The end of a very long day

It started yesterday. Mom was having a hard time keeping food down. By night time, she couldn’t even hold on to a few tablespoons of simple vegetable broth that I’d made. This morning, it started all over. My mom has nothing in her stomach and yet keeps coming up with something.

We had a 10:30 AM chemo appointment (gemzar only), and the nurse could clearly see she was in bad shape. My mom threw up almost consistently for the first two hours we were there. The nurse added another anti-nausea drug to the mix, and added Xantac because my mom complained of burning in her stomach and esophagus — the acid from throwing up so much.

It was brutal, to say the least.

She was finally able to rest and sleep a bit and I dashed out for some lunch and to run an errand. By the time I got back mom was done and we came home. She went straight to bed and slept almost all afternoon.

The doctor has decided to stop the cisplatin (too toxic) and switch her to carboplatin (hopefully less toxic). This is the drug that the UCSF oncologist had suggested in the first place. I’m still unclear why we changed direction here in Napa and put my mom through this agony. Perhaps the Napa oncologist wanted to see if mom could tolerate it, and wanted to be aggressive in this battle — with my mom being the collateral damage. Studies show a slightly better outcome with cisplatin, but others have shown that carboplatin is a reasonable alternative for those who can’t tolerate cisplatin. In the end, you’re a guinea pig as they try this and that, and try to play catch-up with side effects.

The daily pharmacy runs continue. This time to pick up prescription-strength Prilosec to see if we can manage the acid in her stomach.

She didn’t throw up all afternoon, and took both the Zofran and Ativan (both nausea drugs) about an hour before we tried again with broth. No luck.

She has lost a lot of weight and, more concerning, almost all muscle tone. This is from weeks of lying down and nutrition/caloric intake almost down to zero. I tried to get her up to walk out to the back yard, but she refused. Maybe tomorrow.

Every night I tell her we made it through another day, and hopefully tomorrow will be better.

Mom now has a break. No more chemo until April 23, the beginning of Cycle Two.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *