Houston, Round 5 of Chemo

Posted by Casey on March 13th, 2010

Just got back tonight from another visit to Houston. I flew down on Wednesday night on what has become the same set of flights as almost all of my visits to M.D. Anderson. Upon arrival I was given a gigantic, white police car (i.e. crown victoria) to drive around instead of the tiny economy I usually order if I rent a car. And thanks to the Houston Rodeo I had to stay in a hotel much farther away, in an area of the city I had never been to.

Traffic was a nightmare thanks to the rodeo, shut-down lanes of freeways, a flipped-over semi, the standard traffic of Houston, etc., etc. Instead of the usual 5 minute ride from the hotel to M.D. Anderson, it took about an hour each morning. Yuck.

On top of these stresses of Houston, I was also on Round 5 of my chemo cycle. Managing the travel, making sure I was taking chemo and appropriate prep and follow-up pills, along with the usual seizure pills seemed a bit of a challenge this time. Most people who are going through or have gone through chemo treatment will mention memory issues as a top side-effect. It’s called chemo brain, and lately I’ve been noticing it a lot more. I have more frequent issues with memory and definitely have a lot more days where I’m just exhausted. My head is just a bit cloudy.

Luckily the appointments and the results they provided were much clearer. On Thursday I went through an EEG, blood work and an MRI, and met with Dr. Slopis and Wolff on Friday. My blood results are great, even though I’m going through treatment. All critical counts were in their average ranges. And my MRI came back with much the same results as the last visit. Comparing it farther back, it’s clear the tumor size is definitely smaller than the pre-chemo version (taken back in November). Very good news.

Getting back to the memory, energy, seizures, headaches and other symptoms — I spoke with Dr. Slopis about this again. Obviously a lot of it was expected, and some of it came about by very unexpected personal stresses this winter, but too much of it is coming from more controllable stresses. So I’ve got some things to work on (and NOT work on) to help alleviate some of those side effects.

Spending time with family seems to be a great help, which leads to the photo above… Aunt Kathy, Uncle Dave and my cousin Tony came up to visit a couple weeks ago. It was great to have them up for a fun weekend of food, shopping and site seeing.

Hope you’re all well. Love you!


Tags: , , , , , ,

3 Responses to “Houston, Round 5 of Chemo”

  1. mark kelly

    Glad you appointments went well. Sorry about our Houston traffic. I avoid the Reliant Stadium area whenever there’s an event like the Rodeo. Although that wouldn’t have helped considering the turned over tanker truck. That was bad even by Houston standards.

    I think I’m experiencing the memory and exhaustion problems without the chemo.

  2. Casey – Glad to hear all went well…Looking forward to see the family in June. Love to you and your family.

  3. Casey – I think about you often, and am so happy to hear that things are going well. :)