They added a new chemo for me. It’s called Cetuximab or Erbitux. It’s another infusion and I get it every Tuesday. They give me IV Benadryl before this one and that gives me the loopty loops. I try to stay awake but I usually end up nodding off. Luckily they have the nice reclining chairs to crash out in.
The side effects are minimal. The only thing that bothers me is I get a rash on my face, neck and back. It looks like bad acne. Kinda hurts too. I’ve been putting cremes on that have helped so its not too bad right now. Doc said it’s actually a good sign that I have the rash. I guess it means the meds are working.
I guess you can’t really see too much in the photo. It looks more like a sunburn now than anything.
So I still get “the big chemo” every 3 weeks. That’s the Oxaliplatin and eventually Avastin. Those are both IV infusions. And then I take Xeloda orally for 2 weeks at a time with a week off between.
I forgot to post about the last big infusion I had almost 3 weeks ago. They usually give me anti-nausea meds through the IV before the other drugs. They started this one called Emend. I was on the phone and as I went to hang up I started seeing stars and felt my chest start to tighten up. I started having trouble breathing. Luckily one of the nurses walked by and I was able to get her attention. They were very quick to respond and within 5 minutes I was completely fine. Scary though!! I’ve never had any kind of allergic reaction like that before and I’d really like to never have that again.
I have to say that overall the chemo experience has been very manageable. The side effects aren’t fun, but they really aren’t as bad as I thought they would be. I have my down days and I get fatigued easily, but I can still function rather well. Especially now since they’ve got my pain under control and I don’t need to take as many pain meds, I’m able to drive and get out to do stuff. When I first started I thought it would be like you see in the movies, throwing up all the time and wasting away in bed. I’m glad they’ve made the advances in chemo so it’s not like that anymore. It seems that I’ll even get to keep my hair! How cool is that?