Wednesday, January 7, 2009

First chemo treatment

I wasn't there for it all, but I'll give you the rundown about what I heard and then what I saw.

Mom and dad got to the Front Range Cancer center at 9:45 a.m. They started her on the premeds and then laid her down for a massage (how's that for relaxing before chemo??) She then had the needle inserted in her port for the IV which wasn't a pleasant feeling, but after yesterday's pain from the drainage removal, she could handle pretty much anything.

I got to Fort Collins around 12:30. Mom was sitting in her chair quite peacefully. I sat down and we talked the entire time. Dad went out to get some lunch and mom and I talked about what happened yesterday and then she gave me the run down what happened in the morning.

Her chemo treatment consists of two drugs- Paclitaxel and Carboplatin. This is the standard treatment that seems to work the best. The Paclitaxel takes the longest to administer, and then the Carbo takes between 30 minutes to an hour.

Mom's next chemo is scheduled for January 28th. This is when she starts her clinical trial of the Avastin which will add 90 minutes to her overall chemo round. This will be the longest chemo treatment (around 6 hours). She will receive 6 rounds of chemo total with a doctor's visit every week this month (checking her vitals and blood tests). We did get her CA125 which was 130 before her first round of chemo. Dad feels as if the CA125 is a good source to see the cancer levels since it has moved from the original number before the surgery. It didn't move in the right direction (those numbers were around 50-80) but dad assures me it's a positive sign that they can use that test to see if the chemo is working. It doesn't make much sense to me, but I'm new to this and dad's been doing a lot more research than I have. I do know that both numbers are very low compared to other cancer patients with PPC that I have read about. I try not to compare because there isn't much of a point, but I do it anyway. We'll find out in a couple of days why there was fluid (a LITER of fluid!!) on her lungs. Her doctor seems to think it doesn't matter if it's cancer or fluid that collected after her surgery because she has started chemo and it will attack whatever cancer is in her body.

We start the waiting game. In about 48 hours we'll see how her body reacts to the standard chemo. We feel good that her body responded as she was receiving the chemo today (no visible signs of problems) and just pray that everything will be okay this coming week.

Mom's spirits are high and she told me today how she has received multiple letters, emails and phone calls and feels so supported during this time...and that she wouldn't have been able to get this far without the love that you all are showing her. Keep it up!! Keep praying, and know that your prayers are working.


Becca said...

I'm glad there were at least no immediate problems, and I hope everything continues to go well. Your whole family is in my prayers!

Rachael said...

It grieves me that your family has to go through this, but I am so glad that you all, especially your mom, have the love and support you need. Thanks for the updates, I am continually praying with you.