Saturday, April 4, 2009

Putting the "DA" in chemo

As has happened as I complete most of my treatment weeks, I woke up around 3am this morning and could not go back to sleep. Going straight from sleeping 10-11 hours a day to insomnia is always somewhat jarring; fortunately, the insomnia has never persisted beyond this one day.

In the meantime, I've been trying to make the best of it by doing research on the internet. I came across an interesting comment on the regimen I'm getting, which is a "dose-escalated" regimen (DA-EPOCH+R). If my blood counts (white cells, red cells, and platelets) tolerate a dose well, my next cycle I get more of the E,C, and H drugs.

According to this study, clearance of these chemotherapy drugs gets faster with successive cycles, especially in younger patients. Apparently our bodies can learn how to get certain poisons out of our system. Pretty neat. It does mean, though, that when we want poisons in our system (e.g. for cancer treatment) that it makes sense to increase the dosage over time.

So, my insomniac brain just thought I would share.

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