I got the news that I have leukemia on Thursday, February 25th and started chemo the next day. Before going through all of this, I didn’t know anything about chemo and wasn’t even sure how it was given to a person. I thought chemo was chemo, just a drug you’re given when you have cancer. There are all different types of chemo drugs, not just one, and can be given through an IV or in my case, the port in my chest.
I have a schedule for chemo and then there are drugs that I get everyday. Everyday I take steroids, which taste terrible! I think these have been helping with my appetite. My first several days here I would have been fine not to eat, I was just so thirsty all the time, but I feel I’ve been eating pretty good lately. There are a couple side effects to the steroids that aren’t as great are insomnia. It is hard to fall asleep so we’ve been trying some different sleeping medicines and the other is that it makes my blood sugar through the roof. I have been getting insulin shots everyday to offset that.
Day 1 of Treatment: Friday, February 26th:
The first day I got 3 different kinds of chemo: Cyclophosphamide, Danunorubicin and Vincristine. I was very worried and anxious about how this is going to make me feel. You see movies and TV shows were people are going through this and they can’t move they are so sick. The doctors of course told me that I could get sick, but I do get medicine for nausea every 6 hours. Really after the first day I didn’t feel different.
Day 2 of Treatment: Saturday, February 27th:
The only dose of chemo on day 2 was the Vincristine. It’s bright red in a little bag that only takes about 15 minutes for it to run through. I don’t feel any different during or after it going in.
Day 3 of Treatment: Sunday, February 28th:
Same dose of Vincristine, same deal. Still haven’t got sick. I might actually be feeling a little better at this point. I don’t feel like I’m sweating like crazy every night, it doesn’t hurt to lay on my neck because my lymph nodes are swollen, I have energy and just feel pretty good for what I’ve been through so far. I get platelets since my counts are still low.
Day 4 of Treatment: Monday, March 1st:
This is my first day since starting treatment where I don’t have a chemo. I get more platelets and blood. I realize that platelets and blood are the same thing, you know, not mine, but it’s so weird seeing someone else’s blood going into your body. Today is also the first day I start getting a shot of Neupogen everyday. The chemo is killing off the bad white blood cells in my bone marrow, so the neupogen helps stimulates the growth of white blood cells. The side effects of this drug include hurting in your joints. This is probably a lot of what was going on with my pain in my back and hips before I was admitted.
So today is day 5. I have been feeling really, really good so far throughout the whole process, but I can kind of start to feel less and less energy, earlier and earlier in the day. I know I’ll have good days and bad days. But that’s the main reason I wanted to start this blog, so I could post how I’m doing everyday and when I talk to people, I can talk instead of answer questions 🙂