The Second Half

I kind of feel like garbage today.

I started a new chemo cocktail yesterday because my old one poisoned my lungs. There are two well-known Hodgkin’s treatments – ABVD, which I was taking before, and BEACOPP. Now I am on a cocktail of the two cocktails – COPP/ABV. It’s bananas.


So many new drugs, a whole new schedule. Sometimes I have to take a pill on Thursdays and not lie down for half an hour after, or just a pill on Saturday and Sundays. My chemo treatments are now one week, then three weeks apart. So in a 30-day cycle, on days 1 & 8. But I also have to take a chemo pill every day for the first seven days of that cycle. So I guess it’s kind of like I’m getting chemo for 8 days in a row, then three weeks off.

I got two new-to-me drugs through IV at the hospital yesterday, hence my garbage-like state. I’m both curious and nervous to see how this new regimen goes. The side effects are mostly the same except on one of these new ones I have to make sure to use the washroom every 3-4 hours. Apparently a lot of the chemicals are released through urine and can be toxic to your bladder if they sit in there for too long.

You have no idea how ridiculous I felt waking up to an alarm at 3am just to release the chemicals from my bladder.

In other news, I was taken off my blood thinners (YAY!!). So that is one less needle I have to stick myself with a day. Now I’m just on the Neupogen shots for my white blood cells. There will now be days where I don’t have to give myself a needle at all, which is pretty damn awesome.

I’ve got this little bag that I carry all my drugs in and it’s starting to burst. I can’t believe how many chemicals and pills it takes to kill cancer. I forget just how harsh some of these drugs are, until I look in the mirror and catch a glimpse of my bald spot. I hate badmouthing chemo because it is working for me and will cure me. But it’s scary to think of the healthy stuff it’s killing on top of all the cancer stuff. Not to mention, it makes me feel like crap.

Today is a Netflix kinda day.

Posted on October 20, 2011, in Cancer and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 30 Comments.

  1. wish i could bring you a giant plate of cookies. thinking of you today! <3

  2. Ugh. If it makes you feel any better, which I’m sure it won’t, I “release the chemicals” from my bladder at least once every one-two hours. We can pretend it’s a cliquey “cool girl” thing or something, no?

    Enjoy your movies, rest your body and mind and know this too shall pass. Not soon enough for anyone’s liking, but it will. And if Jess does bring you a giant plate of cookies, call me up. I will help you “release the chemicals” from those cookies with no questions asked ;)

  3. So sorry you feel like crap. That is quite a pharmacy of drugs you have to take. I would have to have a spreadsheet or something to help me remember when to take them all! Hoping and praying that all of these chemicals do their job well with minimal impact on the good stuff in you. :)

    • Actually, spreadsheets work really well! Especially in chemo brain mode. Spreadsheet + pill dosimeter + daily log sheet, and someone to help fill it out and make changes, so YOU know what you are doing and can tell your medical team what you’ve done!
      Who can remember how much fluid they drank laswt Tuesday??!

      Susan, if you need a template, I can send you one!

      • Would LOVE a spreadsheet if you don’t mind! I currently have everything programmed into my iPhone, but it’s not very easy on the eyes when I need to go through everything at once, I really just use it for the reminders.

        • It’s on it’s way!
          A white board monthly calendar only for medical stuff is also a big help.
          On your regular hard copy calendar, you can put happy stickers on the good days so the happy memories can help on the bad days.

  4. Sending lots of love your way Susan!

  5. wow that is a lot of drugs, :( sorry you don’t feel well today. But on a brighter note, you are halfway done!

    Keep smiling :)

  6. I’m so glad to hear that you’re finally off the blood thinners … because it means that cancer is EXITING … it’s like a house guest that won’t leave … you’ve finally got them packed up at the door – next step is getting their shoes on, then kick em out onto the porch ;)

  7. I’m sorry for the crappola you are dealing with right now girl. Netflix sounds like a good plan. What would we do without television shows on demand?

  8. I am so glad for you having one less needle to contend with, and am shocked by the number of prescriptions in the picture. Being off the blood thinners seems like a pretty major step in the process; I hope that’s the case.

    I hope you feel less like crap in short order, and that Netflix provides you with exactly what you need to help facilitate that. :-)

  9. I had to laugh at the bit about your setting an alarm to get up in the middle of the night to pee! That’s something OLD ladies like myself wouldn’t have to worry about, since we get up at least twice during the night on a regular basis! Forty years from now you’ll see what I mean, and perhaps get a laugh out of this as well!

  10. Aww sister! How rough!

    I hope the second half goes ten times faster than the first for you. Utilize that netflix and enjoy yourself as best as you can!

  11. Thinking of you today….

  12. Aww I’m sorry Susan – hang in there! Big hugs coming your way!

  13. Rest up dear. I hope you feel better soon.

  14. That regimen looks pretty brutal! I wish there was something I could do for you. Hope you find some good things to watch on Netflix. I recently got hooked on Mad Men.

  15. Oh Susan, this sucks. I wish it would all go away for you. Hang in there girlie, be strong. Thinking of you.

  16. Ohh man… Sending you love today. I hope this will soon be a distant memory for you.

  17. Hang in there. ((hugs))

  18. Sending love and prayers! {{{Hugs}}}

  19. Damn, that’s an intense regimen! Please tell me someone gave you a spreadsheet with that schedule on it. Hope the side effects of the new drugs wear off soon and you feel much better! And watch some funny movies! :)

  20. So sorry to hear you are feeling so bad and that you need to adjust to a new confusing regime. Good news about the blood thinnners though! It is nice for your invisible pals like me to know that your family will help you keep track of your meds. I’m not sure what the “A” drug is that you are taking but the one they gave me made me have cherry koolaid colored underware is always a help in that case! On the bright side, I’m glad to hear you have to set the alarm to get up, I was worried you would not be able to sleep due to the steroids. Of course, if that does occur, they’ll just give you more drugs to help you sleep! My doctors also instructed me to be sure to close the lid of the toilet before flushing so fine particles of the “bad chemicals” would not spread in the air and be breathed in by myself or others. Who knew that even toilet instructions come with cancer treatment! Keep your chin up. You are doing great. This a long often lonely and miserable road you are on but the journey will be over and you will be well again. Try to keep your eye on the prize. Praying for you daily.

  21. I just want to send HUGS! I never know what to write when I read these posts & just want to hug you! You are amazing!

  22. yay to one less needle. you’re so freaking brave, sus. i love you.

  23. Andrew van Geest

    You are very brave, Susan. This new chemo regimen of yours definitely sounds very confusing. Hopefully it’s not as difficult as it sounds,eh. As always I send you my best regards.

    Take care

  24. We can send you a bag from Derek’s office. Let me know a good size & shape. You need a spreadsheet to keep those drugs straight. Sending Good thoughts for a good outcome though!

  25. Hey lady! Just wanted to let you know that I read this, and am thinking of you. Gearing up for tomorrow… bit nervous, but I do have the Ativan on hand, just in case. Heck yes for Netflix! Don’t know if you watch Dexter, but if not, you should get in to it! Nothing like watching the dreamy-ness that is Michael C Hall, knowing that he eventually went through the same battle we’re going through! Such a fox. I think I’ve mentioned that before…

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