Treatment #2

Last Tuesday was my second Romidepsin treatment and it seems to have gone a little better than the first one.  No nighttime chills and fever spikes, and the next-day-blahs didn't last as long.  But I did still have a drained feeling, and my sense of taste suffered for a couple of days, but then returned to normal.  Overall not as bad as the first time around, so maybe my body is adapting to this new chemo drug.  If this is as bad as it gets, I'll consider myself lucky and focus on other things.

My blood tests revealed that my platelet count had dropped very low, so after my Romidepsin on Tuesday, I was treated to a platelet infusion for desert.  A low platelet count means that your blood does not clot as efficiently and quickly as normal, and the implications of this can be quite severe.  Hopefully by my next treatment the counts will be closer to normal.

On Thursday I had my second Physical Therapy session, and got introduced to a series of exercises that I need to incorporate into my daily routine.  My extended period of inactivity, while undergoing radiation treatments and enduring significant back and leg pain, left my muscles weak and my stamina quite low.  Now I begin the slow but necessary process of rebuilding my strength and endurance.  Without question the most important thing I can do for myself (and my family) right now is faithfully follow the exercise routine that has been developed for me.  The resulting impact on my quality of life will be well worth whatever effort is required.

Unfortunately the exercises will not have much direct effect on the fatigue, which is a normal result of cancer and chemotherapy.  I know from my past experience that fatigue is just something that a cancer patient must learn to live with.  Only time will tell how much of my current fatigue is the result of past inactivity and how much is drug induced.

My third treatment is next Tuesday and then I get a week off for rest and recovery.  That will complete cycle 1 and by then I will hopefully have a better feeling for how I react to this new chemotherapy treatment.  Most likely my cancer will not be reassessed (including scans) until after the second cycle.  So until then we just try to make the best of life with Peripheral T-Cell Lymphoma, and appreciate the richness and fullness that exists in the other aspects of our lives.  As I have said before, I may have cancer, but I will not allow it to control and define my life.

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