January 3 is a day I'll not soon forget. I met today with the oncologist and I am not happy with the outcome of that meeting.
Doctor Beck advised that we take as our plan A injections of ifosfamide & adriamycin; with additional injection of mesna to avoid hemorrhagic cystitis. If you google the two main drugs you see that they are pretty strong drugs with strong side effects. Because of the side effects and the need to feed the adriamycin and mesna in gradually, I'll be hospitalized for each of the treatments, from 3 to 5 days, 4 to 6 times in the coming year.
I'm not at all happy about the potential side effects nor about the severe disruption of the spring. I realize that dying is a worse disruption, and doing this treatment gives we an excellent chance of survival. But I had hoped that the treatment would be relatively non-disruptive. In fact, in my head I saw me teaching the spring term and directing the Messiah show with no disruption to the schedule at all.
I am going to get through this, I am going to kick cancer's butt, but I just have to tell you here and now, this sucks and I am not at all looking forward to the treatments and losing twenty days to the treatments. I am fearful of the likely side effects – one of the ifosfamide is nuttiness, fatigue, confusion and an inability to concentrate. Just what I need! The adriamycin does nasty things if it gets into a muscle. I'm promised a catheter so that we don't get the adriamycin in a muscle or cause heart problems.
Sucks, sucks, sucks.
Maybe worse than the surgery – although I have to tell you I was pretty scared of the surgery for some weeks. I was convinced that the left leg would be terribly deformed when the surgery was done. It isn't and I'm not. In fact recovery from the surgery is going great. I'm actually able to get around without a crutch or a cane and I'm taking pain meds every 8 to 12 hours rather than every 4 hours. My next step is to reduce the pain meds to either nsaids or tylenol. I hope I can get there by next week.
So, two steps forward three steps back. January 13 I'll check into Salina Regional for the first treatment. Then it's every 4 weeks if I tolerate the treatment reasonably well, from January to June.
Did I mention that I think this sucks.
The PET scan came back clear. The blood work is looking good – even the anemia is improving. But I have to do this. I increase my odds of beating cancer if I do. I know I have to do this. But it sucks.