Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Off Chemo for Now

Yesterday, I talked with the oncology nurse, Sue, about my very hot and sore feet. She told me to go off the Xeloda. (I know from the discussion boards that folks can end up with very painful sores on hands and feet with Hand-Foot Syndrome, and I guess she was trying to help me avoid getting worse. If you read this link to more information, you see that what is happening is that the drug is leaking out the capillaries in my feet and irritating them and the surrounding tissue. Weird.)

So, I'm mostly relieved, and a little anxious about the impact on my tumor. But I am pleased to begin de-toxing from the drugs three days early. Already this morning, my feet felt a little less hot and a little less sore. I'm working at home today to give them a break, and plan to be back on campus tomorrow.

Sue and I also talked about how hard the last oxaliplatin infusion was, and I told her I want to do some things to make it easier next time. I told her what had happened, and she commented, "So, you toughed it out." I guess she's right, I did. I just wanted the infusion to be done, so I didn't have them stop earlier or slow it down. Anyway, they can infuse first with calcium and magnesium (I think that's the combination), and that seems to improve the tolerance for the drug. To ease the pain in the arm being infused, they can put in a port in my chest, so that the drugs are going directly into a large vein, not a small one. She said - and I've read - that the port can make a difference.

So, this coming Monday I go for the CT scan, and we see what's inside. I'm hopeful and optimistic that there's some good news there, although this is indeed an unpredictable journey.

To all of you who wrote about "Make no comparisons," I do indeed find it easier to ignore the opinions of others since turning 50 and settling into maturity. But even from that easier place, there are moments of falling back into that old place. Thanks for your sharing and your cheerleading!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

hi- me again- i think you should give lexie a call and discuss the port issue- she is a big fan of hers, and the surgery to get it in is no biggy to those of you who do surgery regularly- at least you won't have all that pain every infusion- let's see what the ct scans show-
i'm glad you stopped the whatever stuff that was hurting your feet too much- there's got to be a limit on these things-
i'm praying a lot for you lately and i saw three hawks the other day, so i have a good feeling !!!!
love, alice