Back on the Sauce

The first IV pump of my new chemotherapy regimen.

How quickly those side effects appear when the arsenic trioxide flows. I began my renewed daily infusions on Monday morning, and noticed almost immediately that I felt tired and kind of yucky all afternoon. I did finally manage to get myself outside in the evening, practicing on my new RipStik while the girls rode their scooters. Plus I got in a half hour or so on the new exercise bike. Today, however, I came home from the hospital, ate lunch, and proceeded to sleep the entire afternoon away, not getting up again until around 5:30pm.

Other side effects I felt right away: dry, itchy eyes; possibly a headache. I had a fairly big headache Monday evening, which kept me awake for a while into the night. Eventually it cleared up.

On the bright side (always gotta find those!), this does provide some interesting new information. Last time I started taking this chemo regimen I was already feeling quite sick. My low blood counts meant I was constantly fatigued, bleeding easily, and catching any infection that showed up. I also caught a fresh bout of influenza within a day of beginning the arsenic and ATRA—which brought aches, high fever, and all manner of other un-fun feelings. In great contrast, this week I begin the regimen with completely normal blood counts, no active infections, and a body which—although well weaker than normal—is at least getting a lot more movement in than it was in late January. This time, when I feel a new symptom I know that it’s coming from the treatment and not from something else that’s going on with me. As someone whose StrengthsFinder top-five includes Input, that’s a really cool feature of this repeated regimen.

It does surprise me quite a bit how quickly these effects showed up—after just one infusion! Presumably the chemo played a larger role than I realized in how I felt back when I was living in the hospital. This time around I do hope I manage to get into a good routine whereby I manage to get plenty of sleep at night, and still manage to move about and get things done in the afternoon. If I want to return to work anytime soon (which I do want to), I’ll need to do something like that.

Speaking of sleeping enough at night… Good night!


(Cross-posted to Facebook:

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