Sunday, December 6, 2009

Hexalen® is in my system, day 1, #20

This is Day One of the first month of this oral chemotherapy, Hexalen®.

For the past 20 days I have been in mental training to create ways to see the joy and fun in swallowing six pills, two three times a day: a drug that is going to kill the fast-growing cells in my body. I will be taking them 14 days and then for 14 days I will not be taking them. After three months of this schedule, I will undergo a scan to determine the benefits of Hexalen® on the peritoneal cancer.

When I received the three previous chemotherapy drugs, the oncology nurse gave them to me and I remained fairly comfortable during the 17 infusions. The most debilitating side effect was fatigue.

Opps, I just remembered the hair loss, hand/foot syndrome, the swollen lips, and difficulty swallowing. I wonder if this short-term memory delay on the topic of side effects is a device to help me endure this new drug, or is it possibly ChemoBrain* kicking in?

Now that I have been prescribed oral medication, I'm more aware of individuals who are taking oral chemotherapy drugs. They are suffering from the side effects, ah, but wait, most people experience multiple side effects from any type of chemotherapy drug--they are very powerful drugs.

So I return to the joy and excitement of swallowing my chemotherapy medication. ChemoBuddy Bruce suggested that I add variety to the process of taking the medicine by having three different types of juice throughout the day. Right! This morning I just took the two capsules with water, but by this afternoon, I remembered Bruce's suggestion, and drank APPLE JUICE. Now I'm so excited, what will be my third juice of the day?

Come on, have some fun with me!

*"Your Brain After Chemo: A Practical Guild to Lifting the Fog and Getting Back Your Focus."
Dan Silverman, MD, PhD and Idelle Davidson, 2009, Da Capo Press

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