Cycle 1 – Day 6: A new life skill

Just another 1st today as I get a lesson on how to give myself an injection.

This little syringe is pre-loaded with a man-made protein called granulocyte colony-stimulating factor or G-CSF for short. I thought the IT industry had the corner on acronyms but the medical field is right up there. The purpose is to help my body generate neutrophils, a type of white blood cell that is important in fighting infection and which the chemo drugs do a number on. Bonus for us over 65 is that it’s covered by the government as part of the treatment program.

So, after a training session where I learn the Five Rs

  • Right patient
  • Right drug
  • Right location
  • … and a couple more that ‘ve already forgotten.

And the process:

Basically, 2″ away from the belly button and a little below, clean with wipes, jab at a 45angle, inject and your done. This happens 5 times on Day 6-10 of every cycle.

I’m a certified drug injector. :-) or 🙁 , not sure.

Cycle 1 – Day 3

Well, I guess you can’t put this many crazy drugs in your system without something happening. I wake up at about 1:30 am, not too unusual for a bathroom run and some water, but then I’m wide awake, I listen to my self breath for about an hour before I get up. To bad it’s so early, I feel like I could go out and cut the grass. I’m sure that would impress the neighbours!

I’m feeling OK generally but I’m noticing a bit of a stuffy feeling in my head and sinus area along with a very slight headache feeling.

I wonder what the rest of the day will bring? Actually I’m wondering what the next 122 days will bring. But, as they say, one day at a time.

Cycle 1 – Day 1

Today’s verse, I’m going to rely on this.

So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.

??Hebrews? ?4:16? ?NLT??

Today is the 1st day of the treatment part of the journey. Chris Ford drives us to HSC and we get checked in. Before you know it I’m in chair #5, swallowed a truck load of pills and the IV is started.

After some pre-treatment meds in the IV they start the 1st of 4 IV drugs, Rituximab. I they are watching quite closely for a possible reaction and ramping up 50ml/hr every 1/2hr. This will take all morning and into the afternoon. Once this is done it’s cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, and vincristine all together for another couple of hours. This along with the Prednisone taken earlier will complete the CHOP-R protocol.

The day seems to fly by and I get lots of support from family and friends. Shirley is with me most of the morning, but it’s pretty boring sitting around looking at me, so Mandy picks her up for lunch and drops her back home. Lots of good text messages with folks keep me busy for part of the time. That along with some podcasts, P&W music, and Pastor Leon messages on healing make the afternoon quite enjoyable. A visit from Pastor Goertzen is a big plus and he shared his cancer experiences and the Word. Bonus is that I’m finishing up and he gives me a ride home so we get a little more hang time, which is excellent.

End of day, I’m feeling good, no reactions to the treatment.