Monday, March 31, 2008

Another treatment

I’m on my way into the City for yet another infusion of Abraxane. This is the part of the cycle that feels most like real chemotherapy. I mean, it’s all chemotherapy of course, including the nightly Temodar pills, the symptom management, and the daily entries in my drug diary. But this involves bags of intravenous drugs and most of a day in the Cancer Center.

I have clear, definable reactions to the Abraxane, in fact to the whole treatment cocktail: Pepcid, Kytril, Decadron; I know what to expect for the next few days in terms of my sense of taste, my energy, my hair, and my digestive system. At other times in the cycle, I can’t differentiate what is “reaction” from what is simply another ache, pain, or bodily expression of living and aging.

I’ve written about this part of the cycle before. Maybe I choose the topic because it’s easy to identify, easy to define, and therefore, easy to live with.

In any case, I’m halfway through the fifth treatment cycle. There are two more weeks of Temodar pills to take and on April 21st I’ll have another scan that promises to be very telling. It will either resume improving from where the last scan stalled, or it will continue along in plateau mode. It could mean changing the course of treatment if there is no further improvement, a development I don’t like to think about, though I can’t seem to help it. Currently, this treatment juncture is always near the surface of my mind.

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