Thursday, November 19, 2009

New treatment plan: Chemo #4--Hexalen®

I'm entering a new phase of treatment for the primary peritoneal cancer, aka, my cancer #3. (It is being treated like ovarian cancer)

In 2-3 weeks, depending of severity of the side effects from Chemo #3 (Doxil®), I will begin taking the Hexalen® pills--14 days on, 14 days off. After three months of treatment I'll get a scan.

Oh yes, I said 'side effects from Chemo #3:' difficulty in swallowing vitamin pills and food, open sores in my mouth, swollen lips and mouth, (and I even didn't receive Botox®, but prescription Lidocaine 2% for the mouth did wonders. For the first time since this mouth stuff began about five weeks ago, this afternoon I felt some relief).

Back to the side effects: red, peeling, dry, and very tender areas of skin on various areas of my body. (But, I keep reminding myself, the Doxil® really brought down my tumor marker so overall it did a good job. "Don't forget-Don't forget" is the mantra). Okay, I finished complaining, that is, until I get so overwhelmed that I have to write about this again.

Now back to new treatment: I feel rather excited that I won't be getting infusions. My oncology nurse was excellent and gentle so my blood vessel just seemed to dance up to the surface of my skin. Nausea is a possibility (be positive), so I just purchased the Zofran® pills with an easy-off top (my hands hurt but hopefully they will be back to normal when I start Chemo #4).

Something I'm going to really miss is the support I received from my ChemoBuddies (CBs). I always had someone to talk with while I was receiving chemo through the vein. What is a cancer survivor to do??

I can't call my CBs three times a day while I'm taking my 6 pills a day!

And then, do I celebrate during the 14 days I'm taking the 84 pills OR do I celebrate during the 14 days that I'm not taking the pills?

What is this cancer survivor to do??

Maybe, I can make some art...

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