Monday, February 18, 2008

On the A/C

Old hands at the cancer ranch already know this, but the first part of my regimen is known by a shorthand: "A/C." "Are you on A/C? I'm on A/C."

This stands for Adriamycin and Cytoxan, which are brand names for the cancer drugs. They both make your hair fall out and make you feel like shit. I find the abbreviations kind of funny. In-group slang for cancer patients. What would a sociologist make of this, I wonder?

Anyway, my next infusion was Feb. 7. I had a different nurse this time who decided to give me my Aloxi (anti-emetic) in an IV push instead of in a drip. Whoa, head rush, and it was not nice, and it didn't stop for about three days. I really barked at my oncologist last week about this, I think it was just the nurse wanting to rush my treatment and get off her shift (I now have chemo on Thursday afternoons at 1:30). A lot of good her efficiency did. I had to wait a goodly while for my Adriamycin anyway, head spinning. I was told there was a new guy who was preparing the drugs and thus, the backlog (oh, yay, beautiful). Finally, I said, "Where is my Big Red? Gimme my Big Red!"

This crimson poison has been around for ages, and even a little reading online seems to say that one day the medical community is gonna back off this stuff for some folks and go to a less heinous drug. Or even skip chemotherapy when it really isn't necessary. Of course, you want to hedge your bets with something as wily as cancer, but after this last round of chemo, I kept thinking, "THERE HAS GOT TO BE A BETTER WAY."

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