Posts Tagged ‘chemo treatment regimen’

My actual treatment begins in earnest today.  Here’s the regimen (for now at least – there’s always the possibility of having it change it as we go along):

  • I’ll go to the St. Vincent’s Cancer Center five days a week (it’s only about 15 minutes from my house so that’s handy). 
  • I’ll have radiation therapy every time I go.
  • On the days I go in for radiation, I’ll also take chemotherapy in the form of a pill (Capecitabine, a/k/a Xeloda:  two in the morning and three in the evening).
  • Once a week, I’ll also have a chemotherapy infusion (Oxaliplatin, a/k/a Eloxatin) given through the port they just put in on Monday.

The whole regimen lasts for about six weeks. Radiation treatments are quick, taking only about 15 minutes – most of which is simply getting me and the machine set up in exactly the same configuration each time. There are four blasts of radiation, one from above my pelvis, one from each side, and one from below. The machine makes a circle around me as I lie still on the table. It takes less than five minutes to do all four sides.

The chemo infusion takes longer.  Today, which will be my first time, may take up to four hours as they’ll run the drip very slowly.  They’ll speed up the process a little each week, but it will probably take about two hours even at the quickest rate.

As I’ve been sitting here writing this, the time has arrived to take the first two Xeloda pills. Yesterday, when I picked up the pills, the pharmacist spoke to me about some of the side effects I could expect.  He also warned me not to let any pregnant friends touch the pills!  Apparently the chemo can actually be absorbed from the pills right through your skin.  Since chemo works by killing any fast growing cells, you don’t want a pregnant (or nursing) woman to handle them.

So, just now, as I was about to take the first two, I opened the bottle and thought: I don’t even want to touch these things much less put them in my mouth!  But, I did.  I’m sitting here now half expecting to need to run to the toilet to vomit any moment.  I know it’s not likely to happen quite that fast, but my mind is running rampant with all kinds of weird scenarios.  I only took the pills about eight minutes ago and I swear I can already feel something awful coursing through my veins…

So, in a while, I’ll head over to the Cancer Center to have more varieties of poison injected and blasted into me.  I’m also taking some reading material with me on the subject of expecting miracles to happen.

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