Today is the day that my (hopefully) final round of Chemotheraphy began. This was delivered by the HITH (Hospital in the Home) team during the morning.
What was largely different from this visit from previous visits was that the drug is considered to be cytotoxic with extra precautions needed. The nurse administering the drug, Michael had to gown up and wear a face mask and eye protection in case of a spill or problem with the drug – it is very toxic!!
The drug is Fludarabine and was only about 55mg which took around 30 minutes to administer under a gravity (coat hanger) drip. This drug like the previous chemotherapy drugs is designed to kill off all blood cells. Both the White Blood cells and neutrophils will start to drop off in count by the end of this week.
The major side effect of this drug is nausea. This was expected to present soon after the administration of the drug, although being on a three times daily dose of anti-nausea tablets I am protected somewhat. I do have another backup anti-nausea drug just in case. Luckily I did not feel any nausea during the IV transfusion.
I have also had a new cocktail of oral medication prescribed with one new medication to protect the liver from side effects of the chemo.
On the social front we had a great time over Christmas with firstly the Hamilton get together last week and then Christmas day with the Sheridan family at Bairnsdale. We stayed two nights with Jan’s parents ( my first night out of Melbourne since late August) and enjoyed some quality family time and of course ate far too much!
The good thing for me about the festive season has been that I have managed to put on a few extra kilos to provide a buffer during this next round of chemo and the Bone Marrow Transplant. It is likely that I will end up with a few side effects including loss of appetite so I might shed a few kilos as I did previously.
I will have 5 days of Fludarabine administered by HITH and then will be admitted back to Ward 7B for the final two days of chemo prior to the transplant.
Thankyou to everyone who has sent me special messages of support for the transplant. I really appreciate your contact – it means a lot to me.