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Chemo Week 2:
March 5 - 12, 2003

[No two chemotherapies are the same, nor are the reactions of individuals. This is my personal record. For definitions, use the Glossary.]

Second Taxotere chemo treatment received on March 5.

This week I had enough Calcitriol that I could take the prescribed amount. Due to their tiny size, I have to take 200 of the little buggers (50 four times) the day before chemo. Fortunately, they are small and capsules so they wash down easily.

I also take steroids (8 mg) 12 hours before chemo (which means like 9 pm the night before), an hour after chemo and then 12 hours after chemo. I did all those. They also gave me my full pre-treatment medications just before chemo, for anti-nausea.

Downside of the steroids was that I found myself waking at 3 am, the night before the chemo, unable to sleep.

Treatment #2:

The pain flare side effect that I had on treatment #1 was worse with treatment #2 and the pain medication wasn't biting. My problem was that I was due for some out-patient surgery on March 13 and they wanted me off NSAIDs (like Ibuprofen) as they thin the blood and including them with the oxycodone really worked. Without the NSAIDs, it was horrible, the worst pain that I've had since diagnosis.

On the Sunday following treatment, I gave up and Caren took me to the VA emergency room, where I explained the problem. I was given a shot of morphine and it helped immensely. They also gave me some morphine liquid (they were out of tablets), in case I needed it before the surgery. I could finally rest without pain.

Over the next few days, I seemed to recover more from the days of pain, than anything else, sleeping and resting.

I did have one spell of bad nausea on Monday but I think it was the oral morphine, which can do that. After one good heave, I was fine.

There hasn't been any noticeable hair loss yet. I read it usually appears in Weeks 2-3, which would mean next week, so we'll see. I'm easy on that now.

I'm also getting the rhythm down on these side effects. The pain flare seems to come in on Friday night and lasts through Sunday, so I need to hit the pain medication before the pain hits, as it is easier to prevent the pain than to beat it back. Next week, I will be able to use the NSAIDs and I'll have the morphine as a backup, so next week should be a LOT better than this one was. I don't want to go through this one again. Caren had to wheel me into the ER as I couldn't walk or stand, it was so bad.

And although I didn't get much, I did learn why some learn to like morphine. Pain aside, it has its own glow.

Personally, I'd rather have my scotch.

Robert Young
Referenced material:
Chemo Journal

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This information is provided for educational purposes only and does not replace or amend professional medical advice. Unless otherwise stated and credited, the content of Phoenix5 (P5) is by and the opinion of and copyright © 2000 Robert Vaughn Young. All Rights Reserved. P5 is at <>. P5's policy regarding privacy and right to reprint are at <>.