Friday, March 21, 2008

chemo chameleon

I went back to Homolka on Tuesday to see Dr. ‘golden hands’ Klener. This time I wasn’t a nervous neurotic nutcase, so we managed to have a coherent and productive conversation. He seemed pretty pleased with my progress and finally proud of his work. He even called my oncologist to discuss my case with her directly. I have another MRI scheduled for May 7th and another visit with Dr. Klener on May 13th to go over the results.

Not following my own advice, I went and hung out in the Foreigner’s Department with Pavlina, Ivana, and Terezka. We had a good chat about skin cancer and insurance.

I began my chemotherapy on Wednesday at Motol with a little surprise. Instead of the ‘standard’ Dartmouth Regime, I received the ‘classic’ Dartmouth Regime, not to be confused with ‘new’, ‘caffeine free’ or ‘diet’ Dartmouth, or as we say in Europe, ‘Dartmouth light’.

The ‘classic’ regime swaps out Vinblastine for Carmustine (BCNU) and lasts only three days instead of five. So, my first day I had only Cisplatin and Dacarbazine - book-ended by anti-nausea infusions with some Mannitol (yet another steroid) tossed in the middle for good measure. Although I arrived at 8:45 in the morning, the chemo didn’t actually start until well after 3PM.

Yesterday I had the aforementioned plus Carmustine, which really burns going in. I got there just before 11AM and left after 6PM. They changed the regime as none of the ‘standard’ drugs cross the blood / brain barrier and I could have likely wound up with more golf, tennis or even basketballs in the old noggin.

They seem to be resolving some of the financial issues, but even though I’ve already started the chemo, I still don’t know how much it will cost. Today I complete my first chemo cycle out of three or four and I feel fine. That will probably change, as the side effects don’t usually kick in until the fourth day or thereabouts. Jon Luftig should be here within the hour to save the day.

My orange color is due to massive amounts of carrot juice. Susan Dey suffered a similar fate on the Partridge Family and the tint had to be adjusted for broadcast. Saw that on E! More later.

10 comments:

bex said...

Hi Mike--still checking in on you on a daily basis...way to go getting sorted with all this stuff...you are a big strong handsome tough guy ;-) you will win!!!
Carrot juice could be Posh Spices problem too..... i always suspected fake tan there.
sending hugs from me an my Boyz BXXXXX

Syd said...

mikey, the oompah-loompahs got nothing on you, buddy. hang in there...

Anonymous said...

Glad the treatment is under way. Thabks for keeping us posted. Talk to you soon. Ann

Jiffy said...

You can tell that Mike is feeling better when he starts twisting knobs in Photoshop. Again. Way to go, buddy! Stay strong and stay orange. Much love and happy easter, too!

Anonymous said...

whoah all these long medical terms. I think I need a hole in my noggin just to fit all the syllables in.....

maie

Ingrid said...

Wow... you're looking "Oskarized"! Just add a few black and silver accents, and you've got the 'corporate colours' all down. ;-) Hope you're well, sweetheart. Was in NYC for my virgin trip on the week-end, thought of you, hoisted an overpriced cocktail in your honour!

xox IT.

Anonymous said...

What? No new upadate, you got me all addicted like the way you would to a soap opera. Check your XENO account, need your advise. Home from work Friday, so let's chat. Ann

valter said...

hey mike

this is Val, got word of your blogsite through the chain of friends. It's really interesting to read, I'm glad you're getting treatment and hope you're coping ok with it all. I certainly wish you all the best; sounds like you're in good hands.. you've got my full support.. i'd come visit you if I were in London still. Glad I've found your site so can re-connect with you that way.

Val
xx

Anonymous said...

lots of kisses from the night shift...it's long and useless if you want to know :) Vrat

Paco said...

Todo va a salir bien