Yesterday I finished my first cycle (three treatments, one each on the past three Mondays). Now I have a break next Monday and I hope to spend the time recovering with the week off. I am happy to report I have very few side effects.
Fatigue has been the main issue and it comes sporadically. Some days it's in the morning, but most days it seems to come late in the evenings, after dinner. For the most part it feels like a real bad flu without the fever. Last night after treatment I was watching TV in bed by 6:30PM and fighting a nap. The reason I was fighting the nap was so that I would be able to get sleep later on in the middle of the night. For the most part I was able to stay awake, except for a 45 minute nap around 8pm. I was able to go to bed at a somewhat normal bedtime, I finally turned off the TV a little after 11pm. Except for one bathroom break and less than an hour of television at 2am, I slept great.
Today as I write this, it is already early evening and not only have made it through the day without a nap, I am in no need of sleep at this time. Mary and I might even get to watch a movie tonight! It doesn't take much for me to remind myself how much worse things could be. I could be sleeping constantly, dealing with other known side effects, or be back to where I was several weeks ago and be in need of far more pain meds than I am currently on.
One change we did agree to with the doctor yesterday was to adjust both my pain meds and steroid down slightly. The first change was to reduce the steroid (Dexamethasone) by half. I started yesterday afternoon and we'll give it a few days to make sure we don't cause any pain to resurface. If all goes well with reducing the steroid, in a week or so we will pursue further reduction of my pain medication. Mary has helped me to slowly transition the dose of my pain medication so that I no longer take any break through med and have stretched out the slow release med from 2 every 8 hours to 2 every 12 hours. Once we feel I am stabilized with the new steroid dosage, we are going to try changing the pain med to 1 pill every 8 hours. Hopefully, I will continue to tolerate the chemo well and the pain will continue to not be an issue. Being on less pain medication allows me to be more interactive and to mentally focus more easily. I am able to enjoy reading again.
Now that cycle 1 is complete, I hope the changes work, I pray for sound sleep at night and days that don't require too many naps! Thank you for your continued prayers and positive thoughts.
For any readers in the Seattle area, I'd like to pass along this information about an upcoming golf tournament. The event is August 3rd and the beneficiary is the Prostate Cancer Foundation. Details can be found from this link: