Friday, July 10, 2009

Hardly Any Side Effects in the First Week

When I visited Duke yesterday for my second dose of chemo, I was happy to report to Dr. Reidel that my first week was pretty much a breeze.

Sure, the 10mg intravenous Decadron made me chatty last Friday, but that was unpleasant only for the people around me ;^) because I had a nice time with it.

On Monday my ribs ached intensely until I took three Advil, and I was exhausted for about an hour -- so I switched tasks at work to something a little less difficult. On Tuesday my ribs ached again but much less, more like a friendly reminder that I have ribs and that they had ached yesterday and wasn't I lucky that they weren't really aching any more.

The real challenge came on Wednesday when I had to take 20mg Decadron by pill in the AM and again in the PM. In retrospect, I did it all wrong and paid the piper. First, at 6:00AM, I swallowed the first 20mg with my usual giant mug of caffeinated tea (two teabugs) and then when I got to work at 7:45AM, force of habit had me get one cup of regular coffee... and so at about 8:45AM when the Decadron hit, it hit with full force. I was jumpy and restless and chatty and my mind was racing. I took the elevator down to the cafeteria and then decided to run up the stairs to the fifth floor instead of taking the elevator; I gained the fourth floor before having to stop to catch my breath (maybe this is a good side benefit!). Plus I was way too talkative in April's 10:20 staff meeting!

So what did I learn? This morning, in about an hour, I have to take 20mg Decadron again. No tea! No coffee! Plan to think calming thoughts! But maybe I will also hit the stairs at some point this morning.

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