October 2014

Trev-MUNils_trevmun wrote
on October 28th, 2013 at 06:50 pm
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I am now full of Poison Kool-Aid.

AKA adriamycin, AKA doxorubicin, AKA Cherry Kool-Aid of Death.

Turns out the first drug in ABVD--the one that has a chance of killing heart tissue and causing heart failure--looks very much like cherry Kool-Aid. Or any red-colored Kool-Aid. It'd be funnier if I weren't so worried about the side effects.

But I spent something like six hours down at the Cancer Center today, completely missing class (but my professor for that class is very understanding and has been kept in the loop from the start). First they drew my blood to establish a baseline indicator for my blood cell counts, platelet counts, and other indicators; they'll be doing this weekly. They also changed the bandages and dressing for my PICC line; another weekly ritual. After that, they administered a ton of anti-nausea drugs and then went to the ABVD.

I worried that I'd have a serious adverse reaction to any of the drugs, but so far things have been reasonably smooth sailing. I've mostly been feeling tired, with a somewhat gnawing feeling in my stomach, and like my lungs are more of a blow-up balloon than lungs (I can take a deep breath, but it doesn't feel like they want to expand TOO easily). The sailing won't be smooth for long; this dose of ABVD will be working over my body for two weeks, and I can expect to feel pretty lousy in a week or two when the NEXT infusion of ABVD happens, completing the first of six cycles. What side effects I'll develop will remain to be seen, but I am really hoping that November is the last time I'll be tearing my skin apart from itching.

I saw someone in the Cancer Center's chemo infusion rooms who may or may not be my age, may be in his teens or twenties, who sported the Naked Mole Rat look. No hair at all, no eyebrows, no body hair. That's what I get to look forward to. If only that were the only side effect of chemo ... that and fatigue, that would beat lung, heart, nerve and brain damage by a light year.

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