Saturday, February 28, 2009

Livin' it up at the Hotel Chemotherapy...

It's been a few days...I've been in a "chemo fog" for some time. The side effects are fairly manageable so far -- I had a pretty nasty case of the hiccups, of all things, but they prescribed a medicine for that. I have a bit of heartburn, also manageable by medicine. The rest is just being exhausted most of the time -- I've experienced, thus far, none of the "up and at 'em" that the dexamethasone is supposed to infuse --and thus none of the "roid rage" I've been concerned about. The exhausting does make it hard to focus, but I can live with it.

Oh, and then there's the pain. I think it must be associated with the heavy load on my kidneys but the lower back feels okay now, but directly above it, in both and back and the front, it's very painful to lie down, and painful to get up. I've been taking a little Oxycontin for it and that seems to help -- a LITTLE. The nurse says that it will be difficult to gauge pain for the next week or so because the pain from the disease will go down, but the pain from the meds will be present and when I start getting the twice-a-day growth shots to increase my blood counts, that is supposed to cause pain as well. Oh well. It will subside when it's ready.

Speaking of blood counts, I am happy to say that the elevated kidney activity that almost landed me in the hospital a few days ago is, in fact, related to the effectiveness of the treatment. My IgG (parts of immunoglobulin G per dL of blood) has falled from somewhere around 14,000 upon my arrival here to 8300. This is where it was at the beginning of January, and this is only after 1.5 full days on therapy. So far, so good.

I am on the bag for one more day, so hopefully by the time that is done, this number will be much lower already.

I'm noticing a teensy bit of neuropathy, most prominently in my left foot. I took the cymbalta yesterday and today but I will get the prescription for the B6 and folate on Monday and that should help as well.

Running out of energy for this blog. Thanks for all the email, phone calls and blog comments. I appreciate every one!