I have officially finished my chemotherapy!!!!!
This means no more dreading the next dose, no more neurotoxicity, no more dry skin, no more nausea, no more extreme exhaustion etc. etc…. The list can go on.
What it also means, is that instead of preparing myself for the next toxic onslaught, I can finally focus on the recovery and getting better. Currently, I have very little stamina for much at all, a very low exercise tolerance, and still have numbness in the ends of my fingers from the oxaliplatin. The next 6 months will be focused on building back the exercise tolerance and fitness, a holiday in SE Asia for 2 months, and generally just getting myself back into working order. It has been alleged that it takes roughly 3 – 6 months to recover completely, so its not an automatic fix.
So, the next step in my plan for an amazing come back, will be the purchase of a road bike, with the aim of cycling the Taupo race in November. I’m gonna be like Lance Armstrong!!, except I still have the family jewels :-).
Its a huge relief to have all the chemo done, and now as far as treatment goes, its a watch and wait affair, and hope that the cancer doesn’t return. The litmus test will be whether or not I’m still alive in 5 years time (which is now more like 4 1/2). Lets start the countdown…..
I found this on MSNBC.
“The main plume appears to be a combination of brown ash and white steam, according to a NASA statement. The vigorously rising plume gives the steam a bubble-like appearance.
The surrounding atmosphere has been shoved up by the shock wave of the eruption, scientists said.
An amazing new picture from space reveals a volcanic eruption in its earliest stage, with a huge plume of ash and steam billowing skyward and creating a shock wave in the atmosphere.
Sarychev Peak on Matua Island is one of the most active volcanoes in the Kuril Island chain, northeast of Japan.
The new photo was taken June 12 from the International Space Station. NASA says volcano researchers are excited about the picture “because it captures several phenomena that occur during the earliest stages of an explosive volcanic eruption.”
I’m currently half way through my 8th and final round of chemotherapy. It has been an interesting week because I’ve also been quarantined by the Ministry of Health for potentially having swine flu.
Hannah treated a couple of kids last week in the children’s emergency department, both of which have returned back positive for H1N1. Since Hannah has symptoms, she is not allowed back to work until she either tests negative (results are pending) or she is symptom free for 3 days. As such, since I’m on chemo, I’m included in the quarantine by default, and am also on prophylactic tamilflu, while Hannah is on actual treatment dose of tamiflu.
So, we wait patiently, house-bound, until we get some results back. Meanwhile, chemo continues as per usual, the same symptoms as per usual, and the same ongoing fatigue as per usual. I’m just glad that this is the last round, the light is almost at the end of the tunnel. It will be nice to focus on getting better at the end of this round, rather than preparing myself for the next onslaught.
So I’m sitting in my arm chair recieving my last infusion of oxaliplatin. This is round 8 of 8. I’m both happy that it’s the last, but at the same time not that happy until it’s actually all over. I still have to get through this round first.
My right arm is currently all canulated, making the typing of this post on my iPhone a lot harder than usual. Therefore I’ll finish this post here and update again later.
I’ve been 3 days chemo free at the moment, and only another 3 days till the next round starts. Round 7 was a big improvement over round 6, mostly due to the fact that the oncologists decided to drop the oxaliplatin dose a little bit because of some of the side effects I was getting off it. There are a number of neuropathic side effects, but what the specialists were concerned with was the loss of sensation in the fingertips. This side effect can be potentially permanent, and so is considered a dose limiting side effect. They dropped the oxaliplatin from 270mg down to 210mg.
The net result of this dossage drop was that the side effects were not as bad, and didnt last quite as long as the previous round. So at this stage I can still say that round 6 was the worse, and round 7 was a definite improvement. I’m anticipating they will stick with the current dosage for the last round, meaning I might finish off not feeling quite as bad as I might have thought.
ONLY ONE MORE ROUND TO GO!!!!