I hear so many new meds and procedures, I can’t keep them all straight. So I got out the binder the James provides to try to learn some of them while I sit here and wait for Jen come back from her last round of radiation.
Jen has been routinely getting a drug called Ativan to help with the nausea from radiation. She hasn’t had any vomiting (yet) from the radiation but seems to be nauseous pretty quick after treatments. The biggest side effect she has experienced from this drug is sleepiness. But she also is tired from the radiation itself.
Jen’s radiation has been twice a day, for three hours each time. She has had three days of this. She is at her last round as I write this. I expect she will come back to room and sleep most of the evening away. The radiation Jen is getting is part of a clinical trial in which they have mapped her bones specifically and are targeting just those areas to protect her organs and mouth. Jen is only the thirteen person to undergo this trial here at the James.
Tomorrow will start the second part of her pre-transplant treatments, an iv drug to help protect against rejection (GVHD) and chemotherapy. The anti rejection drug, Anti–T cell globulin (ATG) will most likely make her feverish and give her the shakes. She did this with her infections in December and it was very difficult on her. Hopefully she doesn’t get like this and if she does, it doesn’t last long.
Once this is complete, she will start a chemo drug (Cytoxan) which is intended to wipe out her existing marrow, but along with it, her immune system. This will also cause the little hair growth she has had to again fall out, nausea, vomiting, mouth sores, diarrhea, and sometimes bladder irritation/bleeding. They will give her some premeds to limit the amount of nausea/ vomiting (given compazine for this), mouth sores, diarrhea and bladder irritation. They also find if they get her up to urinate every couple hours, the bladder irritation is less significant.
These two steps will be repeated on Sunday, with side effects being more apparent tomorrow. With that in mind, Randy will be joining me in Columbus this weekend so that I have his support as I often don’t sleep or eat well when things get rough and I’m on my own.
If you could please keep Jen in your prayers as tomorrow will be a rough day. For now, she is resting comfortably and saving up her energy for what tomorrow will bring.