I was quick to provide an update on how I was feeling while I was undergoing my IP infusion on Friday, but I have not posted since. It was another lost weekend, and honestly, today is the first day that I am feeling close to functional.
Friday's IP infusion was the same as the infusion for day 1.2. The treatment started with my pre-meds into the IV port. 2 500 ml Saline, magnesium, steroids, anti-nausea and something for heartburn. Once that was finished, the infusion into my IP port started. A total of 1 liter of saline and 500 ml of cisplatin is infused directly into my abdominal cavity. After the infusion is completed, I have to turn and rest twice on each side for 15 minutes to allow all the solution to get into all "the nooks and crannies" of my abdominal cavity. There's nothing like having to move when you have an abdomen full. The only way I can describe it is think of the biggest Thanksgiving dinner you have ever eaten, and double it.
Because I had so much success with Reiki after my last IP infusion, I had scheduled a session following this infusion. My Reiki master is wonderful. We spent 90 minutes on guided meditation, and energy work. I actually felt wonderful when I left, well enough to go have dinner with the friend who picked me up. I wish I could say the effects of the session lasted. I was miserable when I woke up on Saturday. Sunday was no better. I spent the entire weekend in bed. I missed spending time with my son, who was visiting from Madison, and I missed attending the Relay for Life fundraiser that my friends put together for my Relay for Life team (click here if you want to contribute!). I was thankful that Monday was a holiday and school was closed, because it meant another day in bed watching bad television. I finally dragged myself out of bed on Tuesday and made my way into school. I had things to do to get ready for our curriculum night Thursday, and quite frankly, I was just sick of laying in bed! I barely had anything to eat all weekend, which probably led to the shakiness I was feeling when I got to school yesterday.
I finally called the doctor's office to see if there was anything they could do. The nurse suggested that I might be dehydrated, and told me to come in to the office for some additional hydration through the IV. She said many of the patients who choose the regimen I am on need it. I did what I needed to do to get my computer lab ready for curriculum night, and then headed out to the doctor's office. The nurses there are absolutely wonderful. They had my IV all ready for me, in my favorite chair. In addition to the saline, there was a dose of Pepcid AC to help with the heartburn. It didn't take long before I was feeling much better. While I was there, we talked about the symptoms I was having. She "scolded" me for not complaining more. After all, they can't help if they don't know what's wrong. I guess I just have to get better at complaining. We talked about some options for the next cycle. We also talked about possibly switching regimens to the less aggressive (and less effective) treatment. She said that "very few" make it through all 6 cycles, but the data shows much longer survivability and longevity with at least 2 cycles of the IP. So I have decided to stick with this regimen for one additional cycle, using the additional medications (steroids and a scheduled hydration on the Monday after treatment) we discussed. If things aren't easier, then I will seriously consider going to the strictly IV regimen.
I don't think I have mentioned that my hair started falling out last week. I am grateful I decided to cut it short before I started treatment, but I am still amazed at the amount of hair that seems to be EVERYWHERE! On my pillow, all over my house, in the bathtub after I shower. It seemed every time I moved, I was shedding. Last night I made the decision to shave my head. I texted my wonderful hair dresser to see if she could get me in. And at 8:15 last night, I had my head shaved. I have only seen myself in a mirror twice since then. In spite of everyone's assurances that I looked "cute," it's still pretty upsetting to have a scary bald face looking back at me. And no, I will not be posting a picture. I am not that brave!