In the hospital now, receiving day one of a a three-day infusion schedule of chemotherapy.
After oxycodone and morphine did nothing for my pain, they started giving me injections of Dilaudid (hydromorphone), which is a narcotic having five times the potency of morphine, and not only does it work, but its effects are almost instantaneous, knocks me completely loopy, and makes me extremely nauseous. Normally, I’d rather be in pain than queasy, but for this sort of pain and this sort of pain relief, it’s a fair tradeoff in my book.
Talked to my oncologist about my revised treatment in light of the PET scan and biopsy results. I’ll be doing three rounds of R-ICE chemotherapy followed by a stem cell transplant. We might do radiation between the chemo and the stem cell transplant. That’s still up in the air.
R-ICE is a higher dose chemo regime than R-CHOP was; it’s also more complicated to administer, needing to be infused over three days. Hence, I’ll be in the hospital during the beginning of each chemo round. I’ll also need to be hospitalized during the stem cell transplant procedure for something like three weeks straight.
For my stem cell transplant, what they’ll be doing is harvesting my own stem cells over the course of my next couple chemo cycles and freeze it. Then when it comes time for the transplant itself, they’ll administer an ultra high dose (lethal) of chemo which will wipe out all of my bone marrow/white blood cells. Then they’ll pump my own stem cells back in to rescue me. It’s a fairly brutal procedure, but the idea is to completely eradicate all cancer cells and essentially reboot my system, cancer-free.
Ah, and here comes the nurse with my next shot of Dilaudid. Will have to finish this post later because…wheee….