I am writing this update a bit earlier than I expected. For reasons I’ll explain below, I finished my first round of chemotherapy a week early. Here’s a quick update.
On May 3rd, 2019, I went in to the Hawaii Pacific Oncology Center to start my chemotherapy treatment. After an educational session with the nurse, I took my first dose of oral Capecitabine. I was then hooked up to an IV. I started with anti-nausea medication and steroids to prepare for the chemo drug, Oxaliplatin. The Oxaliplatin itself was about a 2-hour drip.
Thankfully, I didn’t feel any reaction to the IV as it was entering my body. In fact, I was quite comfortable at the oncology center. I was sent home with instructions to take the Capecitabine twice daily for two weeks.
By the grace of God, over the next week, I did not feel any of the expected side effects of fatigue, mouth sores, cold sensitivity, or neuropathy, all of which I was dreading. However, I did get a few unexpected side effects.
By Day 3, I started feeling jittery, like I had way too much coffee. In the next few days, my hands or back muscles would lock up while typing on my work computer. My eyes would want to stay closed, so I was blinking a lot. My co-workers thought I was tweaking! And maybe worst of all, my mind was getting foggy and easily overwhelmed. A few times, I cried out to God at my work desk, asking for relief because work was so overwhelming with the brain fog and jittery symptoms. Maybe I should have just taken the day off, but the work was already pilling on.
On Day 7, I called my oncologist seeking advice and he told me to just stop taking the Capecitabine pills and they will reassess when I go back in on May 24th for Round 2 of my chemo. Later in the day, I felt much better, and the brain fog was gone. I feel like I am back in control, but I know I’m not taking full advantage of the chemo either. We’ll see what the game plan is for Round 2.