Better Living Through Chemostry

15 down, 18 to go--Just what exactly is my weekdaily routine of chemo like?

Just to clarify, the chemo I'm on right now isn't the stuff that knocks people on their ass, makes their hair fall out, etc. That's the chemo of the IV variety, which I still get to look forward to.

I am taking three 500mg pills of Xeloda twice a day, for a total of 3,000mg of the stuff per day (I do math good). Apparently, some people take this at higher doses, but my dose is appropriate for what it's meant to do (more on this in a sec).

It is absolutely critical that this stuff is taken with meals--I made the mistake of taking it whenever the hell I felt like it the first week and managed to reproduce the feeling if 1st trimester morning sickness: I would open the fridge/pantry and nothing would look good to me. I probably dropped 5lbs before I figured out what I was doing wrong.

I only take these meds on weekdays, ie the days I have radiation therapy. The point of the Xeloda (aka Capecitabine) is to make the radiation work better, and the point of that is to shrink the tumor as small as possible prior to surgery (the date of which has yet to be set).

Possible side effects of the chemo include hand/foot syndrome (numbness, tingling, pain, redness, or blistering of the palms of the hands and soles of the feet), mouth sores, and the trots. Fortunately, I've only yet to experience the least severe of these, which is annoying but doesn't really prevent me from leading a normal life.

I know it's not a very exciting story, but I'm kinda glad that I get to warm up to the gamut of my treatments a little slowly... If I had to plunge headlong into major surgery, an ostomy, and IV chemo, I would probably get psychological whiplash.

Next time: Dropping my pants in mixed company.


Nina said...

Your blog is somehow refreshing. I know when really awful things happen to me that I am lying when I shrug my shoulders and act like I can totally handle it. And everyone I know does the same thing with their major crises. Your blog feels more like real life.

BTW: I stumbled on your blog using next. I sometimes wonder where my commenters are coming from.

Sugarmouth O'Riordan said...

Real life...yeah, this is pretty much the unvarnished version of my world of late.

Here's an idea: Real World: Cancer! Get seven attractive, youthful strangers, diagnosed with cancer, and set them up in a sweet ginormous loft within striking distance of the Mayo Clinic! Watch what happens when people stop being polite and start getting healthy!

I need to stop watching MTV.