Wednesday’s chemo went very well with absolutely zero allergic reaction to the medicine! Yay! We finished up about 5:00, went to get something to eat and came home to relax. I’m still feeling pretty good, but I’m starting to feel very tired. After I finish the 2nd day of treatment is when the “big yuck” starts to set in.
Oh, I just wanted to let you know that all the loving I was getting from Pumpkin after my first treatment ain’t happenin’ no mo. I’ve been home for a couple of hours and, after looking at me when I walked in the door, I haven’t seen him at all! Guess his sympathy meter only runs for so long. Ha ha
As usual on Day 1, we were the last patients out of the room. Earlier in the day, there wasn’t an empty seat to be found! It feels like Grand Central Station with people constantly coming and going and about 8-10 nurses inserting IVs, administering medications, checking on the patients, taking vital signs, and adjusting infusion rates. It seems chaotic, but they are careful to check, double-check, and triple-check that you are receiving the right medications. Then I always look at the bags myself to make sure they have my name and the right drug on them. You can’t be too careful.
Dr. Daniel was very pleased with the progress in the kidney after just two treatments! Yay!! I’m a star student! Actually, no. He refers to me as his “atypical” patient. Not quite a start student, huh? Well, at least it makes me special. The last thing I would ever want to be is average. Well, on second thought, I might prefer to be average in this situation. :)
He said we would most likely do six rounds of chemo because he wants to see if we can keep it in remission for as long as possible. The trials for this Rituxan-Bendamustine cocktail that I am receiving showed the best results for patients with indolent lymphoma who received between six and eight treatments. So, he wants to aim for six and see how good everything looks at that point. I’ll have another CT scan about two weeks after my fourth treatment, which will be Nov 2 & 3. Round 5 should be the week after Thanksgiving and Round 6 should be the week after Christmas.
Dr. Daniel shared with us that, on average, patients taking Rituxan & Bendamustine for indolent lymphomas typically stay in remission for about 4 1/2 years. On average. Some see it come back much sooner than that; some see it stay away much longer. He was quick to point out that I’ve been atypical so far, which means he would be surprised if I did the 4 1/2 year average. I could come out of remission much sooner than that or stay in remission much longer than that. Let’s shoot for longer, why don’t we?? Yeah, that sounds like an excellent idea!
He asked me what the worst part has been and I told him it was the stent, for sure. The chemo “yuck” only lasts for a few days. The stent is noticeable 24-7, ever single day. He said that’s not surprising. There are older patients with advanced kidney cancers who opt to not have a stent because it is so uncomfortable – they don’t care if the kidney gets damaged because they’re not going to survive the cancer anyway. He said that was not an option for me because of my age and because the kidney was still in good shape. He was so pleased (and said this does not happen this way very often) that we caught the lymphoma in the kidney before it did permanent damage. Another six months or a year of waiting to have the bumps checked and I could be dealing with a much different situation. Thank you, Lord, for the bumps and for prodding me to go the doctor! I hate chemo, but I’m so thankful for a chance to deal with this now before it got worse.
Here’s to a great Thursday and an easy, problem-free treatment. It’s a “short” treatment, so I should only be there a few hours and then I can come home, relax, and remember….
If you know of someone else going through cancer treatments right now, please leave their name here in the comments, so that we can all pray for them. You can just leave a first name if prefer and you don’t have to give me details if you don’t think they would want it shared . I know there are many others in this same situation, and I’ve been so blessed by the prayers of people I don’t even know. I would like to pass that blessing on to someone else.