Wednesday, April 04, 2007

"Shrink That Tumor!" - New Chemo Regimen

I had my infusions of the two new chemo drugs today, and tonight I'm doing okay. In fact, I feel better than I have after the previous three infusions (of oxaliplatin), and I was worried about feeling worse because there were two drugs instead of one. I found out that the decadron they infuse as an anti-nausea med is a steroid, and some folks get a bit of a buzz from the drug. I definitely didn't notice any such thing the other times! Since the new chemos are more likely to cause nausea, I also have some decadron to take orally over the next few days.

We had a long day in Boston, arriving around 10:00 to have blood drawn and a urine sample taken. My urine had been discolored, and I wanted to have them check for bilirubin in my urine. (This would not be a good thing, because it would mean that the tumor is messing with my bypass that delivers the bile from my liver.) They lost the first sample, and I gave them another one later, and the final word was no bilirubin in my urine. Good news. The color was blood (from the stent) and there was no sign of infection.

My bloodwork was good, and we moved toward the infusions, but it was 12:30 before they began. I had infusions first of cisplatin, and then the Gemzar (gemcitabine). The second drug is more likely to cause soreness in the arm. Despite that, I handled the chemo into my arm pretty well. Since my port appointment for this past Monday was cancelled, I have rescheduled. More details below!

We were finally finished with the infusions at 4:00, and then I saw Dr. J, the oncologist. He says that this chemo regimen is more likely to mess with my blood counts, so rather than an infusion every week for two weeks, with a week off, he's suggesting two weeks between infusions, with only the gemcitabine on the mid-infusion.

In two weeks, then, on April 20, I'll go for an infusion of the gemcitabine, and that afternoon, I have an appointment to have the port surgically placed by my favorite surgeon, Dr. M! It will be a long day, but we'll have taken care of the port finally.

I have coverage for tomorrow's classes, so I can stay home and sit in my favorite chair, which tends to be all I feel like doing the day after chemo. And if I have some extra energy, I'll grade some of those overdue papers!

At the end of this long day, I realized how much we need to shrink that tumor so that I can worry a bit less about my innards, and gain more time feeling good and able to live my life. So - new motto - "Shrink That Tumor!" No more messing around - We want you out of there! If any of you think of a good song, or hip-hop rhythm to go with the sentiment, pass it on! Thanks as always to those of you who read and respond and send loving, healing energy.


Anonymous said...

lynne- i like your new motto, but shouldn't we be involving the kids in the hip-hop song rythmn thing ??? it seems our two fifth graders would be more likely than me to get that done !!!! in fact, don't they LIVE for such opportunities ????
just a thought-
i am SO glad you got through the infusion (albeit long!!!), but i'm glad next time you will have your port placed- i feel better about that- i am worrying all the time about your veins !!!!!
we were in clinic too today, and it was ok- we saw a lot of our friends- so that was good-
i hiope the next few days are reasonably ok, and that's what i'll pray for, unless i'm praying for the tumor to SHRINK !!!!!

Anonymous said...

How about using the old tune to "Hold That TIger" for your Shrink That Tumor theme song? Of course, that would be really showing of our age!LOL Anyway, good luck on this new combo of chemo; and may you be free of any bad side effects. I'll be visualizing that tumor shriveling up to nothing.


Anonymous said...

Dear Lynne,

Just catching up on your journey since I checked over a week ago - so much news - great photos of vacation, and great concern for changing regimen and postponing the port - but, as usual, you have a great attitude. "Shrink the tumor" - hmmm, all that comes to mind is a quote from the Wicked Witch of the West, something your tumor might be saying, "I'm melting...I'm melting...." ("I'm shrinking...I'm shrinking"????) I'm tired. I'll work on it some more! Hugs from me and Jerry.

Anonymous said...

Hey Lynne,
I am checking on you regularly and sending positive energy and lots of prayers! It looks like you all had a wonderful time in St.John! Know that my thoughts are with you and I too will enlist the help of young minds to come up with a creative way of screaming from the roof tops, "Shrink you unwelcome tumor!!!" Perhaps we could send it an eviction notice!? Take care.
L, Maria U

Sandy said...

Okay bear with me, this is a bit silly, but how about to the well known children’s tune – Row, Row, Row Your Boat with new lyrics: Shrink, shrink, shrink the cells. Melt them all away. Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, Lynne intends to stay! Now imagine it in a round...sung by a chorus of all your family, friends, and virtual community of supporters! We’re loud, cheerful, and with exuberance are here to celebrate APOPTOSIS!!

Anonymous said...

Wow! I love Sandy's song. I'm going in to work tonight at the shop and maybe I could get Lindsay to play it on the guitar while the customers sing! Well, at least I'll be singing it in my head.

I loved the island pictures. I'm so glad you had a fabulous trip.
Love to you,