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Chemo No. 1 - Fri. Session - (Journal Date: 3/11/05)

5/23/2005

The side effects of the first day of chemo (Rituxin) were not that noticeable. Today I get the rest of the CHOP recipe, but it should only take about 2 hours. The nurses reminded me how important it was to take the anti-nausea medicine to keep it under control. Apparently if you wait too long, you may get sick and then it is much harder to bring it back under control.

I typically don't like to take any kind of medication, so getting used to taking some 16 pills per day for the five days following chemo is going to be rough.

Prednisone is the steroid of choice for my treatments. This drug is effective in fighting cancer as well as offseting the side effects of the chemo. Prednisone does make me hungry all the time, causes water retention, hypersensitivity, insomnia, etc. but I sure can get things done on the "honey-do" list.

As you will notice in my BLOG, I am determined to stay active and do as much during treatments as I can. I think it is good for the family and it is good for me as long as I don't over do things. Since we made plans to attend the Eagles Concert in Raleigh, NC with friends, I got the thumbs up from my doctor. Even though we had our first CHOP Chemo today, we had a sitter and we were off to see the Eagles!!

I was able to drive (80 miles) and we enjoyed them playing from 8-11 p.m. What a concert!! Unfortunately, the doctor limited my consumption of beer (Daddy Juices) to just one since alcohol suppresses bone marrow activity. That was fine since someone needed to be the designated driver anyway and I was just happy to be there. We stayed in Raleigh and the next morning we enjoyed a leisurely breakfast remembering all the highlights of the concert.

It is extremely uplifting to have friends that will hang in there with you through life's most difficult times. We read that some friendships may be lost through this ordeal because others may be uncomfortable with the situation, or afraid to say the wrong thing, or afraid of their own mortality. We have witnessed examples of both. Lost friendships are real heartbreaks. In any event, cherish the friends that hang with you and continue to support you!! The stronger your support relationships, I believe the better response you can expect from treatment.

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