Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Two down, four to go

It was another 10.5 hour day getting my magic potions yesterday;  due to a question raised by the bloodwork results, we were late starting chemo.  By the time we got to 4 p.m., I was getting all the meds at the highest drip speed possible, which was a bit of a whammy, but enabled us to finally leave by 6:30 p.m.

I do get a private room for these all-day marathons, one of the reasons I really like UT Southwestern.  I can get comfortable, switch TV channels without offending people, play movies or rock out to music without headphones,  and otherwise treat it like a hotel room which just happens to be equipped with a lot of medical stuff.

Today I'm managing side effects.  Friends ask what they are, and it's almost easier to tell you what they aren't. When I looked through the cumulative list of side effects for all six drugs, the only medical condition I didn't see on the list was pregnancy.   While I'll get more side effects as time goes on because the drugs are cumulative, the worst I'm dealing with now are backaches and a constant queasiness.  So far, the meds are holding it at bay and I can't complain as it could be far worse. 

Goodbye, pixie cut

But I think the megadose of magic potions was the coup de grace for my hair;  today it's about 50% gone.  This afternoon I go to my local salon and ask for the Bruce Willis look. That sounds so much more interesting than asking for the #5, doesn't it?

For people with more localized cancer, there is a new option which seems to be somewhat successful in preventing hair loss: it's a chemo cap which you put in the freezer for 12-24 hours and put it on before and during your treatment.  The cold slows down blood movement to the follicles in your scalp, reducing their exposure to, and damage by, the drugs.  However, in my case, it's not a smart option, as my cancer cells can travel anywhere that blood flows.  I can just hear those little partying cells now:  "We found a safe new party spot!  Everyone up here around the brain!"  Nope - I want every one of those little troublemakers terminated.

Off for my new hair adventure.  

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