We have decided to go with 2 medications that I will receive on day 1 and then only 1 of the medications a week later with a week off, which will be repeated 6 times, meaning if my counts all remain high it will end the last week in October. This is totally dejavu, because I started Chemo the first time on July 9 2013 and this time on July 10.
The treatment that I'm doing will allow me to keep my hair, which brings me so much happiness. That is for now. There are a dozen different medications that we could choose and it all depends on which ones kill the cancer. Given that a platinum drug killed the cancer before we are using one of those classes of drugs called Carboplatin. It works like this: Cancerous tumors are characterized by cell division, which is no longer controlled as it is in normal tissue. "Normal" cells stop dividing when they come into contact with like cells, a mechanism known as contact inhibition. Cancerous cells lose this ability. Cancer cells no longer have the normal checks and balances in place that control and limit cell division. The process of cell division, whether normal or cancerous cells, is through the cell cycle. The cell cycle goes from the resting phase, through active growing phases, and then to mitosis (division).
The ability of chemotherapy to kill cancer cells depends on its ability to halt cell division. Usually, the drugs work by damaging the RNA or DNA that tells the cell how to copy itself in division. If the cells are unable to divide, they die. The faster the cells are dividing, the more likely it is that chemotherapy will kill the cells, causing the tumor to shrink. They also induce cell suicide (self-death or apoptosis).
Chemotherapy drugs that affect cells only when they are dividing are called cell-cycle specific. Chemotherapy drugs that affect cells when they are at rest are called cell-cycle non-specific. The scheduling of chemotherapy is set based on the type of cells, rate at which they divide, and the time at which a given drug is likely to be effective. This is why chemotherapy is typically given in cycles. (taken from the carboplatin drug information)
They are also using an old drug but new for me called Gemzar. Gemzar belongs to the family of drugs called antimetabolites. Antimetabolites are very similar to normal substances within the cell. When the cells incorporate these substances into the cellular metabolism, they are unable to divide. Antimetabolites are cell-cycle specific. They attack cells at very specific phases in the cycle. Antimetabolites are classified according to the substances with which they interfere. (taken from the gemzar drug information).
After 3 cycles we will repeat the CT scan to see if there has been improvement in decreasing the size of the cancer and tumors. If they have shrunk we will keep going, if not we will have to try other drugs. Will you pray along with me that these drugs will be the ones that kill the cancer?
The effects of the chemo and the port placement have made me extremely tired and I sleep more than I'd like, however my sleep cycles are a little off as well. This isn't new from the previous chemo treatments. At least this time I don't have any sores in my mouth or bone pain. I have felt much more nauseated than before, but with drugs haven't vomited, even though at times I think I would feel better if I could. I'm experiencing some rather uncomfortable upper abdominal pain, which was improved somewhat last night when my dad and brother-in-law gave me a blessing. It's still there this morning, but not as bad. My chest is also sore, but probably all this sitting around isn't helping things. I'm use to always being on the go and these post chemo days put me down, which I don't like at all. Hopefully this afternoon I will pop out of it and maybe go for a short walk.
The good part is that the back/tailbone pain doesn't seem to be so bad, I'm not sure if it is because I've rested, been taking more pain medications or because all of the other symptoms are worse. I did request 2 injections of morphine when I had chemo because the port pain was so uncomfortable, which did help immensely.
2 years ago it seemed that the next 2-3 days after chemo were down days and then I'd be back to myself until the next treatment and typically the second treatment of the regimen wasn't as bad as the first.
I probably am trying to push myself too much because of having my family around, but my mom is a stickler when it comes to me getting my rest. It is so nice to be home. My mom is taking very good care of me, but she is also taking this much harder than I am and much harder than the first time, but I know that we will get through it again and come out on top!
|My mom had to paint my toenails teal before chemo because they were looking rough.|
I'm still taking one day at a time and planning to return to MVY on July 21.
I read a quote this morning by Brigham Young that helped me with my question of why me and why again:
"Give me patience to wait until I can understand it for myself."