I got to sit in a cozy leather chair for about two hours as a small drip of liquid slowly crept into my veins. The doctors and nurses listed off a bunch of possible side effects that I might feel immediately after the treatment. We prepared for all of them. Upon completion, the nurses asked how I felt and I explained that I felt no different from before. In fact, as I got home I felt better and more motivated than I have been in a while. I was able to get a ton of work done and actually enjoyed a full night's sleep without complications. In my opinion, my first treatment was a success. Now let's see how the week goes.
Yesterday afternoon, Ryan underwent his first round of intravenous (IV) infusion chemotherapy. The IV was hooked up to a vein in his left arm and then the medication was given slowly over a period of 2 hours. First, Ryan was given a variety of premedications to prevent chemotherapy-related nausea. He was given Aloxi (generic: palonosetron), Emend (generic: aprepitant), and a small dose of dexamethasone (a steroid). Then he was given the big gun medication. The chemotherapy agent is called oxaliplatin, which is a platinum-based anti-cancer drug. It stops cell division by binding to and crosslinking DNA, basically making little bridges that prevent the DNA from continuing to replicate. Oxaliplatin combined with Xeloda is what those in the biz call “first-line therapy” (the evidence shows that it should be the first choice for treatment) for metastatic colorectal cancer. So far, Ryan has tolerated the chemotherapy pretty well. And lucky for us, the anti-nausea medication effects should persist for several days, so that’s one less thing for us to worry about.