Tuesday, June 2, 2009

The week after

The weekend was a little bit of a roller coaster in terms of nausea and aches. Friday was mom’s worst day, and the nausea was pretty bad, but Saturday she felt better and then Sunday she felt fine. I took her some dinner on Sunday and it was a nice day outside. We went for a short walk up the street and back. She’s thinking that maybe that will help the aches.

Yesterday she had quite a bit of the bone pain set in, and finally ended up taking a Tylenol before she went to bed. From some of the chemo web sites and boards I have been reading, the bone pain can last the entire time between treatments. Some pain is so severe that doctors are prescribing either Vicodin (a prescription drug) and another anti-inflammatory drug. They don’t say too much about Tylenol because it’s not an anti-inflammatory, so maybe an anti-inflammatory is the way to go.

The Neulasta shot that is responsible for producing the bone pain is because of the white cell growth factor, which means it works by revving up the bone marrow to produce more white blood cells. Since this is the cause of the pain, according to most experts, the intensity of the pain doesn't change based on how many days after chemotherapy it’s given. So mom could have the same range of pain for days.

The Neulasta shot mom takes is kind of a time –release version is the equivalent of ten successive days of injections… so the intensity may also have something to do with the pain. I suppose they may have some sort of injection that could be done once a day for the ten days, but I don’t think that mom would want to add another shot into her daily regimen since she is already doing the Lovonex once a day.

The bone pain seems to be the most bothersome of the chemo side effects. Mom’s been keeping track of her symptoms and says that each time around things are just a little bit different.

Next week mom has a CT scan scheduled for Thursday. Hopefully that will tell also if the cancer is subsiding and under control enough. I’m also hoping that they will be able to tell something about the blood clots as well.

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