Wednesday, September 16, 2015

DAY SIXTEEN Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month - Chemo Reality

Mom's birthday sundae!
Yesterday was my mom's 77th birthday! It's amazing to me that she was diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer six years ago and she is still going strong. It's also ironic that September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness month, mom's birthday is also in September and mom is starting her fifth round of chemo today.

This round of chemo is not going to be with the Doxil that she has been prescribed over the last two years. Dr. Porubcin wanted to go with some of the more what I call 'hardcore' drugs - Taxotere and Carboplatin. The doctor felt that the Taxotere/Carbo was the way to go as mom was getting closer to the Doxil threshold. There is only so much Doxil that they will administer as it has shown to be attributed heart failure.

Mom's first round of chemo in 2009 was a Carbo/Taxol mix. Taxol (paclitaxel) and Taxotere (docetaxel) are both from the same family of medications and are used to kill cancer cells. The side effects are similar and mom could have some numbness in the hands, mild nausea for a couple of days, hair loss.

Today mom is having the Taxotere only. The nurses started her drip very slow to watch for any reactions. Mom had her 'bag of benedryl' before they started the Taxo drip (and she also took steroids early this morning) to curb reactions. She tolerated it well before, however as most cancer patients know each time/each round of chemo makes you a little weaker and the side effects are a little worse than before.

But I keep telling myself that the chemo is killing the cancer, and that is what we want but it just stinks that the side effects are so harsh.

Today's session will take a few hours. Next week (on Wednesday) mom will have the Carboplatin. They they will do the same thing again after checking her blood (white cell counts, hemo, etc) to make sure she can handle it again.

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