Today began mom's third time trying chemo since October of 2010. I can't believe this woman has had to endure this much medicine for this fucking cancer. Here are the notes I just sent my sisters:
Okay, here is the rundown from chemo. Mom has lost another 4 pounds since 5/31 - she was not happy about this (she is not at 122). The type of chemo she will be on is called Gemzar. She will be on that for 3 weeks, one week off. The chemo should go in fairly fast, they think she'll only be hooked up for about half an hour each time. This type of chemo is typically used in pancreatic cancer patients, but has been known to do a good job in BC patients.
Side effects include: fatigue (like we need anymore of that), rash and fever (1 in 10 patients develop this - doc is not too concerned about it happening to mom), blood issues. This chemo has been known to beat up blood counts, which may mean that she cannot recieie the chemo on a certain week if her counts are too low. They say that "generally" people do well on this type of chemo.
Mom's port worked like a charm today. I had to leave before the chemo started, so by this point, she should be done now. She said that her energy level was a 2 on a scale of 10 and that she has no strength or energy to do anything.
We need to make sure that she is drinking A LOT of non-caffeinated fluids. They stressed that over and over. So basically, while dad is gone, we need to fill her up with juice, water, high calorie, high protein foods so that she can gain some weight back.
Those are my notes....she was in an okay mood, but you know she gets fidgety when things don't happen quickly....
As I look at the Gemzar website, I came across this little diddy: "Serious
lung problems, sometimes fatal, have been reported with GEMZAR. Tell
your healthcare team if you develop breathing problems as you may need
to stop GEMZAR therapy." WHAT. THE. FUCK. The doctor didn't even list this as a side effect. Mom can't breathe. This is just going to be awesome.