Tuesday, August 5, 2008

I survived my first night with chemo . . . and am ready for breakfast

Wisdom from a child
My older boy Bryce (9 1/2) called me last night and offered up these rather profound words of wisdom just hours before the chemo started:
I’ve been brave for you many times dad, now it’s your time to be brave for me.

He is a very sweet boy with a kind and caring heart (except possibly if the subject matter is his younger brother). But seriously, he’s really torn up about this thing and just wants me to be OK.

I survived!
Well, I survived my first night with chemo . . . and now am ready for breakfast. (I’m especially happy about latter part of that statement. I guess the anti-nausea drugs are doing their job!) Hang on – ask and you shall receive: breakfast has just arrived. Mmmmm . . . just what I ordered: scrambled eggs, bacon, grits, biscuit, tea, and juice! I’m eating it now and it tastes just fine.

Nurse Ganette came by early this morning with a portable Electrocardiogram unit. Think of this as ultrasound for the heart. Dr. D’Amato ordered this test yesterday due to my low ejection fraction measurement (0.45). If this machine measures me at 0.55 or greater (making the average 0.50 or greater), I will be put on Doxorubicin (a.k.a. Adriamycin). Otherwise, they may continue looking further at my heart to get the answers they are looking for. I expect results for the Electrocardiogram later today and will post an update when I find out.

Chemo therapy update
As to my chemo therapy, I apparently misspoke earlier about dosages and timeframes. Last night I received Ifosfamide at a rate of 595 mL / hour for 2 hours (the extra dose Dr. D’Amato promised since I’m not taking Adriamycin). Yes, that’s like an entire bag in 2 hours. That was followed by another bag of Ifosfamide flowing at a rate of 59 mL/hour for the next 24 hours. That means I’ll be getting that 2nd bag replaced just after midnight tonight. And depending upon the results of my Electrocardiogram, I’ll be either starting Doxorubicin (a.k.a. Adriamycin) or getting yet another extra dose of Ifosfamide.

How you doing?
So how do I feel? Not too bad. Different, though for sure. I feel light-headed, tired, and have a slight ringing in my left ear (some of which at least could be due to the very poor night of sleep I got rather than the chemo). The biggest thing though is I’m not noticing any nausea, which was my biggest fear. And anybody who knows me knows that I do, in fact, enjoy a good meal. :) So I hope the anti-nausea drugs keep doing their thing!


Nanette said...

Glad to hear the first night went well and that they're taking care of you in the eating department.

I'll keep you in my thoughts and prayers.

Annmarie Keogh said...

Hello Dave!

I am friends with your sister Deborah, and your brother-in-law Dan. They are both, such a gift to our family, and we love them very much! My sweet, wonderful, Deb, shared your story with me, and I just want you to know that you are in my family's thoughts and prayers!

My 16 year old son is heading to Egleston Sunday for his 4th and final round of chemo before a bone marrow transplant, so we know a little about what you are going through.

You are going to get through this! Keep your eye on the prize, and don't worry about what may happen with the chemo, just deal with what does happen. No sense worrying about a process you may breeze right through! Everyone is different, and the chemo affects everyone differently.

If you do experience some of the side effects, you will make it through one day at a time. You are about to take a ride on the biggest roller coaster of your life. Just remember for every down day, an up day is just around the corner. And, when you look back, all of your friends and loved ones will be in the seats behind you, experiencing every twist and turn with you. You are not alone.

God bless you and your wonderful family.

Annmarie Keogh

Bridget said...

Excellent news about your appetite. Thumbs up!

Tim said...

Now Dave... you DO realize that you can get scrambled eggs without going through chemo, right? = P

Keep the updates coming and know that we're all thinking about you.

perry1000 said...

I only have one thing to say...Bryce is amazing. What he said brought tears to my eyes. He truly has the kindest heart! We're going to keep an eye out for him and Kyle.