Chemotherapy Treatment – Cycle 4 (CTC4)

CTC4 commenced on 10 August 2010, the day after Singapore’s 45th National Day. Liu Ge accompanied me that morning to JHC.

A blood test was conducted to check if I was ready for CTC4. The nurse who attended to me that morning had a hard time trying to extract my blood. She also wanted to set up the valve for my Intravenous drip. In the end, she had to poke me on 3 locations on my right arm before she could finally get the job done.

The blood test results shows that my red blood cells count was low. But Dr. Lopes advised it was nothing to be worried about. The rest of the results were okay. Dr. Lopes informed me that he would be introducing a new drug for me to prevent nausea during CTC4. The new drug is Emend (aprepitant, MSD). It is a Tri-Pack to be taken during the first 3 days of CTC4 to suppress nausea. This is important for me for I hate nausea. It kills my appetite and I lost weight when it happens. Towards the tail end of CTC3, I had nausea and it was really bad.

I also informed Dr. Lopes that I suffered from hand/feet syndrome which is also due to chemo side effects. Dr. Lopes advised that for CTC4, he will reduce the dosage of xeloda. Instead of consuming 1500mg twice daily, he propose my new dosage to be 1300mg twice daily, a reduction of 400mg per day,

My reply to Dr. Lopes was that so long as the trade off does not result in reduction in the effectiveness of the drug in killing cancer kills I will be glad to have less poison introduced into my body.

Dr. Lopes also advised that he would like to do another CT scan on me to check especially on my liver. My next appointment with him will be on 19 August, during the midway mark of CTC4.

Liu Ge & I had our lunch before we came back to JHC for my chemo treatment. As always the IV drip took more than 3 hours to complete. Throughout the process, Liu Ge and I chatted and I was very relaxed.

By the time the intravenous drip was complete it was already past 5pm. Only myself and a Dubai lady and her husband will left in the chemo treatment ward. The Dubai lady started before me but I ended before her.

On 19 August 2010, I returned to JHC for a blood test and review with Dr. Lopes. The blood test result was good. All the blood cells count were normal. Dr. Lopes again informed me that he would like to do another CT scan for me. We agreed to have it done in October. Dr. Lopes also say that from now on he will see me on a monthly basis.

CTC4 had gone by with the least side effects. Other than numbness on my right hand during the first few days after the IV drip and a bit of rashes on my abdomen region, overall CTC4 had gone by very smoothly.

My appetite during CTC4 had been very good and I had put on lots of weight. Even my tummy is returning.

As I am writing this post, I am on the 3rd week of CTC4 whereby I am not taking any chemo drugs to allow my body to recover before the start of CTC5 on 31 August 2010.

The drugs given to me during CTC4 were as follows:

  • Oxaliplatin (Eloxatin) – Administered to me intravenously on 10/08/2010 at JHC during the 1st day of the cycle.
  • Capecitabine (Xeloda) – Administered orally twice daily for the next 14 days. Tablets to be taken in the morning and evening after food. Each session comprises of 2 xeloda tablets of 500mg each  and 2 xeloda tablets of 150mg each (i.e. 1300mg per session). Total consumption daily is 2600mg.
  • Emend (aprepitant, MSD) Tri-Pack – To be taken in the morning during the first 3 days of CTC4. This drug is to suppress nausea and vomiting.
  • Granisetron (1mg) – One tablet to be taken twice daily before or after meals as needed for relief of nausea and vomiting.
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