It’s not even a week since I updated about my cancer situation, but here’s a little more information.

Capecitabine is a type of chemotherapy called an anti metabolite. The body changes capecitabine into a common chemotherapy drug called fluorouracil. It stops cells making and repairing DNA. Cancer cells need to make and repair DNA so they can grow and multiply. Cancer Research UK

Weekend

Well, the weekend was lovely, having seen in New Year’s Eve at 9pm on 31st, then got absorbed in Bridgerton on Friday, and the weekend with walks, meals, online chats, reading, and me making my photo book!

 

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A post shared by Bex Lewis (@drbexl)

A reminder that dealing with cancer is not about surviving because of courage and positivity:

 

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A post shared by Bex Lewis (@drbexl)

Monday

Monday morning I made an effort to arrive early so could have my bloods, then go to appointment with oncology registrar – but got sent straight to waiting room for registrar (where I waited half-hour plus – pretty normal), then got sent to wait in a treatment room ready to talk…  then it was time to sign that I’d read the leaflets about the new drug (capecitabine), including that I know that death is a possible side effect, before heading back to the chemotherapy ward to have my bloods done:

 

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Bloods typically take an hour or so to come back, so thankfully, there was some spare lunch on offer, and I settled in with my phone. I won’t always have to wait for my bloods to return, but this week I’m having my denosumab, which takes calcium from my blood and puts it into my bones, so we need to know how my blood/calcium are doing!

Whilst we were waiting for that, then it was time for a chat with the pharmacist, who gave me 14 days worth of tablets. The plan is that I will take 4 tablets in the morning (around 9.30am), and 4 in the evening (around 7.30pm) – minimum 10 hour gap between tablets, maximum 12, and always no longer than half an hour after food. I take the tablets for 2 weeks, then get a week without them, before returning to the oncology ward for more bloods, discussions, and to collect the next 3 weeks of tablets/side-effect drugs. I’ve had the DYPD test, so the expectation is that I shouldn’t get the worst of these side effects, but there’s a nice visual of what to look out for, and at what point to ring the ward or 24/7 ‘chemo line’ at the Christie – although the final one on the list is a 999 job!!

Tik-Tok

I summarised the expected side-effects in this Tik-Tok (although the hand-foot syndrome is the most expected, so I have some gel socks, lots of hand gel, and we’ll see what else is required). Pharmacist also gave loperamide and specialist cream for hands/feet – and we wait and see.

@drbexlLess of an ##OpinionMinute and more of a ##cancer update! ##BusyLivingWithMets and about to start capecitabine.? original sound – Bex Lewis

Tuesday

Last night I also added another codeine-patch, as registrar thinks it was co-incidence that I was sick after putting the second one on before. I have a 5mg BuTrans patch, now have 10mg with 2 patches on – experimenting before asking for 10mg patches. There’s a lot of pain still in my right shoulder/armpit, and all the extra fluid in my arm is deeply uncomfortable – I’ve been referred to the lymphedema unit, and have an electric heat pad (which helps whilst it’s on!), doing my physio, and trying to massage the fluid around, as well as wearing my sleeve/gloves which were designed for my other arm…!

This morning I got up in time to take the first set of tablets – with some chocolate cookies as my food (plan to make some muffins, etc), and so far (aside from irritation at the GP message system) I just feel somewhat drowsy so far … let’s hope that becomes it…

 

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