I HAD A LYMPHOMA / 38 /" VIN and PREDNIS".

THE FINAL TWO CONSTITUENTS

As requested, Hubs 36 and 37 have explained 2 of the 4 drugs used in the CHOP Treatment for Non- Hodgkin"s Disease, this being the name given to my T-Cell Lymphoma Cancer. DOXORUBICIN and CYCLOPHOSEMIDE were focused on in those Hubs and in this one we examine the roles and side effects attributed to the final two constituents. "VIN and Prednis" are not two characters from "The Only Way Is Essex" but shortenings of VINCRISTINE and PREDNISOLONE {sometimes called PREDNISONE}, the two final elements involved.

VINCRISTINE.

VINCRISTINE is a plant alkaloid and as the name implies, like many drugs is derived from a plant. In this case, the plant is Periwinkle and the constituent is produced to be given directly to the blood stream ,usually via a cannula as with Cyclophosemide.As with other elements of CHOP it has various side effects which may or may not effect individual patients.

Vincristine, as part of Chop, is effective in causing cells to divide. The faster cells divide the more likely is Chemotherapy likely to kill them off. When this occurs the result is to cause the tumour to shrink. Clearly this is desired but as with other drugs used, Vincristine cannot discern between healthy and cancerous cells, so it kills both and this inevitably leads to the side effects experienced in whole or in part during the Treatment duration.

As before I have listed below the side effects and put + by those I experienced or continue to experience, and - by those that did not affect me.

Hair Loss. + 20 /70% lose partial or full hair during treatment.

Constipation + This was soon dealt with by Senokot tablets as prescribed.

Low Blood Count + I had 2 separate transfusions during treatment, one of them quite major.

Mouth Sores. + Experienced for 6 /10 days after each treatment.

Taste Change + Only slight and only in the early days of treatment. and not after each dose.

Peripheral Neuropathy. + still present in hands and feet and my most annoying remaining side effect. Now 3 months since last dose and still a nuisance.

Abdominal Cramps -

Loss of Appetite -

Diarrhoea -

As can be seen again, symptoms are close if not identical to those from Doxorubicin and Cyclophosemide. All side effects are catalogued as diminishing after end of treatment, though some, like Peripheral Neuropathy take quite some time to be eliminated and patience has to be exhibited.Patience is not one of my chief character traits let it be noted! So, thanks Vincristine etc for what you have done but please now go away!

PREDNISOLONE.

PREDNISOLONE is a steroid and my father used to take it in the 70"s and 80"s for Asthma relief. It put weight on him and also did nothing to lessen his irascibility as far as I can recall, though as it helped him breathe had no problems with it personally.

PRENDISOLONE in Chop is given in tablet form for just Days 1-5 inclusive of each cycle. My dose was 100g tablets at 4 per day during the period.

The function in Chop is to relieve any swelling on the body, reduce chances of nausea and also assist in preventing allergic reactions. I also found it assisted my energy level.

Side effects are as listed below:

Weight Gain + I needed to gain weight after the perforated bowel operation and the earlier loss of appetite had made me lose an alarming amount. My weight has since stabilsed at 12stones 10 pounds, an ideal weight for me.

Increased Appetite. + This was noticeable during the weight gain period but is now as previous levels and excellent.

Mood Swings + Although I believe I am the epitome of calm and even temper, my poor wife insists that I did suffer from these.

Dizziness. Experienced occasionally when standing upright after a seated period, but not too serious at all.+

Other elements I did not suffer from at all are: insomnia, water retention swelling, nausea, heartburn, bone thinning and increased blood sugar levels.

Thus, the "SOLDIERS" in my Army against the unwelcome insurgent to which I referred in early Hubs were all contained in the Chop Treatment of which I had 8 cycles. Another "soldier regiment" in the form of INTRATHECAL injections, of which there were 4, were added to the Chop to allow the Chop best route to kill the cancerous cells whilst protecting brain and spinal cord. As I dealt at length with the side effects from these in earlier Hubs, I see no need to list them here, as regular readers will recall they caused me more inconvenience than any other.

COUNTDOWN TO PET SCAN 4.

All treatments being in suspension and with side effects diminishing my focus now is on remedial exercise on a daily basis but with one eye always on April 13 AT 9.55 am when I report for Scan 4. Results will not be known till a week later when meet with Dr Cervi, but getting the Scan done will be another box ticked. Today, I filed all my papers, records, appointment letters etc into clear order. I do not know why I did so but the PMA in me senses we way be approaching an ending and thus, all must be put into order. Dangerous in one way, but at least the paperwork is now pristine, whatever the outcome may be.

This Hub is "i HAD"------ NUMBER 38. Thai is one more than "I HAVE" -------.! The change from HAVE to HAD took place in November 2010 after they told me the Lymphoma was zapped after Scan 2! At that time we thought it would all be over soon, but it only goes to show how thorough my Treatment has been and continues to be. All in all at least 75 Hubs now, and still to rise further, tells the tale of just one case of cancer. Consider the number of others who have gone through the same, and you begin to realise the enormity of this disease and the work put in to defeat it by many dedicated people working on behalf of us patients.

I mention this here as my stepson Ryan is tackling the LONDON MARATHON to raise funds for LEUKAMIA AND LYMPHOMA RESEARCH later this month. If you are able to support them, via his efforts please go to www.justgiving.com/ryanjoyce for details. If you do so, then not only my thanks but those of many who have had, like me, the need to benefit from their work will be extended warmly to you.

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