Saturday, September 1, 2012

Friday Scare

Left is an allergic reaction to peanuts as portrayed on the TV show "Big Bang Theory."  I have never seen nor experienced a full on case of anaphylaxis.  As an EMT (one of my collateral duties), I have been trained to deal with them and recognize them.

On Friday (8/31) I was undergoing my 6th of 12 chemo treatment for this cycle.

I am on a protocol of:

Modified FOLFOX6
Leucovorin 400 mg/m2 iv over 2 hrs before 5-FU d1
5-FU 400 mg/m2 iv bolus d1 followed by 2400 mg/m2 iv over 46 hrs
Oxaliplatin (Eloxatin) 85 mg/m2 iv d1
Q2w x 12 cycles

Avastin, though I do not have the delivery info handy.

Anyway, when the Oxaliplatin started, I began to feel a little tickle in my throat.  It became steadily worse until I began having a hot flash starting from my chest and spreading to my arms.  Then the first nausea of my treatment started, but attempting to let that go would have been a disaster since my throat had closed a pretty good bit.

I tried to gut it out because I was not quite sure what was going on and thought I would be ok.  Well, I decided to tell my nurse, and she immediately stopped the flow of meds, and started 2 lpm O2 via nasal cannula.  After a few minutes of monitoring me (during which the hives began to develop on my arms and chest), she called my Dr to inform her and get a course of action.

I was maintaining my outward cool and calm, but inwardly I was scared and praying.

Long story short, I was administered Benadryl through iv and things cleared up pretty quick.  My Dr came out and explained to me that this was a possibility due to the fact Oxaliplatin may not totally metabolize and will build up in the system (usually around treatment 6 or 7).  A mild allergic reaction can result.

To me, this was  information I would have liked to have ahead of time.  Everything worked out, though my appointments will now be longer, since the delivery of the Oxaliplatin will be slower to help avoid the reaction.  Sigh, today I was among the first in and was the last out of treatment: long time sitting there getting poisoned.

Just keeping you all informed and letting you know I am not a superman.  I get scared.  I understand my mortality (and immortality).  I was not scared for my life, I was scared that I do not currently have anyone with me to assist if things go bad.  Sure, I could get assistance from work, but I would ultimately not want that. 

It also makes me realize I seriously need to get busy getting things in order for the contingency of me not being around or available to close out my affairs and NOT get messed over by state laws.  I need a will.  I need to reevaluate all my beneficiaries.  I need to make this happen for my (x)wife and children's sake.

Sorry the tone and message is not quite what I normally post, but I felt this was an important post to update you on my status.  I am working on several posts in the realm of my usual genre, so stay tuned (barring extreme chemo brain).  They will be out shortly.


  1. Wow I wouldn't call this a mild reaction AND yes a little heads up would've been nice. Definitely do a will and all that. Have had one since the birth of my first child. Any day can be our last :( Hope the rest of your treatments go without incident and the best possible results for you!

    1. Thank you Aleesa. I know, I have just been trying to figure things out, especially in the rural community I live. I don't want to go the online route, but may need be required unless I can find a lawyer within a decent commute.

  2. I'm with you....a warning ahead of time would have been nice to know then as soon as you had the first sign you could have been straight onto the nurse....glad it was caught quickly

    1. I "knew" something was going on, just couldn't determine if it was related, or something different. Now I know, and knowing is half the battle.

      I will not be surprised this way again.