Went to our first oncology appointment today.
Started well – measured my height and weight and I have a perfect BMI – I’m such a swot. Actually it’s due to significant weight loss since diagnosis due to stress I guess. Met with my oncologist – initially mentioned to us a few weeks ago and described as being ‘lovely, young AND…she’s from London so she’s very good!’
A discussion of the details of the treatment:
FEC-T. 6 cycles of chemo, one every three weeks. The first 3 being a combination of drugs, the initials of which spell FEC. Appropriate in a Father Ted fashion. Then 3 cycles of the T drug.
24-48 hours prior to chemo you have a blood test to check all sorts of levels to determine whether you’re well enough to have chemo.
The day before, the day of and the day after chemo you take anti-sickness and steroid tablets. The day after chemo you have an injection to boost the white blood cells, administered in my case by Doctor Dan.
My white blood cell count, and therefore my immunity, will be at its lowest on days 7-10, chemo being day 1. I have to be particularly careful on these days and basically stay at home and away from small children (!)
Have to monitor my temperature as if at any time it rises to 38C or above I have to contact the hospital.
Possible side effects: extreme fatigue, sore mouth, taste changes, hairloss begins just after cycle 2, possible nail loss (yuk), nausea and sickness though these should be minimal as the anti-sickness drugs are very good now, constipation, diarrhoea, achey joints, anaemia apparent by tiredness and breathlessness, sun sensitivity so need to stay out of direct sunlight, bladder irritation, fluid retention plus some other more serious but unlikely issues.
Sounds glamorous doesn’t it – can’t wait!