Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Three Cycles of Xeloda

I was trying to write but I couldn't. Couldn't think. I would get an idea to write and then forget it. I would try to write and then the words would slip away. I cannot tell you how many things I forgot last week. My family knows... You might know but not realize that I forgot.

I took my last three pills of Xeloda at 6:40 pm Friday. Yay!!! So thankful to Jesus for helping me through. Still feel like a baby for not being tougher, especially to those who have had intravenous chemotherapy...

After three cycles of Xeloda:
  • my hands have turned dry and brown
  • the tips of my fingers hurt even to button something
  • I've gained 4+ pounds
  • my face has spotted and turned darker
  • there are sores on my feet that hurt when I walk
  • had extreme food smell, anything smell sensitivity
  • could not eat a lot of foods, but could eat what I could eat (make sense?)
  • don't even want to attempt any type of mathematical equations
  • forgot many things, even when I wrote them down
  • can't think
  • had some major hot flashes
  • had less hair loss than when taking Letrozole (Femara) 
I finally gave in and took Prilosec. It helped so much! It cut the acid in my stomach and the burning in the back of my throat. I took it every day before taking the Xeloda in the morning. So thankful that it worked and I didn't have to take that antipsychotic medication!

Each morning I would wake up, take my Levothyroxine (thyroid meds), wait 40 minutes (you're not supposed to eat food until at least 30+ minutes after taking Levothyroxine), take Prilosec (supposed to take this on an empty stomach), eat a hearty breakfast, take 3 Xeloda (have to take this within 30 minutes of eating or you have to eat again), wait 3+ hours (had to do this because of my thyroid meds), take my first round of vitamins, wait 4 hours and take my second round of vitamins, eat dinner, take 3 more Xeloda, and take my last round of vitamins before going to bed. As you can see, this took a lot of concentration, on my part.

During my time taking Xeloda, I had to add B6 vitamins (300 mg) to my pile of pills. (Take the pills not the capsules because the capsules have a strong taste to them). B6 (not the B-complex) is supposed to help with the hand/foot syndrome. Normally, I took it during the two weeks of taking the drug and would stop during the off time. This last cycle, I realized that I should have taken it for, maybe, two or three more days after getting off the drug. At the end of the two week cycle, the meds have built up in your body and the hand/foot pain is its strongest. Taking the B6 makes a big difference in curbing the intensity of the drugs. I felt it, those days that I forgot to take it.

You might be asking yourself: why does she write all this stuff? Well, I'm hoping that it will help someone who is starting Xeloda. It helps to know. I searched for blogs of people taking Xeloda when I was about to start taking it. There is some comfort in knowing what to expect.

This Thursday, I have an appointment with my oncologist. I believe that she might order another CT scan. Then, we will go from there. Maybe continue with the Xeloda? Go back to the Letrozole (Femara) - my hormone medication? Don't know because I forgot to ask the last two times I saw her. I really need to write these questions down and safety pin them to my shirt.

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