Sunday, September 23, 2012

Switching Chemotherapies, with a side of heartbreak.

Daddy had been on a chemotherapy called Torisel. Torisel was an infusion, so it was administered once every week at the hospital oncology center. The thing about chemo is how expensive they are, there's a process to being able to receive it each week. You get there around 8:30am, sign in, wait. You then get called to get blood drawn and vitals taken. ALL THE NURSES SUCK AT DRAWING BLOOD. Daddy gets stuck a minimum of four times each time we go. And one time the lab took so long to process his blood that it hemolyzed (clotted) and he had to be stuck some more. Once your lab work is done and creatinine levels are okay'd by the doctor, the pharmacist can then begin to mix your specific cocktail of Torisel. This process takes almost an hour each time because of how busy the chemo pharmacist is at any given point in the day. Then, you get called back to the infusion center and get hooked up to a line of Benadryl (prevents any itchiness at the infusion site) which takes about 20 minutes and then you are hooked up to your Torisel infusion which takes about an hour to finish. By this point, Dad was usually cold and uncomfortable and tired. But we still had to make it into the car, and into the house. Always an ordeal.

After Daddy's second month being on Torisel, he had a set of scans done to see how it was working. We got a call that night, it stopped working, more tumors were popping up and the ones he had already were growing. We were all so discouraged... We couldn't believe that such a strong drug with all of its side effects wasn't working. Daddy fell back into a two week long depression... I fell with him. But we did have a new chemo that a specialty pharmacy was to mail us, Sutent. Sutent is a pill form, taken for 4 week and then you are off of it for 2 weeks. The best part was that Dad could just take the pill on his own, no more weekly trips to the hospital. We anxiously awaited the Sutent, Daddy did not like how long it took our insurance to process the order because he wanted to start it right then and there. The thought of the cancer just growing inside of him with nothing there to stop it made him so angry. We both have this in common, to feel helpless is the worst feeling in the entire world.

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