Thursday, March 22, 2012

New Meds

I have had amazing past week with family. My brother and his girlfriend were down from UK as well as some of my cousins. We had some great family time together; went to Hermanus for 2 days, did Wine tasting, went to Spier, Loads of braaing, Celebrated my moms bday, went dune bugging. Was really amazing and a nice rest away from all the drama.

On coming back from Hermanus the chemo centre had called asking me to come in the next day
to start my chemo meds. Xeloda had been miraculously approved on
my medical aid, however I am now without a receptor blocker because that was just too expensive to authorise. Always something I Suppose!

We had to speak to the doctor just so he could explain the meds. 8 tablets to be taken a day (4 in the morning and 4 in the evening). Will most probably experience some nausea, low blood counts, upset stomach, hand and foot syndrome which is pins and needles sensation on the hand and feet and it gets very sensitive and sore, red and sometimes cracks and peels.The things are manageable and you have meds/ creams to counteract it but it depends on the severity of it all.

As I was talking to the chemo nurses while they explained everything to me in the chemo room I happened to see a patient receiving Red Devil Chemo. Instantly I became really nauseous and literally had to turn around with my back to everyone so I would not see it. It's amazing how much your brain associates the meds to nausea and you feel instantly ill. It took me about an hour to feel normal again after leaving the chemo room. I completely dislike red now and lucky me our house is red themed. Feel sick just writing about it. Bleaugh.

So now I have been on the meds for going onto 2 weeks now. Not feeling 2 much except for sore bones once again. I feel like I'm a 90 year old woman with the aches and pains. The nurses still seem to think it's the Zometa Bone juice. They holding off it for a while just because it caused so much pain the last time. I'll be getting those sessions every 2 months instead just so my body does not take on too much strain.

Have some business plans brewing at the moment so watch this space ;) As shitty as being diagnosed with the Big C it has inspired me to do a few things.

Monday, March 5, 2012


Scrap the previous post that I did earlier today - it appears that I am not allowed to be on the trial because I have had a second line of treatment (being my red devil chemo).

My trial doctor is fighting it out with the German company that is performing the trials. Seems to be a hectic disagreement lost in translation from both parties.

Right now I am {insert swear word here and here and here and here} M.A.D. Universe - cut me some freaking slack will you!?!

Trials and Tribulations

So since my last blog posting it seems as if the whole world has passed by in a complete blur.

I have been caught up with just so much and had so many hassles with medical aid it's been unbelievably frustrating. Medical aids are really stressful to deal with - especially mine it seems.

My doctor gave me 2 options originally:

1. To take part in the trial which is testing a drug called Navelbine or,
2. Go privately and have Xeloda & a drug called Tykerb.

My decision making process was quite easy. The Trials department pay so much attention to what's going on in your body and they observe you on a weekly basis. This is the kind of care anyone could really ask for at the end of the day - besides. It's free! No more niggling and fighting with medical aids for authorisation of scans. Regardless though my Oncologist tried to authorise my other option just in case I didn't qualify for the trial. Surprise - they would not authorize it so option 1 it was!

I am still in the screening process but I will most probably start the new chemo in close on 2 weeks. It sounds like  a bit of an 'easier' chemo but as experienced throughout my journey we all know I am 'special' and the crappy stuff normally happens to me... for example:

Last Thursday I was scheduled to have some Bone Juice (medical name: Zometa) administered through a drip. Now - I was told before that this drug didn't really have symptoms for this  Bone Juice. Only a few handful of people really feel joint pain similar to the feeling of having flu. Was I one of the poor 'handful' of people to get this symptom? You guessed it - Lucky ol me. Having flu like symtoms was putting it very mildly. Day 1...sure. Call it flu - day 2 got worse and really uncomfortable. I had pains that felt almost like strong growing pains. Day 3- extreme pain. 1 minute I was watching the grammys - the next minute my better half found me collapsed in a bundle with my butt in the air on the bed crying in pain. Now I had been taking myprodols like they were smarties for those few days and they didn't do much except for take some of the edge off. I managed to call the doctor on call *stiffling through tears might I add* and she prescribed something else to try help. If that didn't help I would have been admitted into hospital. Thankfully by the next day the pain was about 80% gone and I was back to my normal self.

Unfortunately now with trials there is a law in the agreement contract that should you be of 'child bearing abilities' that you have to use a double contraceptive method. My options were a diaphragm and condoms or have the IUD copper T inserted into my 'lady nether regions'. Now - my options were quite limited because believe it or not we don't have diaphragms in SA so IUD it was. Until I have this done trial will not even touch me with treatment. Sounds harsh but makes sense with chemo being extremely dangerous to a fetus or infant.

I will have my various scans administered this week so they can measure out my leisons before they begin. This is how they keep track of your progress. 

Excitement amounts at the moment. My brother will be coming down in a few days to do the Argus cycle tour and visit good ol home. It's always great to have the family together. Hopefully I will get a few days off with him before he goes back.

Speaking of the Argus cycle tour. My good friend Helen who I call my cancer twin (sounds harsh but we have the exact same diagnosis and going through the same tribulations) will be doing the Argus with her fiance and they will be raising funds for BreastBuddies and the Pink Drive. I am so proud of her and how strong willed she is. Unfortunately my body is not as 'fit' as her but I hope to be doing the 110km race with her in the future. Good luck my warrior friend!

If anybody would like to help her raise funds for the cause give me a shout. For those of you who want to join the cheering in this race...The entire area of Hout Bay will be 'turned pink' for the big climb up Chapmans or as the Pink Drive are calling it 'The Climb for Cancer'. It's going to be a lot of fun if you're thinking of watching the race.