Friday, July 24, 2009

A week since the hospital & Chemo #3

By way of giving you an update, I have responded to the questions of several family members:

The only reaction to my new 'joy juice cocktail,' Doxil®, has been fatigue, and that is ALWAYS to be expected. For just how long I will feel 'wiped-out' after I receive the treatment, I still haven't figured out.

To your question, "So did your first chemo not do the job?" the answer is YES and NO to the Carboplatin® and Taxotere® (aka, Chemo #1) that I was taking between July 28 and Dec 15, 2008. The YES answer because the tests in December showed I WAS 'cancer free.'
The NO answer is because the cancer in my abdominal area returned.

Chemo #2, Gemzar®, which I began taking June 1 on a weekly basis, did not go the full term of 8 treatments because of the abdominal cramping that resulted in my admission to the hospital last week. Now, I would say this chemo appears to have NOT worked at all.

Last Saturday, July 18th while I was still in the hospital, I received my first IV of Chemo #3, Doxil®. The fatigue I mentioned above, is putting me into the two-naps-a day category.

At this moment I don't know how many treatments I'm scheduled to take--so much has do to with HOW my body reacts to the drug as we so clearly learned with Chemo #1 and #2. I'm not supposed to lose my hair.

While Patrick you didn't ask the next question, it has been asked: When might we begin to see if Chemo #3 is doing the job? My oncologist said possibly after the next treatment, which will be 3-4 weeks after the first treatment (depending on my blood work results). A long-time survivor in group last night has taken Gemzar® and Doxil®, and she said it took about three months for the CA-125 tumor marker to decrease after she started taking Doxil®.

OH, the new diet! This low-fiber diet is such a switch in my life style, but I'm getting used to it. Once again, the purpose of the low-fiber diet is to make the passage of my food through my GI system to go as quickly and stress-free as possible, and to see if this diet will reduce the cramps while Chemo #3 is getting rid of cancer that is around the intestines.

Back to the low-fiber diet: no seeds in fruits and veggies (the wonderful berries, and tomatoes in season), no dried fruits, or Brown rice and Brown bread (I'm still looking for a package of Wonder bread so I can have smooth peanut butter and grape jelly of my childhood days! I guess I better not expect to find the bread in Whole Foods! Today I had my second serving of 'mac and cheese,' something I have not eaten in decades.

Thanks to some of the cooks in the family, I have a nice selection of pasta and protein and well-cooked vegetable. Fresh veggies are out, as well as fruit with skin or citrus with the membranes. I love my pealed apples AND since my weight has dropped a few pounds I have had two shakes in two days! Got that gals--I'm trying to GAIN weight!

BTW, I'm continuing with my participation in Art Therapy at Premiere Oncology and Wellness Community cancer support group in Santa Monica.

Feel free to respond either on the blog or my home email:
It will be your questions and comments that will help me center on my progress.

1 comment:

  1. Isn't that backwards - Go from a heathly diet to a Mac and Cheese diet! Enjoy.