Thursday, May 17, 2007

A Bit About XELOX

Here’s a bit about my chemo using XELOX.. Always something new for you and me, of course..

XELOX is a kind of new chemotherapy thing (Well, not so new I guess. I heard it’s been around for the past 2 years.). It is actually a combination of Xeloda + Oxaliplatin. Hint hint! That’s where they get the name.

Using this chemo combination means less going to hospital because with XELOX patients are getting infusion of Oxaliplatin for 2 hours and the patients can go home and take the oral Xeloda pill for 14 days (in my case). Isn’t that convenient? What more is that they say that this treatment is pretty good to handle metastatic colorectal cancer – like what I have now! WOW.. Yippiiiiieeeee…

Before I started using this treatment, the doctor told me not to take or drink anything cold as I may experience tingling and numbness in the palms of my hands or my feet. He said something about hand and foot syndrome, so I guess that’s what they are. He also told me that I might have difficulties in playing piano while on this treatment since my fingers would all be numb. Was I going to cry? Yes! I was devastated. Playing piano is my way of having fun and my source of living. What do I do about it? FIGHT! Practice practice practice! I don’t wait until the numbness comes to start practicing and exercising my fingers on the piano even though I feel easily tired when sitting in front of my piano. Just play as usual. I haven’t felt the numbness, yet, and this is my 6th day on Xelox already. So, I hope it’s a good sign.
As for tingling, well, I already had that on my first 2-day of treatment but then it disappeared. So, I guess these were just temporary – or probably I should not experience this at all. The first time I had this when I just had my Oxaliplatin infused. I took a first drink of mineral water just outside the hospital. The water was at room temperature, but when I took a sip my mouth ... brrrrr… that’s what tingling feels like. No wonder the doctor told me not to drink anything cold. I could already feel it in my mouth, imagine that in your body! But that’s not only in my mouth, apparently, but also in other part of my body such as the vagina. Well, kind of embarrassing to tell. But it’s the truth. After I pee in the airport’s toilet, as usual I had to clean up. With just toilet paper was not enough. Pretty disgusting, I have to say. So, I took my drink, which I just bought from the sushi bar at the airport, and started to clean up when all of a sudden my vagina start to feel tingling as I begun to clean up. It’s like I was just pouring cold water from Antarctica down to my vagina!! Ugh… So bad experience.

I started to take Xeloda at home. The side effect couldn’t be seen until the next day, but the nurses at the hospital warned me that I’d have diarrhoea, dizzy. I’d also experience nausea and vomiting. Before I left the hospital, they also gave me 2 kinds of medicines just in case I have nausea and vomiting, and diarrhoea. I did experience this at home couple hours after I took my first Xeloda. I even lost appetite. Whenever I see food I just want to vomit. Luckily, I have not vomited yet. With me, they’re gone as I reached my 6th day taking Xeloda. What’s still there is the lost appetite, but whenever I feel hungry I try to eat as much as I can even though it’s just a bit or two.

Well, this is just my experience taking Xeloda.
If you’re interested – and ONLY if you’re interested - to know more about this Xeloda pill I’m taking, go to drug information: Xeloda


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