Move Over Wheaties

There’s a new breakfast of champions……

And this is what a week looks like…….

I started my new treatment, Capecitabine, last Wednesday evening.  It is 7 pills with food morning and evening.  The doses are supposed to be 12 hours apart but that is a little tricky as I am not about to start having breakfast at 7 am.  The current plan is a 3 week cycle, 2 weeks of pills then a week of no pills.
The fun will increase when I add Lapatinib to the regimen.  Five pills either an hour before or an hour after a low-fat meal.  And I’m supposed to take it at the same time every day. Hmmm.
I’m not giving up good breakfasts or good dinners so neither of those meals work.  I guess that means pills with lunch……except I’m too inactive so I don’t eat lunch very often.  Lunch of celery here I come.

I have known several people that have been on Capecitabine.  Many have had a lot of trouble with side effects, in particular hand and foot syndrome and mouth sores.  Because of all the potential problems with side effects the plan is to figure out my Capecitabine side effects with this 1st cycle and determine the best dose for me.
We can do all kinds of dose adjustments as the pills are 2 sizes, 500 mg and 150 mg.  I am currently on 1750 mg per dose.  If necessary that can get dropped to as low as 1000 mg per dose or anywhere in between.  The cycle can also be changed.  I know of people that have done 1 week on, 1 week off.  There is so much more flexibility with pills instead of iv dosing.
With the Capecitabine dose under control the Lapatinib will be added with cycle 2.  The two drugs in combination can create a whole new side effect monster.  Apparently I could get angina or heart failure but I will hope for the best.  There’s a rare genetic mutation that makes a person unable to process Capecitabine causing them to almost immediately experience the most extreme versions of all the major possible side effects of the drug yet getting no positive cancer killing effects.  Sounded peachy.  I didn’t have that so I’m really hopeful I won’t have a massive heart attack or anything when I start the Lapatinib.

I am now one week into my 1st Capecitabine cycle and I haven’t experienced any side effects.  I know that side effects can increase as the amount of drug in my system increases but the no side effect thing freaks me out.  Am I just taking a mouthful of placebos twice a day?  I have always felt that having side effects is just a little confirmation that, yes, I am taking the right drug.
If anything this morning I had this vague sensation that the neuropathy in my left hand was slightly better than it has been for a while.  WTH????
The other, more obvious way to tell if I am taking the right drug is that there is improvement in my symptoms.  There might be?  Maybe? IDK.
Well, I guess slightly, perhaps.  I can sleep in bed again.  I don’t have to be mostly upright on the couch.  That is good.  And I can even sleep on my side for a little while if I prop up my fat arm a bit.
The bumps seem to be decreasing in some areas but I think they may still be spreading slightly in other areas.  I took some pictures a couple days ago and I will take more in a week and compare them.  That will give a definite answer to how much, if any, change there is.
The pictures made me think of a pale elephant with small pox 😱

So for now, the official report is……on a new treatment.  Still alive.

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