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October 12, 2006 , Day -05


I am almost done with the radiation treatments. Only two more to go. I am starting to get very fatigued. I slept for about 2 hours this morning, between treatments. My apetite is leaving and I am having problems with nausea when I eat. Other than that, everything is fine. I went for a pretty long walk today, and did repeats on the stairs from the second floor. That was fun. I also pushed myself on the wheelchair much of the way back from the first radiation treatment today. My chest muscles are feeling it now. Probably not the most brilliant thing to do, but it was fun.

I got the data sheet on the chemo agent they are going to give me. It is called VP-16 or Etoposide. It comes in big syringes that fit into some kind of pump. Each syringe takes about an hour to infuse, and they will be giving me 4 syringes full. They have to change the hoses between each syringe because the chemo melts the hoses after a while. The nurse administering the chemo will stay in the room with me the whole time to help deal with the side effects. Those include nausea and vomiting, which usually start 4 - 6 hours after treatment and can last 24 hours or more. It causes blood pressure changes, mostly lower, so I will be on a monitor with an automatic blood pressure taken every 5 or 10 minutes. It also causes mucositis, which is sores in the digestive tract. These can extend from the mouth all the way through. I have never gotten this before, so hopefully I won't this time. However, they assure me that this is a lot more powerful than any other chemo agent I have ever gotten. Hair loss appears to be assured, no big surprise. The drug can cause liver damage, so they will be monitoring that. Other side effects include rashes, diarrhea, neuropathy, and fluid around the heart. All in all, a delightful cocktail! Of course, it also kills off your stem cells and all of the blood cells in your body, so I will again become the neutropenic, hemopheliac, bubble boy! They will keep me alive with antibiotics and transfusions of platelets and red blood cells until the transplant engrafts.

The lab results are showing further decreases in all counts, as expected. I am now below normal on everything except platelets. They will probably catch up soon.

Lab Results

Blood Cell Type

Normal Low





WBC 4.5 nr 7.4 5.4 4.3
RBC 4.3 nr 3.21 3.00 2.72
HGB 13.9 nr 10.8 9.8 9.7
PLT 130 nr nr 221 186

Have a great day!


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