Tuesday, April 7, 2009

EPOCH+R, round five

During my second break week of round four, I never felt good as I have in past cycles. This run-down feeling continued into my infusion week for round five, and Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday I just dragged through. Why I felt good Wednesday and Friday I'm not sure.

Our living area was rearranged a few weeks ago due to our remodeling, and my exercise space was one of the victims. During my first three rounds, I did two or three easy workout tapes during each break week. Not exercising during my break in round four is a top suspect for why I haven't felt so hot the past two weeks. I got my husband to rearrange again so that I could get back on the exercise bandwagon. Hopefully this will make the next round easier on me.

My fluid intake has been low again this cycle. I complained of it to the nurses last week, and they started giving me a bag of saline while I waited for them to mix up a refill for my pump. My normal fluid intake is water and a variety of tea flavors (mostly herbal). On these days when my thirst isn't working right, I've found that flavored water, or just adding lemon juice to water, or having coffee instead of tea makes it go down a little easier. Still, it's a struggle to keep my intake at 3-4 8-oz glasses a day. During round four my thirst started working normally on Friday of my first break week. Having to think about fluids so much is tiresome, so I'm looking forward to drinking becoming an automatic habit again.

Keeping on top of nausea medications is important. Like round four, the IV medication they gave me in the afternoon plus a pill in the morning (promethazine) kept my stomach happy during round five. I forgot the morning pill one day though, and besides being uncomfortable at work all day, the IV meds didn't completely take, and I needed a pill that evening.

The Neupogen is making me a little more achy this cycle than last: it's mild, but I needed to take Tylenol to get to sleep last night. The painful swelling from the steroid withdrawal has not been as bad this time; I'm not sure why, but am grateful. The tips of my fingers feel sorta numb off and on, but no tingling and no pain, and the muscle cramps in my legs, feet, and forearms that I had the first three cycles seem to have resolved: I attribute this to my lowered dosage of vincrinstine in rounds four and five.

Currently, my esophagus tingles, my tongue hurts (not to chew or swallow, just a mild ache), and it hurts to take deep breaths. Of these, the esophagus tingling bothers me the most, and makes eating uncomfortable. I've talked to several of the oncology nurses about this (today, and also when the same thing happened last cycle), and they say no one has ever complained to them about esophagus tingling before. Theories include neuropathy (like the tingling in my fingers) and something to do with the vagus nerve (which has some relationship to swallowing... and also to heart rate, which my heart rate is over 100 most of this week). They say as long as it goes away (which it did last cycle) it's not anything to worry about. So now, just to figure out what to have for dinner.

1 comment:

Jen said...

Now that the weather is nice (and the days are longer), if you want to go for a walk with me (and the little fella) just holler!