Chemotherapy Treatment – Cycle 7 (CTC7)

On 12/10/2010, I was back at JHC with Liu Ge for CTC7.  We got to JHC before 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 67.30kg. I seems to had put on almost 3kg since my last weight-in on 21/9/2010. I got to start controlling my weight.

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 painful when the needle went in. But once the needle was in, the pain subsided. Did not get Nurse Wong to do it as she was coming to work later at 0930. This is the second time I am having my chemo IV drip on my left hand.

After the blood test, Liu Ge and I went to the Kopitiam within TTSH for our breakfast cum lunch. I had vegetarian noodles and Liu Ge had ‘chee cheong fun’ and dim sum. I also had a green bean soup.

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 not as good as CTC6 blood test results. My white blood cells, Red blood cells and platelets cells counts were all ‘low’. But Dr. Lopes advised that it was not something to be too worried for I had already had so much chemo drugs administered into my body and this is expected. But compared to many other patients with similar conditions, my results are actually very favorable. As usual, he is more concerned for other test that are within the normal range. (which I had highlighted in ‘Brown’ in my blood tests results report)

Dr. Lopes informed me that he will prescribe the same chemo drugs dosage as given to me in CTC6. I also informed him that overall, CTC6 had pretty similar side effects as CTC5 but during the 1st week of the cycle, I felt extremely tired with fatigue and sleepiness.  Fortunately for me, my appetite been very good, clearly indicated by the almost 3kg that I had added to my weight. Dr. Lopes informed me that overall, I been copying very well with my chemo treatment.

During the meeting, I raised a concern with Dr. Lopes regarding the fear of the unknown, now that my chemo treatments is coming towards the end. I only have one last cycle to go through starting on 2/11/2010. My question to Dr. Lopes was very direct. What must I do to ensure that my cancer cells in my body would not run ‘wild’ again.

Dr. Lopes advised to me were as follows:

  • Eat lots of fresh fruits & vegetables in different color for it’s fiber and nutrients. Ideally, I should consume 5 cupfuls of fruits & vegetables per day. Of course, if possible, organic will be the best.
  • Do lots of exercises. He suggested that I should do lots of walking as a form of exercise. Each time when I walk, I should do so for an hour at least. he suggest I walk at least 3 times per week.
  • Live a stress-free life. Think positive and always be happy. Stress is a strong motivator for cancer cell to become active.
  • Do some form of meditation on a daily basis and let the mind relax. This can be in the form of prayer, yoga or zen meditation or whatever other mediation that is most suitable for me. (I intend to sign-up for a yoga course at my local CC after my stoma is reversed)

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 before 10+. By the time it was completed, it was only 3+.

Over the first weekend of CTC7, I again felt very tired and sleepy. Other than going out to Upper Thomson Road for Congee with Liu Ge on Friday evening after work, I did not go out with her at all. I was just too tired over weekend. Felt so bad that till now I am not able to give her a better life. When I finally recovered, I must really focus all my attention on her and her well being.

I slept a lot on both Saturday and Sunday. Hopefully during the 2nd week of CTC7, my tiredness will be less drastic.

The drugs given to me during CTC7 were as follows:

  • Oxaliplatin (Eloxatin) – Administered to me intravenously on 12/10/2010 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 CTC7. 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 CTC7.
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