Archive for August, 2012

Chemo 45.0 and 46.0

August 24, 2012 11 comments

Well, again I have been slow to update. In large part it has been because between rounds of chemo I have been working long hours and burning the candle at both ends. The net result has been lack of time or energy. Paradoxically, the long hours whilst in part exhausting when run in parallel with chemotherapy, have been satisfying. I am learning that I am increasingly finding an affinity for general surgery as a specialty, and that it would be the career I would embark on if not for current health limitations. Having said that, there are workings underfoot that may come into play once I know the outcome of my next CT scan and have a little more certainty about my expiry date.

The last two rounds of chemo have involved some experimentation of my anti-emetic medications, and to somewhat limited success. Prior to round 45, I took my apprepitant a little earlier before my round, and arrived late so commenced chemo a little later than normal. What I discovered was that for the hour before chemo when I had taken the apprepitant, I experience some fairly horrendous anticipatory nausea, and chemo hadn’t even started yet. So, in the spirit of the scientific method round 46 was a trial involving no apprepitant as this anti-nausea tablet seemed to be ironically causing nausea.

… This trial of sample size n=1 was a complete failure. Round 46 was easily the WORST round of chemotherapy I have had to date. Dry retching became vomiting, and vomiting became regular. I spent a lot of time with my head in the toilet, learning that tim-tams aren’t the best to regurgitate, and lemon powerade retains its flavour for quite sometime after being ingested. The irony of such a terrible round was that I recovered fairly well afterwards, perhaps even better than previously. The lesson for this failed experiment is that my apprepitant will be maintaining a permanent fixture in my anti-emetic regime.

Currently, I’m doing a small set of night shifts for work, and this weekend marks the crossover from my surgical run to an ED run next quarter. ED will only be 0.5 full-time, but since there are plenty of vacancies still, I will have the chance to fill in the gaps with a few locum shifts.

In other unrelated news, Hannah and I are only 3 and 1/2 weeks away from a 3 week holiday in Italy. We are really looking forward to that. Also I have a CT scan in a few weeks which will be a major stop/go intersection for the future ahead. Is the cancer responding, or is it progressing…..

Only time will tell…

Until next time.