Seemingly Innocuous and Viciously Toxic

It’s very strange to sit in a relaxing chemo recliner and watch bags of crystal clear and seemingly innocuous fluid slowly drip into your blood stream which are actually deadly killers. Here I sit the morning after two full rounds of chemo and I’m still feeling good. I did experience a mild bonk last night around dinner time which was probably right around the time my decadron was winding down. Decadron can offer a comforting counter balance to the potential reactions to chemo but can also be its own beast in its own right. I had a little bit if a restless night but feel otherwise GOOD. At noon today I need to get a booster shot of Neulasta which will bolster my now depleted white blood count back to a safe level.

I’m totally fascinated by the chemo drugs that I’m taking and how effective, yet targeted they are. Last night my wife told me that she and my nurse, Mary Agnes were watching a couple of lymph nodes on the back of my neck swell and move around under my skin as they were doing battle with the Rituxan. They whole event almost looked like an alien was being attacked within my body. And in reality, that’s exactly what was happening. I definitely want video of that during our next round!  I can also feel tingling sensations within my body as my lymphatic system is being exposed and reacting to the drugs. Trying to relax and just going with that feeling can be very validating and comforting. You know the drugs are working because you can physically feel it.

I’ve mentioned this before, but I will further clarify. I’m taking two primary drugs – Rituxan and Bendeka. (I originally referenced the drug Treanda, but Bendeka is the newer name for the same drug which is a bendamustine HCI manufactured by Teva Pharmaceuticals). I need to take Rituxan and Bendeka every 28 days for approximately 4 cycles. Rituxan is just given on Monday and is administered much more slowly because of potential side effects if it enters your system too quickly. (Which has happened to me and it’s not fun). Bendeka is given both Monday and Tuesday and is a much shorter infusion. But with both of those drugs comes a smorgasbord of other drugs that need to be taken orally or intravenously to offset any possible reactions. I won’t bore you with those.

So I’m off now until 8/15 and 8/16 when we will commence round 2. My hope and plan is to recover and rebuild pretty quickly and be able to race the Tuckahoe Duathlon on 7/31. I should be good. But before I get any raised eyebrows, I totally understand that racing comes secondary to my health. I never have and never will compromise my recovery for any racing and training. I will however do everything I can to remain active and in motion as often as I safely can be. And when racing, training, chemo, recovery, and remission can all play together nicely in the same sandbox, it is an incredibly rewarding experience. I also have Diamondman Half Ironman, Philadelphia Half Marathon, and the NYC Marathon remaining this year that I hope to successfully keep on the calendar. Philly and NYC should be after all treatments are completely done. But we’ll see how things go and especially how my blood counts respond so I don’t compromise anything.

I’ll leave you with this thought of the day. When my doc was referring to these drugs as being “the big guns”, he followed it up with “When I’ve treated people with this combination, I haven’t needed to treat them again for …… well…. actually….. I’ve never had to treat anyone again after treating them with this combination.”

Thanks for your support.

This entry was posted in cancer, health & fitness, leukemia & lymphoma society, motivation, survivor, team in training, training and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.

One Comment

  1. Cathy Peduzzi
    Posted July 20, 2016 at | Permalink


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