Vyxeos, Round 2

August 16, 2021 0 Comments

Chemotherapy called Vyxeos

Round 2:

It all really started with a little excitement that I might be getting everything ready to go to transplant.  On August 3rd, I got my PICC line out and my port put in.  The idea was that I had an admission date of 8/11 to get my transplant process started.  On July 30th I’d had a bone marrow biopsy.  A week later, 8/6, we got the result back from the bone marrow biopsy (BMB) and it showed 8% blasts were still present.  In order to go to transplant, I needed to have a blast percentage of 5 or less.  

All that meant that transplant couldn’t happen and we needed to do something different.  The doctor opted to do a short re-induction chemo of Vyxeos.  I briefly talk about it here (insert link to blog post).  Now that I’m 11 days out from that first dose of Vyxeos, let me give you an idea of what’s been happening.  

First off, those first couple of days were rough.  More than likely it was a combination of several different things.  

  1. First off, I was still recovering from almost a month in the hospital.  
  2. Next I was down almost 30 pounds.  The hospital stay wrecked me and some off the issues I faced while there took their toll.  
  3. Next was that I wasn’t in as good of shape.  I hadn’t been able to exercise like I would have liked so both cardio and overall strength were down.  
  4. Last, all my counts were already lower and my body was “trying” to recover (the leukemia was recovering too it seemed).  My body was fighting to recover and recovery was not coming easily.  

All this meant that this round of chemo hit harder than the first round.  A couple of people initially were thinking that something was wrong.  “Well, you weren’t like this during that first round of chemo.  Why are you like this now?”  The above is why.  I went into my first round of chemo exercising almost every day, 20-30lbs heavier and going full throttle.  I was physically more capable of handling the chemo then.  This time around hit harder because overall I wasn’t in as good of shape as the first time.  

The first day I was just worn out.  Both physically and mentally I was taxed.  The ups and downs of being so close and excited to go to transplant to have that proverbial carrot that was dangling so close so quickly snatched away just beats up the psyche.  The 2nd day was more of the same.  Just recovering and wondering what’s going to happen with my transplant date.  

The 2nd day was more of the same but symptoms were worse.  Chemo symptoms for me were heartburn and indigestion, sleeplessness, weird tingling sensations, and , of course, fatigue.  I was even taking meds for the heartburn and sleeplessness but still I was having a hard time.  The weird tingling sensations were the worst and probably contributed the most to my restlessness and troubles sleeping.  These are the hardest to explain.  I kept having to run my thumb over my fingers or move my hands like I had touched something sticky.  My hands needed to move the most, but the rest of my body was the same way.  It would start with a mix between burn and itch but only to the smallest degree.  Just enough that you’d want to run your hand over your arm or your chest.  It would start in the chest, move out towards the shoulders and arms, while moving down the legs at the same time.  The sensation would gradually creep up enough to the point where I’d have to “shake”.  The shakes weren’t violent, just a kind of shiver but again, only to a small degree.  But it was enough to keep me awake at night.  I guess I never noticed it during the day because I wasn’t trying to sleep so it wasn’t a big deal.  However at 2am, it’s incredibly frustrating.  

Over the next several days, all of the these symptoms (and a few other small ones) slowly started to dissipate.  By day 9 I was almost back to normal (well, my new normal at least).  The issue now becomes waiting for my counts to drop and how is that going to make me feel.  I’ll post more about my white blood cell count, absolute neutrophil count, and hemoglobin in another post.  For now, it’s watching the counts drop and waiting to see what develops.  

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