We are experiencing a tremendous answer to prayer! The lab reports were very good and Lois was able to get her first infusion of the new (for her) Folfiri Chemo regimen. This is a wonderful surprise because Lois has been nauseated, had very little appetite, and has generally felt sick since getting home from the hospital one week ago. Tuesday morning, as we drove to Iowa City, I prepared myself for what I expected would be a decision not to do an infusion – but God is at work and His will is being done.
Infusion # 22 was the first on a new regimen called Folfiri and includes Leukavorin, Avastin, Irinotecan, and Fluorouracil. The Irinotecan replaces the Oxaliplatin and the Fluorouracil will continue to be delivered via a “fanny pack pump” which is started at the hospital and disconnected 46 hours later by home health care. The other change is that Lois no longer has the Fluorouracil bolus prior to being hooked up to the fanny pack pump.
In the middle of all this, Lois fell Monday night and sprained her ankle. So we’ve done the Emergency Room routine in between lab work, consultations, and the infusion, to get x-rays and deal with that injury. Her left ankle is really swollen but it’s not broken! Treating this has been frustrating due to the neuropathy which made putting cold on the ankle more painful than the injury! Waiting for x rays and getting them read by the radiologist took an extra four hours yesterday. We left at 6:30 am and arrived back home at 11 pm.
We are watching for the expected reactions to this new Chemo “cocktail.” The Oncology pharmacist instructed me to purchase a package of 42 Imodium capsules before leaving Iowa City. Diarrhea can be severe and we were given a stern warning to ignore the instructions on the Imodium package and follow a set of directions they gave us. They are very concerned about the possibility of dehydration. So far, Lois has had very little problem with this but she has also experienced a great reduction in appetite and is not eating as much. In fact, yesterday she ate more than in the previous 5 days and that’s not saying much.
We had a long discussion with Dr. Halfdanarson’s nurse and his PA (Physician’s Assistant) to determine what to do about controlling pain without a lot of drowsiness and lack of appetite as well as controlling Lois’ blood pressure which is still high. We changed a number of medications, again, and we now have a spreadsheet to help manage all the prescriptions.
Again, we praise God that Lois is doing so much better than last week and that she was able to begin the new Chemo regimen. Thanks for praying! God is faithful!