Monday, August 23, 2010

Staging Results and Treatment Plan

So I am sitting in a private room inside the oncologist office surrounded by my Mom and my Momma Liz. We are in the process of having the chemo drugs administered. So far I am tolerating them well.

The first thing we did this morning was meet with the Doctor. The good news is that I am only a stage 1A. The best diagnosis to have is Stage 1A. With the good news I may only have to do 3 rounds of chemo and not 4. Other good news,  I will not need a MUGA in between each round of Chemo.

If there has been a complication so far, it has been the fancy catheter they put in my chest on Friday. The nurses should be able to administer medication and take blood from both lines of the catheter. However, only 1 side is working. The nurse believes I may have a sheath developed. They have given me some medication to break that up but so far it has not. If they can't get it to work, then they will declare it broken.

The administration of the medications is not exactly what I thought it would be. I thought I was coming in, getting a pump, and being sent home for the next 48 hours to pump the medications into my system. While that is somewhat true, it is not totally true. I am being given four drugs. Three of those are given in the treatment room at the doctors office. One of them will be given on a pump and will take 48 hours to put into my system.

My four chemo drugs are: Adriamycin which prevents cancer cells from growing by attacking and interfering with DNA. This is the drug that can cause heart damage and my doctor was trained that it causes the least amount of damage when administered slowly. So, this is the one they will pump in over a 48 hour period of time.

Bleomycin is the second drug and it generates oxygen free radicals that cause DNA strands to break and the cell to die.

The third drug is Vinblastine or Velban. This drug prevents cancer cells from growing by interfering with the cells ability to divide. This is the only medication they have given me that had to be "pushed" into my IV and not dripped.

The last drug, DTIC also interfers with DNA and prevents cancer cells from growing. It takes the longest, 2 hours to drip into my system.

Please continue to pray that I tolerate these drugs well and that their side effects are minimal. Despite low blood work, they will be giving me these drugs every 15 days for the next 45 days at least.


  1. Kevin and I are both praying that you get thru this quickly and with minimal problems! I think you should go ahead and dye your hair bright red! If it all fall out, maybe it will come back as curly hair!

  2. Go, Pam! (trying again with a comment
    I tried yesterday to say that you're one of the most solid, grounded people I know, and that (along with a box of saltines)should carry you. You can do this!

  3. You go girl! I am glad you don't have to have the MUGAs! Hopefully the meds will fix the lines to the catheter. Thinkin about you while in Jeff City!

  4. Ahh, the sheath, that's the Pam I know--stubborn as all get out! Please tell your body to let the medicine in and the blood out! You're doing great!