If you read this space regularly, you know that yesterday was Chemo Infusion #2 of Chemo Round #3. Round #1 was in the summer of LAST year. Round #2 was in the Fall. And now, here we are with Round #3. I also have had Rounds #1 and #2 of Radiation treatment along the way- Round #1 concurrent with the “summer of ‘17” chemo and Round #2 in early ‘18.
Also, you may remember that they put the IV in the back of my right hand last time and this new ‘chemo cocktail” pretty much trashed my right arm and hand for 2+ weeks. Not a lot of fun, especially for a right hander! So, this time I said, “Left arm, NO hand.” That turned out to mean A. 3 separate “sticks” in the left forearm (They try HARD to spare the inside of the elbow area for blood draws and emergencies. Chemo trashes…scars…your veins, often permanently and B. a LOT of “rooting around” at each needle insertion site. Oh, well.)
That first round left me with the “trashed” right arm/hand and a very strong sense of “woozy”. (Imagine what fighters call “punch drunk”.) The wooziness didn’t last too long after that first round. So, we were fairly well into yesterday’s treatment before the “trashed arm” thing started. And we were nearing the end before the wooziness started. I felt pretty much like crud on a cracker for the ride home. But as the later afternoon and early evening progressed, that passed pretty well! So, I am left with the arm thing!
With all of that, it has been decided to put a port in my upper chest, in the neighborhood of the collarbone. We (the doctor. Me and my wife) all agreed that I will be having some form of IV treatment for the rest of my life- it’s all there is left to do to treat the disease. The IV’s get harder every time. And the drugs will- theoretically- do less “damage” going into a main vein/artery nearer the heart than running through my arm every time. I have that consult next Wednesday and then the out-patient surgery to have it “installed” will be done sometime with the two weeks following that- yet to be determined. So, by the NEXT infusion, I will have the port and, hopefully, that part will all be easier.
The other thing we did yesterday was get the paperwork we need to get a Handicapped Parking Permit from the DMV. We don’t really need one all the time at all. And we WON’T use it if I don’t need it- trust me on that one. But all agreed that it will be a good thing to have as this progresses and as we move from Summer toward Winter. So, we’ll run to the DMV sometime in the next few days and get that going. It’s not something I really want, but I know it WILL be something I need…at least part of the time.
I am on what has proven to be a ramped-up dose of the same oral chemo meds I was on during Infusion #1 of this round. (Long story not worth telling!) I take 8 pills a days- 4 in the morning and 4 with dinner, every day for the two weeks I get the IV treatments. Then, that ubiquitous week off, followed by…well, follow-up…and then the next round of chemo. I go back to work after 3 straight Vacation Days this week- post-Sunday and then it’s my regular Friday and Saturday off, followed by “back in the pulpit” and “back in the drumset” next Sunday! Praying ahead of time for feeling better then!!
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