[cancer] Chemotherapy session 1, day 1 – FOLFIRI

Yesterday my parents picked me up at 8 am. We went over to the infusion center. There we met up with [info]tillyane, [info]mlerules and H—.

The usual intake procedures happened, my chest port was accessed, then we sat around an hour or so while they checked my bloodwork and prepped my chemo course. Finally they came around and did the de-accession training for Sunday’s at-home de-access. That was a little less organized than last time, and I had to prompt my nurse for several things such as the crucial printed checklist.

The drug infusions went as expected. Irinotecan (the core ingredient in FOLFIRI) doesn’t fry my brain quite the way Oxaliplatin (the core ingredient in FOLFOX) did. But ZOMG the fatigue.

Getting out of there took a while because my pharmaceutical exit counseling was delayed, and there was some confusion about which scrips had already been written, generating an unnecessary trip to my pharmacy on the way home. Not to mention which Friday afternoon traffic was unusually toxic.

Still we go back, to a Chinese meal procured by Mom and Dad. They went on home afterwards, while [info]mlerules stayed to be caregiver on duty this weekend.

It went okay at first.

Hidden for medical and body fluid TMI I started feeling rounds of nausea after a couple of hours. I rode out the first few with some light meditation, but eventually it caught up with me and I lost everything I’d eaten. That repeated twice more in the evening. Finally I had a very small amount of fruit and some ginger ale, and went to sleep. Mind you, I got through six months of FOLFOX without throwing up once. One day on FOLFIRI, and I’m hurling multiple times.

This was unexpected, because FOLFIRI isn’t supposed to be any more nausea-inducing than FOLFOX. Rather, it’s supposed to have more violent lower GI effects. However, I’ve been taking Vicodin lately for my chest port surgery pain, and Vicodin is an opiate. We know from prior experience that opiates are like a concrete enema for me. I have cleared my lower GI in almost forty-eight hours, and I’m not sure the lack of bowel movements isn’t in part stimulating the nausea, as the upper GI has nowhere to send the input.

Meanwhile, given the violent effects of FOLFIRI, I’m quite way of taking a stool softener or a laxative for fear of overstimulating the result. This is such a lousy tightrope.

Nothing at either end this morning, though I’ve eaten a small additional amount of fruit and a poached egg, and experienced another round of controlled nausea. We shall see. Mostly I keep spacing out and falling asleep. Which is probably okay, too.

This is only the beginning.

3 thoughts on “[cancer] Chemotherapy session 1, day 1 – FOLFIRI

  1. May your sleep at least be filled with dreams of happy eating and shitting in a completely normal fashion!

  2. Shlomi says:

    Thinking moving thoughts at your bowels.

    That’s so wrong on SO many levels.

    I’ll see if I can’t whip up some prune danishes and send them your way. 🙂

  3. Barbara (Crescent Cty) says:

    Damn. I hate this for you. All I know to do is to think of you with Love and send healing, hopeful thoughts, and strength. I do believe that in times of crisis we can share (and receive) strength. Thank you for recording your experience; it helps me, my mom, and everyone who experiences health crisis. I am sending all the strength, peace, and love I know.

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