Here's what I did from 7:30 to 12:30 today. Apart from putting a good dent in my book, I underwent a marathon chemo session. Cyclophosphamide is a chemotherapy agent that is used to clear the body of unwanted cancer cells. It also mobilizes stem cells from the bone marrow into the blood. Effects include anemia (low hemoglobin). Side effects may include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, skin rash and hair loss. The last time around, on the V.A.D. chemo, I only lost my hair (damn, it was just starting to grow in!), so I'll keep my fingers crossed that that's all that happens. This chemo treatment can cause damage to the lining of the bladder so drinking and peeing hourly for 36 hours is a must.
The next step, after several days off, is six to seven days of a self-injected marrow growth hormone (sounds like Barry Bonds!). Neupogen will apparently help the stem cells grow and after about 10 days the stem cells will be collected and frozen.
During this time I'll undergo high dose chemo, after which the stem cells will be thawed and then reinfused. Sounds simple, eh? Ha!
Book: The Way It Works - Inside Ottawa by Eddie Goldenberg
Music: It's Not Big It's Large by Lyle Lovett and his Large Band