Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Chemo Week

Every 21 days I get another round of chemo.  Besides going to the same clinic 40 miles away, it is a hard week to manage.  Nausea is the main problem so it's the only week I take nausea pills.

Monday is the long day.  We see the oncologist first, they pull a blood sample and see if you are strong enough to take another dose.  We talk a bit and he tries to reassure you and answer any questions.  I have to take my notes and questions and still forget to ask things.

Then they give me, through "infusion" through my port, a bag of sterile water, a bag of nausea medicine like I take in the pill form and then the chemo.  My chemo is used for patients for lung cancer although I don't have it.

Tuesday and Wednesday is the same thing but a smaller dose.  By Tuesday or Wednesday I am so sick it is uncomfortable to ride that far and I wish it was in Wilmington, not Cincinnati.  Thursday is a trip down for Neulasta to try and keep my platelet counts up.  It takes longer to get there than it does to get vitals and get the shot.  They give it to you in your fatty part of your arm under your bicep.  My biceps are about gone, I hate to even look.

That week starts again Monday.  I am not looking forward to it so I must build myself up for the end goal of getting better.  I want to get better so I don't have to go through this anymore, at least not for now.

This is Tuesday morning so I made it through the big Monday.  That's the best I've felt when I got home after getting the infusion.  I have no idea why, though we have worked hard at learning how to manage the pills and the pain and the food and the oncoming constipation.  Walking more Sunday may have helped.

That ended after dinner last night and the pain started to set in.  LuAnn asked why my stomach always gets hit first which I thought we both understood but I guess we really don't.  I took a nausea pill and it didn't get much better.  By bedtime the pain or nausea was pretty strong.  I got a pain in my left leg like I had pulled something but I don't think I did.  My whole leg hurt from my hip to my toes.  I wrestled with it for an hour and finally had to get up and come downstairs.

I tried to loosen it up and put some topical treatments on.  I gave up and took an extra pain pill and laid down and prayed, watching EWTN.  The pain went away enough I fell asleep and I just woke up at 4 AM.  I didn't sleep until 6 like I wanted to but it is below zero again and gives me time to stoke the insert again.  I feel pretty good compared to the pain I had last night.

I am not looking forward to another trip down there for another dose of "pain" but you do what you have to do.  I am not thinking bad thoughts so if I can keep the pain down until I get home it will be another successful day.  I am taking so much laxative to avoid constipation that alone could have caused some of the stomach pain.  It is really challenging to manage for me and I never had so much trouble riding in the Rendezvous as I did yesterday.  I sure hope it's better today.

I got enough protein down yesterday I hope it gets me through today, tomorrow and Thursday just for the ride.  It's miserable trying to ride to Cincinnati when you are doubled over in pain.  It comes and goes so unpredictably you wonder what is causing what.

I wrote this for my close family and friends just to keep you updated.  Yesterday overall was a good day compared to others when I almost called the infusion off I hurt so bad.  It's for all of my readers too, as I hope you never have to go through this yourself or a close loved one.

We all have our cross to bear and this is a hard one for me but I am still here.

Ed Winkle


  1. I thought you would be staying over for the whole week, not driving every day, especially if the weather is bad. But I guess being home every day helps with the cure too, it's good for the mental. Good luck, Ed!

  2. We stayed overnight only one time, almost did that a couple other times like yesterday. Remember Sable is here too and it's hard to get her to the kennel and back. You just want to be in your own home when you feel like this.

    I feel almost as good as yesterday so I hope I can keep it up. I am on the positive side of the experience right now, not the negative.

    In a few hours we will hopefully be off for day 2. Yesterday went well overall and I hope for more.

    Living on laxatives is no fun but it's better than the alternative!


  3. Thank you for sharing your experience. Sharing demonstrates character and strength. I'll pray for you, too.

  4. Praying for you Ed. I always appreciate your positive attitude and willingness to encourage others.

  5. Thank you, I need prayer right now. I had a new condition set in, CIPN, Chemo Induced Peripheral Neuropathy, severe nerve pain in my hips to my toes, fingers tingly. It's been hard, it's been awful since 11 pm Monday night, about 12 hours after the cisplatin. That stuff is deadly, hope it's killing cancer because it feels like it is killing everything else too.

    Trying to get well enough to ride 40 miles for Neulasta shot at 11 AM, I can't ride yet.

    Thank you for your prayers.