Chemotherapy Treatment – Cycle 6 (CTC6)

On 21/9/2010, I was back at JHC with Liu Ge for CTC6.  We got to JHC early by 9am. As usual, the nurses there took my weight, blood pressure, temperature and extraction of 2 tubes of blood for the blood test to see whether I was ready for CTC. My weight was 64.90kg. I seems to had put on at least 0.3kg since my last weight-in on 31/8/2010.

This time, the nurse who inserted the needle onto my left hand placed the needle in the upper part of my arm and it was painless. It felt so much better than CTC5. This is the first time I am having my chemo IV drip on my left hand. When I informed the nurse I had no pain when she inserted the needle, she jokily remarked because my left arm was “Still virgin:…hehe.

After the blood test, Liu Ge and I went to the Kopitiam within TTSH for our breakfast cum lunch. I had fish ball soup while Liu Ge had a lontong.

After our meal, we did not had to wait a long time to see Dr. Lopes to review my blood test results. Overall, the results was “Ok”. My white blood cells count was back to normal but my red blood cells count had dipped slightly to low. But Dr. Lopes advised that it was not something to be too worried for there are other test which are of greater concern to him and luckily for me they are within the normal range.

Dr. Lopes informed me that he will prescribe the same chemo drugs dosage as given to me in CTC5. I also informed him that overall, CTC5 had been pretty good for me. Did not had any hiccups, but felt very tired during the first few days of the cycle, which was normal. My appetite was very good.

During our meeting, I raised a concern with Dr. Lopes regarding my current reduced dosage of Xeloda. I was asking Dr. Lopes, could it be because my dosage had been slightly reduced since CTC4, that had resulted in me not feeling much side effects. My concern was whether the reduced dosage had resulted in reduced effectiveness of the drugs in killing the cancer cells. Dr. Lopes reassured me that it wasn’t the case. He can see from the color tone of my hands, feet, face and body that the Xeloda are working very hard in my body.

Dr. Lopes also asked about the frequent mucus discharges from my anus  that I raised up to him during CTC5. I informed him that I was in communication with Dr. Tay via email, and he had informed me not to worry too much about that for it is very normal for colorectal cancer patient with an ileosotomy. Even though my waste are not passing through the colon, the colon are not docile. They are still producing cells and mucus and the discharges are part and parcel of their activeness. Dr. Tay say he would be worried only if I start to discharge blood with my mucus and fortunately for me, so far, “No”.

Dr. Lopes and I also discussed about the dates for CTC7 and my next CT scan. it was decided that I will come back to JHC on 12/10/2010 for CTC7 and also have another CT scan conducted on 19/10/2010. The CT scan result will show whether my chemo treatment so far had been successful. So, 19/10/2010 is going to be a very important milestone for me.

Since my appointment with Dr. Lopes started and ended early, I was called into the Chemo treatment room earlier than usual for my treatment. I was in there by 10+. By the time it was completed, it was only 3+.

I had slight hiccups again after taking the Emend pills this time. The early side-effects I am experiencing in CTC6 includes slight pain in my lower left and right leg, dryness in my hands, tiredness and sleepiness in the late afternoon. So far, my appetite is still excellent. The first week of CTC6 had been very tiring for me. I felt so fatigue and slept almost the entire weekend but yet still felt very tired. During the second week of this cycle, the tiredness gradually fades and I felt stronger.

The Foot syndrome was quite bad in the latter part of this cycle. On my left foot, I had blisters and pain and the sole of both feet were very “reddish” in color. It looks as though my sole got burned. But the discomfort is bearable.

I also had some discomfort in my anus/rectum region. Also constantly felt like going to the toilet to pass motion. But the discomfort is not unbearable.

The drugs given to me during CTC6 were as follows:

  • Oxaliplatin (Eloxatin) – Administered to me intravenously on 21/09/2010 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 CTC6. 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.
  • Dexathasone (4mg) – One tablet to be taken twice daily after meals during the first 3 days of CTC6.
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