Monday, February 13, 2017

Let's Get This Party Started: Some A/C for my D/C

I didn't sleep so well last night. Actually since I've known I have cancer in my left boob (and said left boob is still on my body) I haven't slept so well. My mind just races - not to some dark, horrible corner of bad stuff so much, but races with the names of the drugs, the order of the drugs will go into me, the length of each cycle, did Liz remember the chap stick in our newly purchased "chemo bag" (more on its contents some other time).

The day I've been waiting for since the diagnosis almost a month ago. The day we begin to kick this uninvited fucker's ass - is here.

Ok, now for some medical jimble jamble that I will NOT test you on later. I get it, the medicines are scary on their face, but once you see their names, your veins will start to shrivel. For the first eight weeks, I will have two chemotherapeutic drugs pumped into me -via the nifty mediport installed in my upper chest. Again, for those in the back of the room, that mediport - which will be used for all the blood draws thru out this process as well- will save my veins. Before the chemo drugs come on board, however, I am chocked full of anti-nausea medications to try and get ahead of the nasty side effects of having poison driven directly into your blood stream. Sweet!  As Liz will attest - since I've stopped drinking Boone’s Farm Strawberry Wine (and gave up trying to one-up a young rival with whisky shots) I am not one to pray to the porcelain goddess. I see no need to break that streak now.

The two chemotherapeutic drugs I'm getting every other week for eight weeks are: Doxorubicin (generic for Adriamycin) and Cytoxan. The Doxorubicin is bright red (!) could they not have used some soft pastel blue food coloring in the lab??? I get two large syringes of the stuff that the nurse slowly pushes into my mediport. My A/C (if you are still following along). Oh, D/C (damn cancer). Ok. All caught up!
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Both of these drugs basically work by attacking cells that quickly divide. Now, I'm not a doctor nor do I play one anywhere so I'm not being any more technical than that for the sake of the blog. If anyone wants or needs more information, we seem to be quickly building a medical library in our home. Come on over for coffee or tea and bone up.  I will say, these are fascinating drugs and if it weren't for cutting edge research we wouldn't have them (more on the importance of R/D funding later). From what I gather, cancer cells are notorious for their super-fast division. In fact it is that cells are dividing at warp speed that makes them cancer. These drugs target those kinds of cells and kill them dead. Yea! Perfect!

Well, the drugs, albeit "smart" in their targeting cannot seem to decipher between fast dividing cancer cells (bad) and fast dividing normal cells (hair, skin, gut). And so those good cells are also being destroyed by these drugs. I suspect my hair will be gone in just a few weeks (they say it will come back – fingers crossed). I'm getting white cell boosters thru this tiny box that attaches to my arm. It shoots me (after making you tense with some needless beeping countdown) and then dispenses the white cell booster tomorrow (eliminating the need for a return trip to the doctor office). Lotions for my skin and anti-nausea meds for my gut should keep me up right and strong. That's the plan, at least.

After a few hours, Liz drove us home. I've been snoozing off and on with some mindless daytime tv playing. Guzzling water and chilling out. Bolstered by the tremendous support of my "Squad". You have made me laugh, allowed me to remember my childhood, and given me permission to cry.  This is a 20-week battle for my life. Please don't stop. Xoxo

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