(4) My Chemo Spices

IMG_0909I think oncologists are like chefs because with every patient they need to figure out which recipe to use.  And in my case the analogy is true because my oncologist is “preparing” me for surgery.

My first chemotherapy treatment will be July 6th.  I am having “dd M-VAC.”  DD means dense dose. Normally, M-VAC consists of 4 treatments spread out over 12 weeks.  With Dense Dose, the 4 treatments are given over 8 weeks.  The DD is more effective.  It is given to patients who they believe are physically capable of handling it. (Eileen believes that they classified me that way because I wore new jeans and a new shirt to the consultation – I believe it is because I like to chop wood.)

On July 6th, I will receive the “M” part of the treatment.  It should take less than 2 hours.  On the 7th, I will receive the “VAC” part. It will take more than 4 hours. On the 8th I get a shot to boost my white blood cell count (takes a few minutes). Eileen and I are attending a class on the 6th before the first treatment to learn what to expect and how to deal with whatever happens. Bon Appétit!

6 thoughts on “(4) My Chemo Spices”

  1. Ugh! Doesn’t sound like a fun thing. I vote for chopping wood.
    On a completely different note, I have ducks. The mallards who live in the lake near my apartment have discovered my bird feeder and the seeds the birds spill out of the feeder. 2 families so far plus one single, unattached duck. They parade, one family per parade in formation into the yard to sample the seeds and dirty the dog water. Multiple trips daily.

  2. Well I hope they adjust the seasonings just right.
    Recipes can be so tricky.
    And you make me wish i had some wood to split…

  3. Hi Mike~ First, let me say, I think your blog is totally cool! There are so many ways that cancer can be treated today, that it boggles the mind sometimes! Dr.’s have gotten so good at (as you say) making a “cocktail” of “spices” suited just for you… it’s pretty remarkable, when you think about it! I KNOW you’ll do well! It’s “mind over matter,” and you seem to have yours in a very positive spot! Glad you have Eileen, too! She’s got those “positive vibes” flowing all the time!
    Sending big hugs to you both!

  4. My regimen was called R-CHOP, every three weeks for six wonderful sessions…hey it saved my life! At my consultation, which I attended alone, I remember seeing a box of tissues in the room at the ready. I thought of all the other meetings in that special room where weeping must have occurred. I’m no Wonder Woman, but it never occurred to me that it would be a weepy moment, and it wasn’t. It was later when I went to a hair salon for a buzz-cut because I couldn’t stand my falling-out strands making a mess in the house… the stylist gave me a really cute short do…and then charged me $30…that’s when I cried. What a waste of $$…one week later I was pretty much bald (Frank’s wife smoothed out the remaining fuzz for me with clippers later, for a totally Martian look). Point is, vanity was another enemy to conquer.
    And you, Mike, does your group of spices cause hair loss? If so, be glad it’s summer. Hair grows back.

    1. Yes, I will lose my hair. They actually said I’ll lose “all body hair” so I think I’ll miss my eyebrows the most. (Maybe Eileen can pencil some in.) Unfortunately I’ve got some Mikail Gorbachev things going on the top of my head. I’m no Pitbull.

      1. All body hair….yup. I had one, just one eye lash that stayed put and brought to mind O’Henry’s The Last Leaf…one bit of hope. I suppose not having to shave your face in the morning will be one bit of relief, a chore out of the way. Take before and after pictures of yourself (excluding private parts).
        I don’t mean to be flippant … better to stay light-hearted, and laugh when you can. This is not a death sentence, just a chunk of bad luck, a crummy episode that you will move on from when you get well.

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