Round two of chemo started today (four more to go after this round). Today was my long day because they had to give me lots of fluids and two separate meds (Cisplatin and Etoposide). I have to go back tomorrow and Thursday for just the Etoposide, then again on Friday for a shot to stimulate my immune system (Neulasta).
The oncologist says I’m doing well. I assume he’s basing his opinion on my blood counts and the fact that my sodium is holding steady.
So far, my brain still feels pretty clear. But I know as the week goes on I’ll have several days where it will be foggy until the drugs work their way through my system.
I also have radiation therapy every day this week, which has been a little tricky. On chemo days, I’ve been scheduling my radiation treatments 30 minutes before my chemo since the buildings are right around the corner from each other. That worked out pretty well today. The chemo nurse is pretty flexible with appointments for people who are also undergoing radiation therapy.
So far, I’ve had no side effects from the radiation therapy. Today was number 8 out of 35. The oncology nurse said something to me last week about using aloe vera on my skin three times a day to minimize the radiation burns. I asked the radiation oncology nurses about that and they gave me some samples of Aquaphor Healing Ointment (Advanced Therapy). It’s made by Eucerin and you can buy it over the counter. Hopefully, that will help.
My hair started falling out last Thursday. By Sunday, I needed a hat. By Monday, it was time to get rid of it. So in between appointments, I found a barber shop, walked in and told them I was losing my hair to chemo and needed it shaved. I was glad the barber who helped me was a woman. Not because I thought she’d be more sensitive (although she was very nice), but because I thought it would be harder on a male barber to have to do something like that. Especially if I started crying, which I managed not to do until I was on my way out the door. As with the stylist who cut my hair, the barber wouldn’t let me pay her. The people in this area are very nice.
Several people I’ve talked to have told me my hair will grow back curlier (I’m good with that) and probably a different color (as long as it’s not all gray). Time will tell. In the meantime, I bought some chemo turbans that you just pull on. They cover the head and are pretty comfortable. I also bought a ball cap with hair attached. That one hasn’t arrived yet. If I like it, I’ll take a photo for a later post.