It’s now been one month since I started chemotherapy for amyloidosis. It’s been a learning curve.
The program I’m on is the same as what’s used to treat multiple myeloma, even though this is not a cancer. The recipe – CYBOR-D – is actually online, if you can believe it. It’s not so much a surprise when I think of it, as the treatment is probably pretty standardized. From what I’ve experienced so far I suspect it’s not as potent a treatment as for other forms of cancer. Having said that, the week rolls out in a certain sequence:
- Saturday is chemo day. A total of 24 pills including aspirin and vitamin D3 and a subcutaneous shot at Princess Margaret that takes all of 5 minutes, I changed the schedule to Thursday before living with it for a while, as I thought that would better coordinate with my photo scheduling. Bad idea. Saturday is dead quiet at PMH and I’m in and out within 1/2 hour, as opposed to 1 1/2 hours (and $20 for parking) on Thursdays. I changed it back to Saturday (begging and pleading noises here,) which also seems to work fine for the normal dates I’m shooting – most of which have been cancelled due to Coronavirus now anyway. Interestingly, the steroids I take as part of this turned me into Lord Chemo the Malevolent one Saturday (so far) virtually laying waste to all the idiot drivers on the road with my curses and Horn of Death. Otherwise, Saturday is uneventful. We’re saving the fun for Sunday.
- Sunday is Chemo Coma day. Generally I’m completely exhausted, though one week I was quite sick as well. I blame that on the spicy meal I had late the night before, as I’m supposed to stick with bland and small. Not a characteristic of bean stew with Creole sausage. Lesson learned. Interestingly, Bob the Dog seems sympathetic and doesn’t eat that day.
- The rest of the week is better. Chemo Fog can persist, but my energy levels increase daily – this is the biggest downside – until Friday. And Bob resumes eating. When, the cycle repeats. Approximately 32 more times over a total of 9 months. Fun Wow.
Given all this I’m still in there but for the grace of God go I when I see what others are going through at the hospital. It’s still too early to tell if the treatment is having any effect, and this is no fun, particularly on Sunday, but I think I’m getting off pretty easy, all things considered.