|The weather was ridiculously gorgeous last week and helped |
off-set the painful times. A nap in a hammock is tops for healing.
Instead, I’ve started a chemotherapy regimen of three oral drugs: Cyclophosphamide, Etoposide, and Procarbazine. They are each traditional chemotherapy drugs with a proven track record for going after Hodgkin Lymphoma cells. I’ve taken these drugs in the past as part of other regimens but at much higher doses, mostly as part of my brutal autologous stem cell transplant prep. I’ve taken just about every proven anti-Hodgkin drug so now we have to revisit what works and new ways to administer it – as well as continue to explore new, novel therapies being developed that give a better quality of life while enduring treatment.
What’s special about this regimen is how it’s administered. A mentor of my doctor who works at another city hospital conceived the premise. The research and results have shown a lot of promise as a long-term maintenance chemo. For seven days I took each drug once a day at different times a day. They are all taken as a low-dose 50mg pill with a glass of water. I took the Cyclophosphamide after lunch, the Etoposide after dinner, then the Procarbazine right before bed (as it causes a lot of nausea, hence why I’d bring a loaf of bread up to bed with me for middle-of-the-night stomach aches).
The theory behind this drug administration schedule is that we’ll keep surprising the Hodgkin cells. Like, “Oh, you think you’ve got cyclophos figured out? We’ll bam! We’re going to hit you with Etoposide. Then, uh-oh, here comes Procarbazine.” We’re continually coming at the disease in different ways throughout the day so as to not give the cancer cells a chance to morph around any one of them and continue to grow. We’re working on eliminating the diseased areas with timed stealth attacks.