Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Hit a Breaking Point - Will Take a Break

After my radiation treatment yesterday, and after taking my antibiotic, Tykerb, and the anti-seizure medication, I ended up with nausea last night. I finally took Zofran about midnight, then at breakfast and then right before lunch. I am able to eat now, but I am frankly overwhelmed.

I called the radiation oncologist and in the end, she agreed that I am overwhelmed and need a break, although it is against her better judgment.

Of all the side effects, I can't handle nausea. I just can't. She said that Keflex, the antiobiotic, is notorious for nausea. But I told her about my wound care appointment today - the four smaller areas (of about 1cm each) that hadn't been healing and two spots that had opened up recently - have actually healed in the last week. Since Thursday, I've been on antibiotics. The largest is now 0.8cm x 0.5cm where it was 1cm. Only one area s slightly raised; the others look like there is some skin tissue forming. The largest area has healed in about 1cm in width on the anterior side - about the same in the posterior side (about 4cm long, but 1cm wide on the anterior side and 2cm on the posterior side).

So, this is an argument that those four little areas were actually areas of infection so the antibiotic is probably helping. In case that is really the case, we don't want to shorten my course of the antibiotic.

Also, the radiation oncologist said for the nausea, they would want me to take the steroids again. I really really don't want to do that. She then said that the steroids would delay healing wounds. I now have three major open wounds - the armpit, the skin graft site, and the chest. So, she agreed that now would not be the time to start steroids again.

I also decreased the dose of the antibiotic (from 3 per day to 2) and also didn't take Tykerb this morning. I want to start with as clean a plate as possible so now it's just the antiobiotic and the anti-seizure medication that I'm on. Once I'm over the nausea - and the diarrhea (will start Probiotic for that), I plan to start Tykerb again, hopefully by later this week for its protective effect on my brain. If I get nausea again, then I know it's the medication combination that's doing it.

I will have an appointment to talk to the radiation oncologist again on Monday - so now I can just spend the next few days recovering from the latest surgery and the medications.

Three surgeries in six weeks is a lot. Cancer treatments on top of that is a lot. I reached my breaking point and need a break and to give my body a chance to recover.

Not sure when I may start radiation again, but if and when I do I will find out if radiation causes it. If not, I will know that that the nausea I feel is a result of still trying to get all the medications from surgery and the antibiotic and such out of my system.

A break will allow me to sort that out some more.

I'm strong. But not that strong. A break is a welcome respite.

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