Saturday, 25 February 2012

An update on side effects

A week has now passed since my first infusion of Doxorubicin. It has been a bit of an up and down few days in terms of side effects. From around midnight on the day of the infusion I started to experience nausea which was then a pretty constant companion through until Thursday. I also had some abdominal and stomach pain, constipation, hot facial flushes (possibly caused by the anti-sickness tablets) and a little fatigue. I'm relieved to say that as of Thursday evening I began to feel much better with my digestive system making a welcome return to something approaching normality. I will discuss these side effects with the doctor ahead of my next cycle in the hope that we can find a more effective way to manage them.

I am now about to enter five days during which my immune system will be low, the peak impact arising between 10 and 14 days after receiving the chemotherapy agent. The nurse who administered my chemo advised that I need to be particularly careful to avoid infection as Doxorubicin can be tougher on the immune system than my last chemo regime.  As a result I’m planning to stay at home during most of the next week though if the weather is good Katie and I might get out on one or two walks.

I'm very fortunate in that I can easily work from home. Most of the meetings I need to attend can be held by conference call and much of the rest of my job is based around e-mail.  I am also fortunate to have an employer who provides the flexibility for me to fit work in around the treatment. I certainly found work to be a useful distraction this last week whilst feeling under the weather.

I'm looking forward to a big sporting weekend in front of the TV with the Six Nations rugby later today and the Carling Cup final tomorrow. As an England and Liverpool supporter I am hoping for a double over Welsh opposition though I have to admit I am far from confident especially with the rugby.

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