Chemotherapy will involve three days every two weeks. Wednesday will be a 5-6 hour infusion at the oncologist's office. I will then go home with a pump infusing continuous medication over the next 48 hours. Thursday I will have a two hour infusion at the oncologist's office, and then Friday I will go in to have the pump disconnected. Needless to say, I will get to know the staff at the oncologist's office really well!
The most common side effects of the drugs I will be taking are tingling and numbness of the hands and feet, diarrhea (the story of my life!), and hand/foot syndrome (the pain, redness, and peeling of the skin I had before). They do not expect me to lose my hair, although there is a slight chance that could happen. Having an ileostomy, diarrhea will be the most serious side effect for me. I already lose a lot of fluid each day so I will have to be careful that I don't get dehydrated.
They will also be monitoring my blood cell counts. If I experience a drop in white blood cells then they will add another medication that will help my bone marrow produce more white blood cells. This is a possibility for me due to the fact that I had radiation. Many of the bones that normally produce blood cells may have been damaged by the radiation. The doctor does not want to give me this medication unless I need it because it can cause pain in the bones.
So, that's the plan going forward. Here are the specific things you can pray for me as we get ready for this new chapter in my treatment:
1. Pray that these drugs do what they are designed to do - kill any remaining cancer cells, especially in my liver and/or lungs.
2. Pray that the side effects will be non-existent!
3. Pray that my bone marrow will continue to produce the white blood cells that my body needs to fight infection.
4. Pray for successful insertion of the IV port next Tuesday without complications.
5. Pray for wisdom for the doctor and nurses as they monitor my treatments and make any necessary adjustments.
6. Pray that I will not be bored out of my mind as I sit still for a 5-6 hour IV infusion every other week!! LOL!
My words could never express to you how grateful I am for your continued prayers and support during the past 4 months. I feel like the luckiest girl in the world to have so many friends who love me and pray for me; and so many others I've never even met who have joined me in this battle. Thank you for caring enough to pray.
"The LORD your God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with his love, He will rejoice over you with singing." Zephaniah 3:17