Sunday, May 22, 2011

New Chemo Drugs

This past Thursday I had another Chemo party, however, it had different cocktails than the previous ones. I now receive one intravenous chemo drug, and one oral drug.

Drug #1: Irinotecan

Trade name: Camptosar, Camptothecan-11, CPT-11

Category: Chemotherapy Drug

Classification: Irinotecan belongs to the general group pf drugs known as topoismerase inhibitors.

Action: Irinotecan disrupts the growth of cancer cells by preventing the development of elements necessary for cell division. The drug cannot distinguish between cancer and normal cells, so some normal cells are affected, causing side effects.

How drug is given: Irinotecan is given intravenously over 90 minutes

Precautions: Tell you nurse if you start sweating, become nauseated, have abdominal cramping, or diarrhea. You nurse will give you special medication to stop this reaction.

Side Effects:
More Common Side Effects:
Severe diarrhea occurring the dy of treatment or up to 1 week after treatment
Decreased white blood cell count with increased risk of infection
Sweating, abdominal cramping, or diarrhea during infusion

Less Common Side Effects: Flushing during infusion

Rare Side Effects:
Decreased platelet count with increased risk of bleeding
Decreased red blood cell count leading to anemia

I know this is A LOT of information and I do not understand at least half of it. But, This information is verbatim from the piece of paper that they gave me and I am trying to share all the information during my treatment.

Drug #2: Temodar

This is a oral drug that supposedly targets just the cancer cells. I take two pills every evening before I go to bed for five days after every other chemo treatment. The oral treatment is kind of a catch 22. The side effects are not as harsh as the intravenous chemo drugs, but since you take them for five days the feeling lingers and it takes longer to feeling better and get back to a normal eating schedule.

I am working on the blog post of answering all the fan mail questions. I have been a little slow because the oral medication has kept me in bed not feeling that great. I will try to improve my blogging updates.

I just want to thank everyone again for your support. It really brightens my spirits. (Sorry if some of my responses do not make sense, the drugs make me a little loopy.) I love getting the texts, emails, comments, and phone calls seeing how I am doing. Since I now live by myself it is even better to hear from everyone.

Needle Pokes: 8

Pills: 30

Diet since Thursday: Bread, Cream of Broccoli Soup, and Gatorade.

Hospefully my stomach will warm up to more solid food soon!


Lauren said...

Send me your address. I need to make/send you something that's delicious.

Anonymous said...

I, for one, am a lover of the loopy.

Caroline said...

Ever try the BRAT diet? I got through chemo on it. Bananas, rice, apple sauce, toast... I ate like a picky two year old. My other fave was to use the anti nausea wrist bands as well