Chemo round 2, dose 2: thankfully easy

Chemo Tuesday afternoon was fine–and since it has been a month, I got the Xgeva shot too.  That’s an anti-osteoporosis treatment that has been found to be useful in slowing the progress of bone metastases.  Even though I only have one bone met, it seems worth it.  The side effects are “flu-like symptoms for 1-2 days” but I just felt a little achy the next morning.

We waved at my oncologist on the way out–he has an office on the main hall–and he called us in to talk about the study on intravenous Vitamin C that I recently sent him, and see how I was doing.

I said I was doing great, especially because I had this therapeutic cherry Jolly Rancher I got from a jar in the chemo room on the way out.

He told me they put Adriamycin in the red Jolly Ranchers.  “It’s good for you!”  After that I just put the thing in my pocket.  (Adriamycin, aka doxirubicin, is a very strong chemo medicine that is bright red.  It’s what I had the first time around; you can’t get it again because it can damage your heart.)

I showed him my head riddled with completely bald spots of various sizes and shapes from radiation, and he told me about “radiation recall,” when chemo re-activates the body’s response to previous radiation. So likely the completely bald spots are a combination of radiation and chemo.  The radiation effect will go away eventually.  The rest of my head has much less hair, but no no hair.  Eric buzzed it off for me.  I left some bangs in the front and in front of my ears because that part didn’t seem very fally-out-y yet.  We’ll see what happens this week.  In the meantime, I am enjoying having some hair to peek out.

He told me that his BRCA1 patient who has been on Eribulin for 3 years found that her hair grew back eventually!

Me: “That’s the best news I’ve heard all month!”

Oncologist: “You need some better news.”

Everyone always underestimates the importance of the hair thing…or is it just more important to me than to others?  I will have to distract myself from the many things I have due in the next few days and do some research on that via Google Scholar… 🙂

Before chemo I went to the chiropractor, then to midwifery peer review, then to the grocery store on the way home.  So it was a good, busy day.  After we got home I planted myself on the couch.  Then my fellow-Philadelphia-U student Jessica came to spend the night between her two days of clinical time in Troy!  That was fun.  I didn’t feel any side-effects from the chemo–having it later in the day (4 pm) seems to have dampened the crazy-hungry feeling I had the first three times.  (I ate like the green hotel-room-service-cart ghost in Ghostbusters!)  No nausea at all–hooray!  I could totally stick with this eribulin stuff for 3 years…if it’s working.  We will find that out when I have follow-up CT scans after another complete cycle or two.

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