a fire-engine and had improved in texture. He was pleased that I had a nearly perfect Week 1 with VISIBLE changes in both tumor position and ability to breath etc — in short, the chemo compounds in the cocktail are working. I had very little side effects as well, meaning the pre-chemo compounds were doing their jobs, and when he saw that the redness had faded from the boob and that its texture had improved, and it’s size had shrunk, I thought he was gonna cry. Yes, it worked. Duh. Science sometimes does that. Having the thorentecis procedure also helped a great deal — yes, the pleura will refill, that happens with cancer, but the lungs expanded and work and are healing. And you can always have another procedure to drain the plural effusion.

For the troops in the infusion room it was a morale booster:

I also loudly announced when one of the nurses commented on how nice my hair looked (I washed it), that “they had to be kidding THIS HAD BEEN THE BEST WEEK I HAD IN 2 YEARS and near as I could figure it was just the chemo that made the difference” — the 15 sad faces in the infusion room immediately perked up. Hey, it works for someone. Maybe it will work for me? Maybe I don’t have to have all this horrible chemo reaction? Whatever? Sure, it’s not going to be peaches and cream, but the procedures, and the compounds have improved a lot since my mother’s time.

If I’m going to lose my hair, by the way, that’s supposed to happen between weeks three and five. We’re on a six week sprint, then plan to take two weeks off. I have a great wig I already own. It looks just like my hair.

The results are so obvious visually, there may not be need for another scan, but whatever, I’m open. Again, the procedure will be the same, blood tests next Monday, Chemo Tues.

I’m thanking the Elder Care volunteer squad right now for organizing rides to and from for me for the next couple weeks. Eventually I’ll be able to drive my own car there and back, I think.

Yep, cytology reported more live cancer cells in the pleural effusion fluid, but that was to be expected. This report is a mixed bag, but everyone must realize by now that if this was an easy cancer, it wouldn’t be in my lap. (Sorry Mr. President, but it’s like the economy, and foreign relations, and Wall Street).


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