Wednesday, October 14, 2009

What's Up With the Doc 79? - Down With Steroids

Today is the day after chemo (Gemzar) and every time is a new experience. Yesterday I had a rather sudden and dramatic increase in all my pain at about 7 pm, 4 hours after the chemo was started. Same thing happened after #2 (yesterday was #4), but it was 24 hours later rather than 4 hours later. None of that after #1 and #3. I'm guessing that that's because I got #1 and #3 with Zometa, the drug they give me to treat bone pain, prevent fracture and slow down the progression of the bone metastases. It's only given once every four weeks and I'm guessing that maybe it protects me from that post-chemo pain syndrome. We'll see. If no pain next time I'll be ready with quick draw pain meds after #6.

I talked to the doctor about my hip pain. I've pretty much decided to let it be for now. As long as I use my cane for any distance and stay off it as much as I can the pain is controllable with a minimal increase in my usual pain medication regimen. Right now I don't see any reason to clutter my life with scans and appointments to consider the possibility of additional radiation. I'll reconsider if the pain threatens to stop me from doing things I want to and would otherwise be doing.

Finally, we talked about the steroids - what they're intended to do and the side effects I'm experiencing. The weakness that makes it difficult for me to get up out of a chair is the most worrisome, although I'm not liking my fat face or fat me. We decided to very slowly try to decrease the dose to one that will lighten up on the side effects but still control the nausea and not let the bone pain get any worse. That's a 25% reduction per week, so I'll let you know how that goes.

Other than that, Emma is recovering from her experience with H1N1 flu and I fully approve of the way the university handled that situation - online reporting, automatic excused absences and test rescheduling, keep 'em out of the health center. Lindsay and maybe Jacob coming for at least part of the weekend. The Fantasticks is at the Long Wharf Theatre in New Haven and I think we'll go wallow in that with a nice meal thrown in for good measure.

1 comment:

Holly said...

i love reading your blog...i used to live in New Haven, West Hartford, Farmington, Old Lyme and went to grad school at 409 Prospect Street (YDS)...and although now i live in Los Angeles - my primary care doc is a UConn Med School grad...go figure!

my mom lives in Southwick, MA and just got diagnosed with non small cell and end stage COPD. at some point i will share your blog with her...i think it will bring her hope...