Sunday, September 1, 2013

My first experience of the chemotherapy room

Time for another blog update, I guess.  I hope this doesn't go the way of my old journal, which I wrote in furiously for about six months, then abandoned completely for ten years.

Anyhow . . . I had the Zometa infusion about ten days ago.  That's the bone strengthening drug my oncologist is recommending I have once a month for a couple years.  Otherwise the bones are starting to get holes in them (literally), and this can heal the holes and prevent future ones.  It's something they also give for osteoporosis, only it's done more intensively here, as an IV infusion once a month, a high dose.  So I read up about this a whole bunch, and asked all the folks on the Myeloma page on Facebook their experiences, which were mostly positive.  There can be some very rare very nasty side effects, but overall, it's worth the risk not to have my bones spontaneously fracturing from holes in them.

I thought I'd gotten off easily with regards any immediate side effects as I felt mostly fine that evening, but boy the next day it was like I had the worst of flu's, could barely get out of bed, and was running a temperature all day long.  But by the following day I was almost back to normal.  So I'll see Dr. W in a few weeks and discuss progress, schedule the next one etc.

What was weird about it though was this infusion was done in the chemotherapy room at the oncologist's office, along with the other folks having chemo that day.  It was kind of an interesting atmosphere, some people only wanted to read and listen to their headsets (the chemo infusions can last quite a few hours), but others were into talking, so it was kind of a party atmosphere in a way. 

So I'm sitting there reading Wheat Belly, a book about the dangers of modern wheat, and this lovely volunteer is going around to the folks in the chairs passing out snacks, which are either cookies or candy.  I just cannot BELIEVE they would be feeding people sugar as they are having chemotherapy!?  I mean, WHAT is that about?  Everyone knows that cancer feeds on sugar, so they are literally feeding it with one hand and killing it with the other.  This doctor's office is so clueless  about diet sometimes that it amazes me.  They also have a big jar of hard candy in their reception area, more than one actually, and I mentioned that to them once, that perhaps this wasn't the best thing to be having around people with cancer, and they just said people's mouths get dry.  At the very least, they could have sugar free candies, and pass out some sort of snack that has no sugar, such as packaged nuts or something?  What about some nice fresh raw carrot and celery sticks?  Surely that wouldn't be too hard for the volunteer to arrange?  The level of ignorance when it comes to diet in a normal medical establishment is truly astounding.

Either that or they do know and just don't care because it keeps up the profits to keep giving people chemo, which would be creepy and evil beyond belief.  Suffice it to say I will be foregoing the jelly bellies during future infusions.  The phasing in of the keto diet is going okay, I'll post about that later.


  1. Maybe the doctor could scale back the dosage a little bit, so the side effect won't hit you so hard next time?


    1. Thanks, Terri, I will be asking him that very thing in the appt. before the next infusion. Also, maybe if we could space the doses a little further apart than once a month. It does seem to be doing my bones some good, though, as they had been starting to hurt a little and now they don't. A day with the flu is a small price to pay for that.

  2. So very true about the attitude that continue's to prevail in hospitals unfortunately. If only more time and money was invested into re-educating people on the importance of diet in our daily lives. Also, it is a sad fact that the medical world seem to ignore the danger that sugar poses to us, that it is what helps disease our bodies and encourage the perfect condition to promote ill health.

    Thank you Joy for reminding us of the most obvious and basic points of life that we tend to overlook.