Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Started Chemo Yesterday

Robert & I went to see Dr. Bergen yesterday. We ruled out starting another clinical trial. He suggested chemo and asked if I wanted to start right away. So I had my first infusion of Gemzar (gemcitabine) which only took about 30 minutes, although we had to wait around a bit to get started as I wasn't scheduled to start yesterday. The infusion room at St. Mary's Oncology Center is really nice. They have comfortable chairs which are heated and have magic fingers. There's TV screens at each chair and headphones. There was even a therapy dog walking around the room.

We decided to start with a single agent and see how it goes. I'll be having chemo once a week for 6 - 7 weeks provided my platelets stay where they need to be. So far I have no side effects of nausea, although I'm taking an anti-nausea med, and have several other anit-nausea back-up meds. They gave me steroids yesterday and I'll take some of those this week, as well as an antibiotic. I have had flu-like symptoms since going off the clinical trial, which Dr. Bergen thinks is probably "tumor fever". I was feeling really run down last week, and I had a hectic week with the bookstore, so if you haven't heard from recently, it's because I was busy with work and just resting when I could. Anyway, the antibiotic is in case my flu symptoms aren't from tumor fever. There has been a bug going around Ouray, but frankly, I had these run-down feelings back in March before I started the clinical trial med and the steroids for the rash.

I'm actually amazed at how much better I started feeling even yesterday afternoon. I think the steroid is helping. I don't feel any nausea at all, although I felt it just mildly yesterday evening. I may have some side effects 36 - 48 hours after infusion when the platelet level may drop. I have to be very careful to avoid cuts or injury because the chemo will prevent healing.

Kay, my support group leader, is a big believer in visualization and imaginining our treatment working and visualizing healing. So I've been trying to focus on that. Robert said he visualizes little "Pac Men" in my body gobbling up my cancer.

I am proud to tell you that I received an award from the Elks Club on Saturday night for "Citizen of the Year". They were impressed with how I keep volunteering in the community despite my health challenges. I am very honored to receive this award.

Robert & I are in Telluride today and tonight, so once I finish the blog post, I'll have to go. I won't be able to check e-mail or blog comments for a few days.

Just up here in Colorado, appreciative of everyone's prayers and support. And visualizing those Pac Men gobbling up my cancer!


Susan Doyle said...

Congratulations, Citizen of the Year!! You sure deserve it! Thank you for helping the animals too! So glad you're feeling pretty good and not too nauseated! Hope your appetite stays good. Drink lots of good mountain water, and help those pac men!! Love, Sue in San Diego.


Hi Caroline
I've been following your progress and you seem to be doing great. Keep fighting ! I supposed you have heard by now that Jackie and Matt have a new additon to their family. Her name is Sydney Diann and she was 3lbs and 11oz., 161/2 inches long. She is absolutly beautiful. She is little but mighty. I'm in Ouray until the 8th of June so if you are up to visitors give me a call. 325-0321 Hope to see you. Love Diann