Since this is my first time through this - I thought I would write a little diary here to document how my chemo goes in the hopes that it will help others.
I had my first colonoscopy about a month ago (age 50 male) and they found 8 polyps, one of which had cancer. A week later I had a bowel resection (23 staples!) and they found that the cancer had moved to a lymph node about an inch away. Recovery from that was what you expect from any major surgery - 4 days in the hospital and then about two weeks to get back to normal.
So the CAT is clean, but we are doing chemo as a follow up. A week and a half ago I had a medi-port put in to be used with the chemo treatments. Having the medi-port put in was simple surgery and it healed pretty well so nothing to be worried about there.
Monday (April 23rd) I had my first chemo treatment. Sit in a big comfy chair, they plugged iv bags into the medi port, and then three hours of pre-meds and hydration. Plugging into the port isn't bad, and you can get some topical lotion to put on ahead of time to numb it up a bit before you go in so ask about that.
At the end of three hours they did a push of the folfox drugs and then hooked up the pump that pushes the rest over 48 hours. There is a fanny pack to keep the pump in and once you get it situated it's not that much of a bother. I thought sleeping with it would be uneasy but actually I decided to just sleep with the fanny pack on and that works great!
So it's been pumping for about 30 hours now. Side effects so far are that the tingling when handling cold things has already started. That is the first thing they said would happen. Nothing serious but little pins and needles if I touch something cold or drink something cold. So, already getting used to warm water and juice and soda. Same with foods - all need to be warm or room temp. I've needed a small nap each afternoon. I have been taking the Emend they give you (one pill each of three days during the pump push) and so far have not had to take any other of the nausea drugs they gave me.
Tomorrow I go get unhooked from the pump and then have a week and a half off before the next treatment. I'm doing 12 treatments, one every two weeks.
All in all the first treatment is going much smoother than I had expected. I will try to keep up with this little diary in hopes of answering questions others have that are headed into this. Feel free to ask me anything.
My Exact Treatment & Dosages:
Here is what I am receiving for comparison:
FOLFOX 6 - (modified)
Oxaliplatin - 155mg over 2 hours (treatment day at center)
Leucovorin Calcium - 720 mg over 2 hours (treatment day at center)
Fluorouracil - 720 mg push 2 minutes (treatment day at center) <--- 5FU
Fluorouracil CIV - 4320 mg over 46 hours (this is the pump) <--- 5FU
Other stuff going in day of treatment at the center:
Zanatc - 50mg
Palonosetron - .25mg
Dexamethasone sod phosphate - 10mg
Diphenhydramine - 25 mg