Update 5: Halfway through Phase II

Well folks, I’m halfway through the second phase of my chemotherapy treatment.

I wish I could say things have been smooth sailing to this point, but these past couple weeks have unfortunately been a very difficult process so far.

With this phase, I’m given the ol’ chemo trifecta made up of IV style chemo, oral chemo pills, and injections in the stomach.

Immediately upon starting this regimen, I got hit with nausea really bad. That means no appetite and lots of car sickness on the way in and out of Seattle for my appointments.

In addition to the nausea, about 2 weeks ago on Labor day weekend I started getting an annoying little headache on Friday night. I didn’t think much of it at the time because I tend to get all kinds of little aches and pains that are hard to attribute and don’t usually last too long.

But this damn little headache ended up lasting all weekend long. What was strange is the only thing that would make it feel better was laying down flat on my back. After calling the doctor, they suggested it was a spinal headache caused by the the lumbar punctures I’ve been getting about once a week. With lumbar punctures, they take a bit of fluid out of your spinal column and that imbalance in fluid can be the cause of painful headaches when upright or exposed to light.

That little headache ended up getting worse and worse, lasting a full 14 days. I finally got to the point where all I could do was spend all day laying down in a dark room. Getting up to go to the bathroom, take a shower, eat breakfast, it all caused excruciating pain in my head, which then caused more nausea interestingly enough.

After getting some strange temperature swings, they finally called me into the hospital at about 10PM on a Monday evening. After three days at UW Medical Center and a bunch of blood/bags of hydration later, my headache is now gone (thank goodness).

Now it’s time for “Phase II of Phase II” and spoiler alert: it’s pretty much an exact repeat of the regimen I completed in these last four weeks. Right now, I’m waiting for my blood counts to come back up and when they do, I get to start the fun all over again.

All complaining about chemo symptoms aside, I always knew things would get harder before they got easier, and I’m sure the same stands true for the rest of my treatment. The good thing is that I know for the most part, the pain and discomfort is only temporary and for every couple of rough days, there are usually a couple of good days where I’m feeling up.

Thanks again everyone for following along and all your love and support — month two here we come!