Yesterday I went to hospital for my mid-fortieth chemotherapy treatment. It’s been a long time I’ve been doing this. You know I don’t look forward to it and yesterday was no different. Well, actually it was. I’ve been fighting tooth and jaw pains each day for the past week. It seems that hot and cold foods and chewing set off the pain—and the pain has been extreme. I’ve had to buy two boxes of paracetamol. If only all my drugs were only 4c a tablet instead of $120 a tablet!
I arrived at hospital feeling a little under the weather. Each time I have chemo they test my blood pressure, review blood tests for white cell count and other things, and test my urine for protein. Everything needs to be right for me to proceed. The truth is things are never totally ‘right’ but nothing so far has prevented me from having chemo—until yesterday.
My protein count was much too high, my blood pressure was up, and they were wondering about the tooth situation. So after ringing the oncologist, I was informed that I would be given the Alimta, but I could not have the Avastin. It seems my kidneys need a break from the Avastin, and they were concerned that my teeth scenario might not improve if I was on the drug.
It was a little strange not being able to have Avastin. I didn’t mind the whole experience being over in half the time. But it was another reminder that I’m a patient, that I’m being treated for cancer, that the drugs are extremely powerful with potentially harmful and irreversible side effects. I’m praying that the kidneys and protein in the urine situation will settle down, that there won’t be enduring damage to my kidneys, and that whatever treatment I am able to receive does it’s job of keeping the cancer at bay.