After waiting to get the new pathology of my tumor (for the 3rd time) I hit a few more roadblocks before finally starting my treatment. At first there was a delay in the UHC specialty pharmacy getting my chemo drugs ordered and shipped. Then, after we received the drugs, I couldn’t get my radiation appointment until a week later.
I finally started my chemo and radiation treatment on Monday, September 17, 2012. After being told by my radiation doctor and his nurse practioner that I wouldn’t notice any side effects from radiation until a few weeks into treatment and hearing that the chemo drugs usually take a few days to take effect I thought I would gradually get sick. Luckily for me I got very sick by day 2 and have stayed sick ever since. Because the first few days of chemo + radiation I was so miserable: dizzy, nauseous, couldn’t keep food down, etc., the chemo oncology department at UCLA decided to have me temporarily stop the chemo pills. I also increased my anti-nausea pills and took a strong steroid dose which is supposed to help with brain swelling. I have been totally off the chemo for more than a week and a half but I am still sick and according to the radiation clinic they didn’t think radiation would make me feel dizzy and nauseous. After doing my own research online I’ve found that people can get nauseous when they undergo radiation specifically to the brain.
After emailing the chemo oncologists after my 3rd day of treatment explaining how sick I was, one of the doctor’s told me that it wasn’t normal for me to get this sick so soon into treatment. She thought maybe I should get an MRI and some bloodwork to see if there was another problem. On my 4th day of treatment I got an MRI but according to my radiation doctor everything looked fine. And my bloodwork also came back normal.
I have completed 2 weeks of radiation and have 4 weeks to go. So far I have lost 10 pounds after starting treatment. On the weekends I get a break from the radiation and my nausea sometimes decreases slightly. I’m not sure when my chemo oncologist will want me to resume my chemo treatment but I’m meeting with him this week so I guess I’ll find out then.