Day 1 Cycle 1

Last Tuesday we left home at 7:45 AM for our visit to Duke, and walked back in the house about 7:30 PM.  It seems like that may be our "normal" day for treatment days in Durham.  The morning bloodwork revealed that several of my counts are running low, white cell count, red cell count and platelet count.  The reason for the drops is not clear and we will need to monitor them closely.  If the platelet count drops much further I might need to start blood transfusions to avoid potential clotting problems.

In the early afternoon I was introduced to Romidepsin, my new chemotherapy drug.  The treatment starts off with a couple of premeds, and then the main course is served over a 4 hour infusion.  Sitting in that treatment chair for 5 straight hours is not a highly recommended way to spend an afternoon.  While my past experience with chemotherapy drugs has been quite good, in terms of avoiding side effects, Romidepsin may prove to be a different animal.  Immediately after the infusion I felt very blah and drained.  I climbed into bed with a headache, and began having chills.  The thermometer registered 101.3, and a quick call to the oncologist-on-call suggested we watch it and head to the ER if it continued to increase.  Fortunaly it passed after a short time and the night was restful.  In the morning the blahs and aches and pains had returned, but over the next couple of hours I began to feel better, and by early afternoon was more "normal'.  Today has been much better and hopefully my negative reactions were just an introductory experience, not to be repeated after each treatment.  Time will tell.

On Wednedsay I had my initial Physical Therapy session, just what I needed the day after a treatment.  A plan was developed to hopefully restore 100% of the strength and functioning in my right leg and the exercises have begun.  During a PET/CT scan last week it was revealed that I have a new compression fracture in my L3 vertabre, most likely caused by the tumor.  Whether that will be the source of ongoing difficulties remains to be determined.

All in all the last few days have been busy and eventful.  Hopefully the reactions after the Romidepsin were not typical, but if they prove typical we will just have to avoid any scheduled activities for the next day.  The blood counts may infact improve after a few treatments so time will tell us the answer on that front.  Seems like a lot of waiting and watching lie ahead but such is the life of a cancer patient going through treatments.  Fortunately I know that My Heavenly Father is with me  every step of the way so I'm putting all my faith and hope in Him.  That makes sleeping at night so much easier.

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