I HAD A LYMPHOMA/26
HIGH DOSE CHEMO AND STEM CELL TRANSPLANT. Part 2.
I HAD A LYMPHOMA/25 focused on the proposed preventative treatment to block a return of the Non- Hodgkin"s cancer that is now in full remission. This Hub, based on my research and again, owing a great deal to the British Leukaemia Research Charity, is all about the extensive preparations that have to be undertaken prior to treatment being administered.The purpose of these is to ascertain the general fitness and wellness of the patient, given the intense nature of the treatment to follow. It is good to know these are usually done at the local Hospital to reduce travel time and costs.Many of the tests follow the tests undergone before the CHOP treatment which has brought about the remission of my cancer.
These involve Blood Tests, Kidney Function tests, Lung Function tests, Heart function tests and also recommended is a Dental Check up so any minor work to be done is completed prior to treatment due to the risk of infection post transplant. At the same time it is not advised to have any major Dental work undertaken as cavity healing can delay the start of treatment.There is also information on the cosmetic effects of Chemo to consider, especially regarding hair loss. At the start of my CHOP treatment, I had my step son shave my head to allow all to get used to the look. This was a good step to take. Already following the end of CHOP it is now regrowing and this would also occur around 2 months after transplant treatment.The NHS offers a free wig/toupee for those who wish it, but I did not feel any need for that and have noticed, when in the Chemo Centre that many ladies of all ages apparently see no need for the wearing of a wig either.
One key effect of high dose treatment is to render the patient infertile and this can be upsetting for younger patients than myself. As with almost everything in the fertility area it is not 100% certain that infertility will follow and contraception continuance is recommended where applicable to the circumstances of each patient.Men wishing for a family later can store semen prior to the start of treatment but options for females are more difficult apparently.
Standard tests for Blood are carried out to give required information on Blood Counts, Group, Kidney. Liver and Bone functions, Iron levels, and Clotting. Where required the need for immoglobins and paraprotein will be also revealed. Kidney Function is vital and tests are given to ensure that the function is able to perform as required under treatment. 2 ways can be used, one called EDTA clearance involves the injection of a radioactive dye into an arm. 2/4 hours later blood tests are then taken to complete the procedure. The second method is to collect Urine over a 24 hour period. The vessel used for collection is provided by the Hospital and is returned with the collected amount when a blood sample is also taken.
Heart and Lung function tests are pretty standard. Heart measurement is done by either a MUGA Scan or an Echo. MUGA involves two injection in the frighteningly named NUCLEAR MEDICINE Department. The injections are about 30 minutes apart following which pictures of the heart are taken. ECHO involves stripping to the waist and taking up a position on the side of the body. Gel is then put around the heart area and a probe is then moved around the area producing an image on an attached monitor for print off. I had this test prior to CHOP in this way just as my Lungs were tested by a series of blowing activities into various tubes as directed by a Technician, I am sure my results post CHOP and INTRATHECAL will not be as good as they were then as the drugs seem to have taken atoll which I hope is but temporary.Subject all being well, the next step is Hospital Admittance for the main events and these will feature in the next Hub, some of which may not fit easily with those of a nervous disposition.
The above deals with potential events but currently, I am still battling through the after effect/side effects of my final INTRATHECAL Treatment. I am now on day 8 following the dose and around now the side effects will, if as previously start to fall away. Headaches this time have been minimal, though it feels as if an old style Diver"s Helmet has been fitted on me.Finger tingling is already reduced to manageable, but toes still suffer and seem unusually cold, as if circulation is suffering. I shall report this if not improved in 3 days, as by then most effects should have minimised. That will hopefully include the lack of energy that besets me currently and the desire to sleep ,especially and strangely, after Breakfast! Any movement beyond the totally normal saps strength and induces breathlessness and this is my major concern currently as my mouth ulcers are already, thankfully, subsiding. A few more days will provide a clearer picture and determine future action on this front