Thursday, December 9, 2010

Bone quarters

At my request, my dose of IV benadryl was cut by 75% yesterday.  The reason I requested a reduced dose is because about 3 minutes after the beginning of the benadryl drip I am knocked out cold.  Ian wakes me up when the rest of the chemotherapy is over (~2 hours later), and I sleep 4 more hours in the afternoon AND go to bed early.  The following day I have a benadryl hangover.  I decided that this was unacceptable, and Dr. Oncologist was willing to reduce, but not eliminate, the dose of benadryl (its purpose is to prevent an allergic reaction to the hard chemotherapy drugs at the injection site).  It still knocked me out cold for the remainder of chemotherapy, but my afternoon nap was reduced by 75% (coincidence?  I think not) and today I do not detect a benadryl hangover.  Mission accomplished!

This victory is a continuation of side-effect roulette (see post "Side-effect roulette") because with the lifting of the benadryl fog, I am experiencing the onset of the chemotherapy side effects play-by-play.  The previous dose of benadryl basically caused me to forget the first two days following the hard chemotherapy.  Now I get to pay attention, and hopefully remember it.  Although the benefits of forgetting are obvious, this is actually a very interesting experience.  I have a pop-culture analogy to describe what I am experiencing:  did you see that episode of the office in which Jim very gradually placed quarters in the receiver of Dwight's phone?  One quarter at a time, over a long period of time, such that Dwight didn't notice the difference in weight?  That's what the oncoming fatigue is like for me.  It's like every time I sit or lie down, someone adds a quarter to my bones, and when I get up I'm just a bit heavier.

The punch-line to the Office scenario is that one day Jim removes all of the quarters, and when Dwight picks up his phone he whacks himself in the head because his muscles are expecting a much greater weight in the receiver.  Previously my bone quarters have been removed as gradually as they were added, so I don't expect to report that I whack anything.  But to you I will continue to report!

Time to go in for my Neulasta shot.  I will preemptively (and also belatedly in the "port" category) update the poke tally now:  

"port"  7
left arm  4
right arm 3
tummy  3
left breast  1
superior vena cava 1


  1. Ah, good to hear that the dose reduction worked!!!!You sound as if this round isn't quite as taxing. Halfway there. Yipeeeeeee

  2. I love the Office and your analogy is hilarious!!