First, I talked with the nurse practitioner named Roxy. She gave me (and Scott) the lowdown. Stay hydrated. Take extra care of your mouth by rinsing with salt and baking soda to avoid mouth sores. Other side effects to look for like bones hurting and nausea. That type of thing.
Then we began with hydration.
Ten years ago, nausea and vomiting were a real problem with most patients receiving chemotherapy. Some smartie figured out in more recent years that the chemo was dehydrating everyone and making them feel very sick. So now it is standard to give IV fluids for about an hour before starting the medicine.
The two medicines I'm taking are called Cisplatin and Paclitaxel. The former is a kind of tried and true platinum based crazy drug approved for clinical use in 1978. The latter, derived from the bark of a yew tree, was approved in 1992 with some controversy regarding it's impact on the environment, particularly the ecology of the forests in the Pacific Northwest.
Some super brainiac learned how to isolate the 10-deacetybaccatin from the needles of the European yew and make a semi-synthetic version of Paclitaxel, so in 1995, the controversy ended because, since the bark was no longer used, the trees weren't in danger. Another interesting thing is that the, excipient or carrier (to the veins) used is a polyoxethylated (whatever that means) castor oil. This might account for some of the side effects and new studies are showing DHA (fish oil) to be a more beneficial excipient with less side effects. Sounds good for future cancer patients. ( This is my understanding of these types of chemotherapy after some research, but I'm not using footnotes cause this ain't Advanced Comp Class for crying out loud so don't quote me on any of it - or use it for a term paper. You will get an F).
These are the main troops in my body. They are trained to kill anything and everything. Good and bad. I am allowing them to battle because they are good fighters and can kill kill kill the cancer cells, but I do not care for their lack of judgment.
Which is why I am happy to be also using the tactic that showed triumph in the Vietnam War - Guerilla Warfare. My tactics include, but are not limited to fish oil, magnesium abcorbate, quercitin, bioflavinoids, whey protein, acidopholis, vitamins CDABKE, selenium, evening primrose oil, garlic, maitake mushroom extract, ginger root, marshmallow root, green juice, raw foods, whole grains, no sugar and a whole bunch of other boring things.
These tactics help to strengthen my puny immune system and normal cells into a fighting machines. And though, these cells are local and native and have been oppressed for quite some time by the evil tyrant, the mutant cancer cell, they are sharpening their swords and setting booby traps as we speak. (sorry to sound so D&D here). They are ready to work alongside the idiot main troops and keep the good cells working so the immune system can learn to attack the cancer on its own.
So here we go.
Today in the green recliner I read three magazines, the last half of a book, and watched an episode of The Shield on DVD. The nurses are attentive and helpful. Scott brought me soup he made in the slow cooker.
I have "good veins", so the medicine goes in through an IV. If it's hard to find veins, or if they are too small, like on a little kid, they have to use ports in the chest or a main line in your upper arm.
I feel fine. Side effects probably won't show up till a few days from now, and with help from my guerilla warfare, I'm not anticipating them to be debilitating.
The man next to me was large and sleeping the whole time. I noticed his skin looked a strange cream-yellow color. Then I looked at my hands and saw that mine were also cream-yellow colored. I think it was just the hue from the light. But I guess I don't care If I turn cream- yellow for a while.