Tuesday, March 15, 2016

New drugs

The last time I posted I mentioned that my oncologist had put me on some new meds - Lyrica - for the nerve pain.  I'm very pleased to advise that they worked.  No nerve pain to speak of which made it so much easier to handle the other side effects, predominately flu like symptoms.

I found that taking OTC muscle relaxers along with a couple of Tylenol Extra strength worked well to manage the muscle and joint pain.  I ended up doing a lot of sleeping which -  not a bad thing - and was able to function quite well all things considered.

Only one more full chemo treatment left - March 29th? - and then I start to get my life back.  I go on maintenance with Herceptin for several months and begin radiation at the end of April.  I can finally see a light at the end of the tunnel.


Wednesday, March 09, 2016

Cycle 7

I had my cycle 7 treatment today (Tuesday) and all went well,  no surprises there.  I was at the hospital by 9:45 am, and I saw my oncologist.  We discussed my pain and, thankfully, he gave me some meds with one refill.  I'm to take this perscription for 5 days starting on the day of my treatment.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it works.

I was getting my chemo meds at 10:15 and finished up at 4:15 pm.  My daughter picked me up and we made a run to the pharmacy to get my persription filled..  As soon as I got home, I jumped into my PJs and got settled on the couch with the big screen and the fireplace to keep me warm.  It was a long day!

As of 4:05 am, Wednesday morning, I feel fine.  I didn't come up to bed until around 2 am and l lay there for an hour tossing and turning because I couldn't sleep which is why I'm sitting at my computer.  I've had this a problem a  couple of times on the night following my treatment so it appears that I also have the pleasure of having a new friend - insomnia.  I know of others who talk about having this same problem the night following their chemo so I guess I'm in good company.

In addition to my usual evening medication, which by the way, usually puts me to sleep immediately, I also just took 3 melatonin tablets.  I figured that they needed time to work, hence why I'm in my studio at this time of night.

It's annoying but a small price to pay for being cancer free -  fingers crossed!!!


Sunday, March 06, 2016

Catching up - Cycle 5 and 6

I haven't posted for awhile.  I don't know where the time goes.  However between running to appointments and blood tests and chemo, the time has just flown by.  I don't get much accomplished lately.

Cycle 5:

I started a set of new drugs on January 25th.  There are usually no nausea effects and I'm not required to take Neupogen or my anti-nausea drugs from cycle 5 on.  I'm taking new drugs for cycles 5 thru 8   Side effects range from joint and nerve pain, insomnia, gastrointestinal issues, and of course my friend, fatigue.  Days 2 thru 5 became progressvely more painful;   I could feel my muscles and joints seizing up - they felt like they were turning to cement.  And then the nerve pain began and became progessively worse for 4 days.  The balls of my feet were very painful and I almost felt weak.  I walked like someone 100 years old.

Generally speaking I would say that I have a high tolerance for pain, however this was worse than anything I've ever experienced.  The nerve pain caused throbbing pain almost like what you'd have with a very bad toothache or a migraine.  I took Tylenol extra strength, T3's and 1200 mg of Ibupropen several times a day.  Very little relief from any of them!  It was brutal! I spent most of the time on the chesterfield trying to get comfortable.  I finally retreated to my bed for a day and a half. Not much fun.  I finally turned a corner late on day 4 and felt much better by bedtime on day 5. The remaining 2 weeks of the cycle were fine, other than fatigue which comes and goes throughout the days.

Cycle 6:

This cycle began on Feb 16th and was pretty much a repeat of cycle 5.  I tried to get ahead of the pain by taking Tylenol, T3's and/or Ibruprophen on day 2 before the pain started however that didn't seem to have much effect.  Again by the end of those few days I had retreated to my bed where I could get more comfortable.  The pain lasted a day longer this time and I didn't seem to bounce back quite as quickly in this round.  However once recovered from the side-effects, I felt good and was able to 
get out a do a few things.