As it transpired – I walked out of hospital after surgery on the 08th July 2015 …. An auspicious occasion as was indeed my 47th birthday
2 days after celebrating my 49th Birthday I find myself starting round 2 and back to the chemotherapy we go…….
However 1st things first ……. and its off for ULTRASOUND – as the E – epirubicin [aka red dragon] has a side effect …. and that it has been known to damage the actual heart muscle. So as a precaution one has an ultrasound to determine current state of cardiac muscle and then will be used as a benchmark moving forward as the test is conducted at determined intervals thereafter.
In my instance we are good to go …….. yes folks the note says “structurally + functionally sound heart” …… NOT Brain!!
Although the combination this time is a different cocktail and is known as the EOX combo
E – epirubicin [aka red dragon]
O – oxaliplatin
X – capecitabine [XELODA is the brand name and is taken in the form of oral tabs]
E – epirubicin [aka red dragon]……. is aptly given the name red dragon its like freakin Jaegermeister coursing through your veins.
Two years back the cocktail i was on – didn’t have the signs + symptoms that this creature gives.
Now one also has to bear in mind that when one undergoes Chemotherapy – pretty much you will experience side effects – that much is a “GIVEN” – / you will also be briefed by the medical team and receive an abundance of information pertaining to known side effects etc… pretty much like the inserts that are provided with medication – and who reads those inserts …… RIGHT!!
What is not know is the “ACTUAL” side effects that is experienced…… in my instance I was surprised as to the speed that it took for me to start experiencing the red dragon effects.
Literally within < 30 mins I experienced felt an odd sensation around the site of my infusion [left arm / forearm] and as can be expected used my right hand to palpate the site [forearm] …… WOW ….. wasn’t expecting that – what I experienced was tantamount to an electric shock – then came the sweats …… yep my body had certainly acknowledged the arrival the troops.
Further sensations included – hyper sensation to the extremities hands and fingers – akin to somebody who is suffering from frostbite …… ice cold sensation – which if not corrected can result in tissue / capillary damage ….. however when warmed – one receives that bone jarring pain as circulation is improved.
The extremities wasn’t where it ended – as i found out ……. pity I wasn’t paying attention to the debrief ….. Mr Schouw you will probably want to stay away from cold drinks [as in temperature] …… nothing more relieving when you have a thirst and you chug on an ice cold beverage / water – with added ice and lemon wedges ……. however as you swallow the cold liquid the red dragon results in your throat going into a spasm of sorts which complete with stridor [restricted airways] which feels as if you are suffocating ……. so my advice >>>>> READ THE FINE PRINT + LISTEN TO THE MEDICAL TEAM
Whilst on treatment you will require gloves [an array of them depending on task ] as you cannot have skin contact with metal surfaces – direct skin contact will result in surface burns / electric shock …. Depending on activity I used a variety of cloth and leather gloves.