12 March, cycle 2A – third day of chemo

Son of a b*tch. I did it again. I accidentally deleted another paragraph. So ANNOYING.

Right. Let’s try this again.

Last night was a whole lot more restful than the previous night so I hope I won’t be dragging throughout the day again. I’ve begun noticing what I think may be some side effects of the Cytoxan, mainly some flushing in my face, neck and chest which so far hasn’t spread any further. Yesterday about mid-day my face began to feel hot and I thought I might be developing a fever. On my next trip into the bathroom I took a look in the mirror and sure enough, I had red patches around my nose and spreading almost like a Fu Manchu mustache down to my mouth and chin. My neck and chest were also red, like I’d had too much sun. It didn’t last long and was nearly gone by late afternoon but I’m feeling the same sensation this morning and my face is now more evenly red, as is my neck and chest. Still no spreading though, so that’s a good thing. Oh, another wrinkle – my heart rate has dropped dramatically. For a while I was in the 75-85 bpm range but early last night I plummeted to 45 bpm. EEP. I’m also feeling some arrhythmia, not bad, just like my heart fluttering a bit and then settling down again. I noticed this during the beginning of my first cycle and I’m pretty sure it has something to do with the drugs I’m being given. If I elevate the head of my bed it helps quite a bit but it also makes for a more uncomfortable night. Do I lie awake and feel my heart leaping around periodically or do I sleep like a pretzel? Tough call.

Yet another day built around the almighty chemo schedule. There’s an accompanying drug (Mesna) that’s being administered at the same time as the Cytoxan that protects the kidneys and bladder from damage and has to go 24/7, at least for the duration of this chemo drug. I managed to squeeze in a shower late this morning while briefly unhooked from my ball and chain. Geez, I HATE having to rush my showers! The shower stall in this particular bathroom is quite small and yet the hospital staff think it necessary to fill almost every available square inch of floor space with a truly gigantic shower chair. Nope, nuh-uh, not gonna use it. Yesterday I frightened Abby the assistant nurse while I was banging around trying to pull the damn thing out of the shower stall. I guess she thought I had fallen, poor bunny!

Apparently I get my last dose of Cytoxan tonight and then sometime tomorrow I’ll receive Doxirubicin (aka the Red Devil) and one other drug, each a short 15 minute infusion via IV, and then I’m done with the chemo for this round. Then begins the “hurry up and wait” portion of my stay in the hospital: waiting for my blood cell count to crash and then begin to recover. I’ve been told that this process tends to slow with progressive chemo treatments but I can only wait and hope that my body will rally more quickly. It’d be nice to have another long break at home but I’m sort of expecting this to be a longer stay. We’ll see what happens!

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