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Side Effects and Response Rate

by Tom on January 24th, 2010

The Friday after my first high-dose methotrexate was New Years Eve. We partied with some friends in Wallingford, and then the group walked to Gasworks Park to watch the fireworks at the Space Needle. My legs were absolutely exhausted by the walk to and back. They were not happy at all. The next morning the workers through themselves upon the gears.

I awoke to intense pain in all of the joints in my legs. Terrible pain like they were broken. But they weren’t; they all moved fine. And thank goodness this was pain that could be pierced by Percocet!

After the second high-dose methotrexate, Saturday morning arrived and the exact same pain returned. The night before saw a walk through the grocery store, but not much more. This time we visited Urgent Care to make sure that nothing was actually going terribly wrong.

X-rays and blood tests looked good. It sounds like arthralgia (like arthritis without the inflammation) can be an occassional side effect of the treatment.

Next time I’ll take Friday night off entirely and see if that changes things.

Getting out of the hospital after that second treatment was a bit stressful. They prescribed that I was to take 25mg of Leucovorin (the Methotrexate antidote) every 6 hours, for nine doses. We checked at the hospital’s pharmacy: out of stock. Group Health? Out of stock, unless we wanted to drive to Tacoma! My dad got on the phone and started calling pharmacies; he found one near our house that had it. The only problem was that they only had it in 5mg tablets! So I got to take 5 pills every 6 hours. It was just a shock that they were discharging my from the hospital without first knowing that I would actually be able to buy my rescue dose.

Also! I had an MRI of my head performed on Wednesday, and Dr Norman has communicated that it looms great. The lymphoma appears to be responding well to the treatment.

In a few weeks we’ll be meeting with a doctor at the SCCA that specializes in transplants to gather a recommendation on next steps after treatment. These lymphomas have shown themselves to be tricky, and it might take a stem-cell transplant to get me a chance of a long-term remission (or even cure).

I was to get my next dose of DepoCyt delivered intrathecally on Friday, but we had to postpone it as I forgot to start the pre-medication (Dexamethasone) on Thursday. For some reason I had started thinking that the Dex was pre-medication for the methotrexate. It turns out that administering DepoCyt without the pre-medication can cause seizures (among other unpleasant side-effects). I’ve started the Dex now and we’ll roll the treatment into the rest of the party on Monday.

Tomorrow we start round three.

From → Treatment Phase

  1. Karen permalink

    Not to mention that they GAVE you the lethal dose without knowing whether you could get the antidote!!!!!!!! Sheesh!

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