Round 2 Day 1 – DONE!

8 Sep

This photo is for my mom & dad so they can see I’m ok. :) If you are reading this in email and can’t see this photo and the next one, you can click here to hop over to my blog and view them there.

Photo on 9-7-11 at 6.37 PM

After chemo today

By the way, if you want to get these posts in your email each morning (instead of having to come to the blog), you can enter your email address over there in the box in the right column under where it says Follow Blog. You will receive a confirmation email and will need to click the link in that email before you’ll start receiving the blog posts in your inbox.

And this is me 5 minutes later when Pumpkin jumped in my lap, laid down, and started purring. I am convinced that kitty purrs can heal. :) If they can’t heal, they sure do make you feel good – so soothing.

Photo on 9-7-11 at 6.32 PM

Pumpkin loving on his mama

Let’s recap yesterday.

We arrived early for labs and they took me right away. Good sign!

They called us back to see the doc early. Another good sign!

We waited for Dr. D almost an hour before he came into the room. Not a good sign.

We’ve never had to wait that long to see him before. I know he was with another patient or patients because we could vaguely hear his voice in the room next to us and sometimes in the hall. Even though I hated waiting, I tried to remind myself that he may have been giving bad news or the patient may have had a zillion questions like I did on some visits. I’m thankful that he’s the kind of doctor who takes the time needed with each patient even if it means I have to wait what feels like a really long time.

All of this meant we did not get called to the treatment room until just before 11:00. Treatment began around 11:15 with premeds (nausea medicine and saline). Then the Bendamustine was hooked up. This drug attacks both good and bad cells, but doesn’t usually cause an allergic reaction and it didn’t. Yay! The worst part was the burning sensation in my arm which they mitigated by slowing the drip and adding more saline to the infusion.

Then came the Ativan and Benadryl, a lovely cocktail of dreamy medicine. It makes you feel all sleepy and relaxed. Very nice. :)

And then they hooked up Rituxan, the Bad Boy. This guy goes after just the cancer cells and is the one I had a reaction to last time with the rashes and fluctuating heart rate. In fact, because of last time, they made me sit “at the front of the room” so they could keep a closer eye on me. Nice to be so special. haha

They started out with a slow infusion and upped it every 30 minutes after checking my vitals to make sure everything was fine. We were doing great and had made it all the way to 175 mls per hour! But. (There’s that “but” again.) My throat got tickly and my tongue started tingling. Um, Houston, we have a problem.

I mentioned this to the nurse and they stopped the drip, checked my vitals (which were still ok), and gave me a dose of steroid to stop the reaction. We waited 10 minutes or so until the tingling passed and they restarted the drip at 150 mls per hour, stating they would probably keep that as my upper limit because that seems to be tolerance point. I was concerned we would not get the entire dose in today, but we did finish up around 5:15.

Now, about that rascal, The Stent.

We talked with Dr. D about getting a CT scan to see if the stent could come out soon. His thoughts are that we should wait until Sept. 26 to do the CT scan because I will have two complete rounds of chemo in me and it will give us a greater possibility that it’s worked well enough on the kidney the stent can come out. Since I can only have the CT scan every six weeks, he doesn’t want to do it too soon and then have wait even longer. And this will also allow me to see the Urologist on Sept. 28 where he can view the scan and make the determination whether it can come out or if it needs to be replaced (since they can only stay in 3 months). I already had an appointment on the books with Dr. Y (the Urologist) for this Friday and apparently he was planning to remove the stent (I wasn’t aware of this prior to today). So…he and Dr. D are going to talk tomorrow and decide together which route is the best to take. As much as I would like to have it removed, I definitely don’t want it removed too soon without evidence the kidney is working well on it’s own.

We go back tomorrow morning at 8:00 for a short treatment of Bendamustine. I don’t expect any complications from that. I’ll let you know how it goes and I’ll try not to be as long-winded as I am tonight. Must be the carry-over feel good effects from the happy cocktail!  ha ha  Oh, no, wait. I’m always long-winded when I’m writing. Sorry. :)

I hope you guys know how much you all mean to me. I feel like I have my own little cheerleading section pushing me on through this! It is such an encouragement and every single one of your prayers are so very appreciated. Thank you.

2 Responses to “Round 2 Day 1 – DONE!”

  1. Pat Woods September 8, 2011 at 3:13 pm #

    Hi Rachel…it’s Pat, Kathy’s friend. I can’t begin to tell you how much I have enjoyed your postings. You are an amazing person and I’m sorry you must go through all of this. We just found out last night that Jim’s sister (Jim is my husband) has kidney cancer. I think your ‘Blessings in Disguise’ will help her stay positive while facing some difficult decisions that lie ahead. Please know that we are praying for you also.


    • rachturner September 8, 2011 at 6:48 pm #

      I’m so glad you commented, Pat! It’s great to hear from you – thank you for reading my blog and for the encouragement. I’m am very sorry to hear about Jim’s sister. I will be praying for her – it’s a scary thing, but there are so many treatment options available for us cancer patients now. I would love to send her a card. Could you send her mailing address to me at

      Thank you for your prayers!

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