Chemo Chronicles: The last Double Whammy


Tuesday marked our fourth and final Double Whammy session, that nauseating one-two punch of two drugs the Kaiser docs hope will prevent a recurrence of that nasty and highly aggressive micropapillary carcinoma that claimed our bladder. [We lost our prostate at the same time to an adenoma that hadn’t, unlike the carcinoma, metastasized to a lymph node.]

The cisplatin that constitutes the heavier of the two compounds went in without a fuss, but the IV in the back of our right hand wouldn’t tolerate the gemcitabine hydrochloride that’s the other half of the one-two punch and the sole drug in our final two upcoming weekly chemo sessions.

Simply put, the gemcitabine fostered an instant and excruciating pain as soon as the infusion began. It felt, quite simply, as though someone was trying to drive a spike into the back of our hand.

It had taken four sticks and two nurses to finally plant the first IV, and now a third nurse installed a second needle in the underside of the forearm, and the drug went in without a hitch.

The delays and the need for an ultrasound of our right leg to look for blood clots [none found] brought the day at the hospital to seven hours, but a steadfast friend stayed with us throughout.

We were back at Kaiser today for another infusion, this one of magnesium to restore levels brought down by the chemo. We’ll be back again tomorrow, though just to have a couple of liters of salt waltder flushed through our veins.

Meanwhile, here are some shots we grabbed yesterday as we waited for our ride.

Overcast skies set the tempo for the day. . .

2 April 2013, Panasonic DMZ-ZS19, ISO 100, 4.3 mm, 1/500 sec, f4

2 April 2013, Panasonic DMZ-ZS19, ISO 100, 4.3 mm, 1/500 sec, f4

The morning light added an eerie cast to the leaves. . .

2 April 2013, Panasonic DMZ-ZS19, ISO 100, 10.3 mm, 1/80 sec, f4.7

2 April 2013, Panasonic DMZ-ZS19, ISO 100, 10.3 mm, 1/80 sec, f4.7

And imparted a peculair cast to the moss clinging to its trunk. . .

2 April 2013, Panasonic DMZ-ZS19, ISO 320, 20.6 mm, 1/80 sec, f5.3

2 April 2013, Panasonic DMZ-ZS19, ISO 320, 20.6 mm, 1/80 sec, f5.3

Finally, a bit of street stratigraphy. . .

2 April 2013, Panasonic DMZ-ZS19, ISO 100, 4.8 mm, 1/250 sec, f3.4

2 April 2013, Panasonic DMZ-ZS19, ISO 100, 4.8 mm, 1/250 sec, f3.4

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One response to “Chemo Chronicles: The last Double Whammy

  1. laura jones

    Nice to see you doing some photography again. I am happy to hear you will be seeing your daughters and Shrimpy and Krys this weekend. That should hopefully bring some joy to the end of this final double whammy week!!

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