Monday, August 18, 2008

round four of chemo ... not so bad

There's nothing like an uneventful morning in a chemotherapy cubicle to raise a gal's spirits. Seriously. My friend Lisa and I were there at 7 a.m., and when we left three hours later, it was more like we'd had a few hours to sit in comfy chairs, sip cups of hot tea, eat homemade banana bread, read the newspaper and chat. I didn't have any reactions to the Gemzar. (The last time I was in one of those infusion rooms, my blood pressure crashed, I broke out in hives and almost passed out — twice — and they had to take me off the drug and switch me to another one.) This afternoon, I'm a little tired, and I expect I'll feel a little fluey for a day or two, So far, so good, though. (Next week I go back for a double cocktail of Gemzar and Taxotere.) It sure beats carrying my chemo drugs around for seven days straight, having them flow continuously through my body all week, like I did for the last three cycles. Now all I can do is hope this works.

Check out this description of Taxotere, by the way:

Taxotere belongs to a class of chemotherapy drugs called plant alkaloids. Plant alkaloids are made from plants. The vinca alkaloids are made from the periwinkle plant (catharanthus rosea). The taxanes are made from the bark of the Pacific Yew tree (taxus). The vinca alkaloids and taxanes are also known as antimicrotubule agents. The podophyllotoxins are derived from the May apple plant. Camptothecan analogs are derived from the Asian "Happy Tree" (Camptotheca acuminata). Podophyllotoxins and camptothecan analogs are also known as topoisomerase inhibitors.

Periwinkle? May apple plant? Asian Happy Tree? What is this, chemo by Aveda?


Anonymous said...

Sounds like a lovely, holistic chemo therapy that will help you get better.

Anonymous said...

Praise the Lord Jesus, seriously, for anti-nausia drugs. True, there isn't really a cure for cancer, but chemo has gone from a horror-inducing experience to more of a nuisance (okay, maybe a little more than a nuisance, but you see what I mean...)

- Susanne

SeaStar said...

I'm glad today wasn't so bad and you had a friend with you.

elizabeth in mississippi said...

It is kind of crazy about the plant thing. It amazes me to think that apirin is basically willow bark. Cranberry juice helps prevent UTIs. Witch doctors had only herbs and such to treat all sorts of ailments... now our modern witch doctors (drug companies telling us what we need) synthysize ingredients to be "pure."
Love you, Mean it.

LutherLiz said...

Chemo by Aveda! LOL! I hope that this new set of drugs does the trick, shrinks those awful tumors and we already know it has left your hair..."manageable?" Thinking and praying for you guys!

Anonymous said...

That's funny! "Chemo by Aveda." Ha! I'm glad LutherLiz had a good hair joke and took the onus off the rest of us. :-)

Also, I'm glad the concoction was tolerable. Let's hope it's lethal, too.

--Laura S.

Amy said...

LOL! Chemo by Aveda?! That's great! I have everything crossed for you!
<3 Amy (ackdyolen)

Piccinigirl said...

well I am just glad it was an uneventful morning.
I laughed out loud to "chemo by Aveda" but if an Asian Happy Plant will make you better, well that's a great reason for it's optimistic name.


Rebecca said...

I just checked with Andrew, and NO, that chemo medication is NOT from Aveda. The kids' daycare is just down the hall from where all the Aveda concoctions are bottled, and there is no chemo medications in there. :)

But, as I read the description, I was thinking the same thing! When you made the comment I fell over laughing because I was thinking the exact same thing!

I know that all medications from the earth in some way, whether pure or processed. It does seem, though, that this particular batch is a little closer to the earth than most. Is that reassuring to you?

Jamie said...

If it is chemo by Aveda, I bet you smell nice :)

Seriously, I hope you feel ok thorugh this one. I hope the plants make it easier on the body.

April-C-A said...

Now, if only it gave you a rosey glow like an Aveda facial does! I'm going to have to check out what a "Happy Tree" is! I might need to get one. Hang in there, I'm thinking about you!

Ordinary Mom said...

You have such a wonderful sense of humor! Love chemo by aveda! lol I check your blog for updates periodically (we don't know each other and at this point I don't even know how I found your blog) for updates. I was so happy to read that you are doing good this round of chemo. We will keep you in our prayers.