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Starting chemo/immunotherapy today!


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Chest x-ray to confirm port placement, visit with doc, lab work, and then the infusion. Carbo/Alimta/Keytruda. 

My daughter's coming with me for this first one--got the OK for her to accompany me. I just wanted her to meet doc and hear about what to look out for, etc.

Shoulder still painful--had a bit of trouble sleeping last night but finally got almost 3 hours uninterrupted before I had to get up. 

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Good luck with the treatment LexieCat. Wishing you all the best. I hope that the chemo side effects won't be too bad and more than that it'll be super effective combined with immunotherapy in killing the wretched cancer. 

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2 hours ago, BridgetO said:

Look out cancer cells, here comes Teri with the drugs!

My motto: "Walk softly and carry a big drug." The walking softly part is a challenge when you're a natural-born klutz, but at least I'm well-armed in the drug department.

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It was actually, overall, not a bad morning, though there was an administrative glitch that hung me up for almost an hour. My oncologist had submitted the approval for the infusion meds but the insurance company had already approved the meds for MD Anderson, who had neglected to cancel the request. So it took a couple of hours or more to get through to someone there to cancel their submission so Penn's could be approved. I was antsy waiting, but had a comfortable spot to wait, so it was just mildly annoying.

EVERYONE I dealt with at Penn this morning was terrific. I had to report first for a chest Xray to ensure proper port placement. Then I had to go get labs drawn and while I was waiting I was approached by a researcher who wanted to ask about participating in a liquid biopsy study. All that's involved is taking another 5 tubes or so of blood each time I have blood draws so they can follow my course of treatment and see whether biomarkers can be identified. Apparently it doesn't affect my treatment--it's just for research purposes. I told her, I'm all for science, so yes, I'll participate. Lab draws were quick/easy once my port accessed (LOVE my port!).

Then I went to see my oncologist--he and my daughter got to meet. It was my first time seeing him in person--the first visit was a virtual consult. He told me the scans I had Friday showed SLIGHT growth of the primary tumor since 6 weeks ago, but not a lot. He said there are still two small nodules in my left lung (lower lobe--I had the UL lobectomy 3 years ago) that they will continue to watch but right now they didn't appear to be involved. He had the results back from the liquid biopsy and said there did not appear to be any currently actionable mutations, but he said he felt better going forward that we weren't missing something, and more confident that the immunotherapy would be effective. 

Once I got back to the infusion area (and everything is nice and conveniently close, though my daughter and I both got momentarily lost in this very nice but HUGE facility), I had to wait almost an hour for the aforesaid admin glitch to be resolved. A pharmacist and a couple of assistants came back to educate us about the drugs and the dos and don'ts. The actual infusion itself took about an hour and a half--30 mins for Keytruda, 10 mins for the Alimta, and 30 mins for the carbo. Then one more visit to flush the port and get me disconnected and I was done. The infusion room was private, which I wasn't expecting but was pleasantly surprised to find. There's a TV, Wifi, recliner, chair for guest, and a nice big window with a view of Phila. There's a Starbucks and a couple of takeout places downstairs and a kitchenette where I can get something microwaved. I sent my daughter out for Starbucks for breakfast. 

All in all, as I said, pretty good morning. Next appointment is Oct. 9. 

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6 hours ago, Tom Galli said:

Lexie,

"Rhoid" rage on the horizon? I didn't sleep after infusions and ate everything in the house.

At the slightest hint of stomach rumbles, start nausea meds.

Stay the course.

Tom

I think you mean "roid rage" as in "steroid rage," unless you meant HEMOR "rhoid rage," which I could see being a "thing," lol. They've always enraged ME, anyway. 

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Lexie

    Happy to overall it went well and your daughter was able to go and also meet your Onc.

      Hope it will be very ţolerable.  Drink. Drink, drink and take your meds at the first sign of any nausea.

      Take care and be well.

    

 

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1 hour ago, Tom Galli said:

Lexie,

Yup...another example of my terrible spelling. Yes--steroid rage; thankfully I have no actual experience with the other "rhoid" rage...

Stay the course.

Tom

It's OK, you're an engineer. You're not expected to be a speller (not by this former tech writer, anyway!). :) 

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Lexie:  Welcome to the triplet club. What I like about cancer centers is having a CT scan, a blood test, a meeting with the oncologist and infusion all in the same day. My infusion takes 3 1/2 hours. Carboplatin was last and took one hour. They also do some washing in between. I get mine through an IV so maybe it takes longer. Glad things went smooth for you and hopefully you won't have any side effects.

all the best.

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Administrative BS aside, it sounds like it went off very well.  Don't be surprised when the wall of fatigue hits (its a different day for everyone), just ride it out and your energy will bounce back.   

Looks like you're having a great time with the kids too!  

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26 minutes ago, LexieCat said:

It's OK, you're an engineer. You're not expected to be a speller (not by this former tech writer, anyway!). :) 

Not by anyone, LOL!  I spent 10+ years working for and writing for civil engineers, so I know whereof I speak! 😁

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Lexie,

Like everyone else, I'm so glad that your first treatment went along well (other than administrative stuff).  I hope this is a harbinger of things to come in the future, treatments go well and then hoping for little side effects.  Stay strong, you've got this.

Lou

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Well, I'm not quite sure what to make of my first week of chemo. As predicted, fatigue hit hard. I tried to work, didn't get much of anything accomplished. Been sleeping a lot (slept through the Zoom yesterday--didn't wake up till around 8 pm). I'm also still stiff/sore from the fall--the relief from the steroid was temporary. And in addition to fatigue, concentration and other cognitive functions are not up to par. 

I've been trying to decide whether to try to keep working or whether to bag it for now. I was thinking maybe I could manage with a more flexible schedule (maybe part-time for a while) but I really don't think that's gonna help much. 

I'll see how this weekend goes and maybe next week put in for my STD if I'm still feeling out of it. 

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Lexie,

Sorry that you're still so uncomfortable from the fall and add to that fatigue and other discomfort from the treatment and you have a full boat to row.  I won't give an opinion on work as long as you can get the rest that your body needs to help you fight through this treatment.  

Lou

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