Sunday, 29 March 2009

Treatment Progress - Day 30

So pretty much a month in - unbelievable.

This last week I would say on the whole seems to have been a good one and certainly I'm feeling brighter than last weekend (which was the last of the first round of IV chemos).

On Wednesday was the "standard" Caspofungin drip, the lovely Asparaginase injections but also the intrathecal (lumbar puncture) - although the leukaemia shouldn't make it to the Central Nervous System, chemo is applied there anyway just to make sure.

Whilst an in-patient on the ward at John Radcliffe I had one done and was given sedative that totally relaxed me, however the Day Treatment Unit isn't set up for the same procedure and I was given an "happy pill" that didn't work.

Consequently the process was pretty uncomfortable to be honest and stressful - especially as it still wasn't happening after the first two attempts.

But like they say, 3rd times a charm and I consented for them to carry on (pointless not to after all of that) and success, the problem seemed to be a particularly tough tendon in my lower back that required more force than originally planned to get the needle in.

Anyway - 'tis done until the next time for which I shall run head-first into a wall to knock myself out if needed!

Sarah, as always, was my rock and salvation and helped me focus & breathe through it which is about as much as you can do I think to try and "relax" through the procedure.

Fortunately no side effects from any of this other than a sore back of course, Thursday quiet therefore just recovering and getting rest.

Friday was meant to be a quick day (and was to be fair despite some delay at the beginning) being just Caspofungin & Asparaginase. It has been 3 weeks though since the Hickman Line went in which meant that the last stitches could come out and that was duly done - I'm now waterproof again apparently!

As well, Friday was the last day of high dose steroids and as of yesterday I've started a reduced dosage to taper me off of them by next weekend.

With the last Asparaginase jabs tomorrow, I will also be able to stop taking the Allopurinol too so things are starting to lighten up a little and I hope to get some strength and energy back.

So where am I? Well, basically I'm at the point where they want to see the blood counts come back up and the numbers to indicate that I'm ready for Phase 2 Induction (section 8.5 of the UKALL XII protocol); it says that Phase 2 should start irrespective but I believe the current thinking is dependent on white cell count.

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