Chemo 4 + 5 and beyond

It’s been a while since I updated my progress. Chemo 4 was two weeks ago and it was one of the worst for me. I woke up that morning with anticipatory nausea…meaning that just the thought of having to get pumped full of poison and feel nauseous for 3-4 days was enough. As soon as I walk into the office, the smell sends my senses into an automatic nausea.

My regular nurse wasn’t in and the new nurse was a little too quick on the push for the Red Devil, luckily I was right next to a garbage can and I vomited continuously for about 10 minutes. I continued to vomit until the end of the chemo. I even vomited when the nurse flushed out my port. The doc wrote me out a script for lorazepam and told me to take some the night before and the morning of treatment. It helped a little bit for chemo #5 because I was at least able to sleep through the night without waking up or having nightmares. I did feel awful during the chemo but afterwards I actually felt fairly normal and the nausea wasn’t all that bad.

After Chemo #4 I had a PET scan done to see how the treatment was coming along. Doctor gave me great news that I had no hot spots and the lymph nodes had almost all shrunk back down to normal size. He gave me and my wife some options on how we can proceed with treatment…

First he said we can stop chemo all together now and go through a 2-3 week radiation treatment. That was out of the question for us since I’m 26 and there is too high of a risk for secondary cancers, especially with shooting radiation into my chest and neck…no thanks.

Another option he put on the table is that I may only need a total of 8 chemo treatments instead of 12…Uhhhh..duhhh…I’ll take it. Unfortunately, it’s too soon to tell. My doctor is off to a conference in my hometown of New York and said he wanted to talk about my course of treatment with some other oncologists. I have my fingers crossed for only 8 treatments. This way I’ll be done the week of Thanksgiving, take my law school finals and have a month to return to my old self.

Chemo #5 was yesterday…I did throw up during the chemo after getting the Red Devil but felt alright for the rest of the day. I did end up taking a 3 1/2 hour nap and then couldn’t get out of bed for the rest of the night. Today I feel pretty normal and took my anti-nausea meds as a precaution.

I have to start neupogen shots tomorrow through Thursday. My blood counts are low but haven’t gone down to a nonexistent level at any point. I’ve been taking multivitamin and eating fairly well. Last time I was on neupogen I had the worst spinal pain ever on the 4th day and that is something I am not looking forward to but it’s nothing some percocet won’t treat.


  1. Are you taking anything for the anticipatory nausea? I took Ativan before every chemo and while I would still feel a bit queasy, it definitely eased it. Though it’s been a few months since my last treatment, I still keep Ativan in my desk for when the bathrooms are cleaned in the office. I don’t know if I’ll have ginger ale any time soon, though. 😦 Allie aka charolastra from the Hodgkin’s forum

    • The doc wrote me out a script for 1mg lorazepam the night before and the morning of. It definitely helped to take it the night before to be able to sleep through the night but I was still nauseous during chemo. Surprisingly both times I threw up at chemo I felt pretty good all weekend long so I might just keep on torturing my nurse for the time being.

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