I'm just going to do a quick post about what's happening in terms of my treatment in the next few days.
On Wednesday and Thursday, the 3rd and 4th of February, I have to do a second round of stem-cell harvesting. The doctors weren't able to get as many stem cells as they needed, so they have to get some more so they have enough to successfully complete the latter part of the treatment (see my earlier post). The doctors weren't concerned with the fact that they weren't able to get enough cells during the first harvest. Me having had chemotherapy and radiation from the first tumor means that my body already produces less stem cells than the average person, so the doctors weren't surprised that I needed to have a second harvest. In total, the doctors want to have at least 2 million stem cells, and they got 1.35 million from the first harvest, so they should have enough after this second harvest.
On Friday, the 5th of February, I start my second round of regular dose chemotherapy. As with my first round, I'm going to be in the hospital for the whole duration so that they can monitor me. Because I had a reaction to the Ifosfamide from the first round and they don't want to use it anymore, I am going to be getting a new combination of medicines. As opposed to the Ifosfamide, Carboplatin, and Etoposide I received last time, this time I'm getting Cisplatin and Etoposide. Cisplatin is a related drug to Carboplatin, it is just a little more aggressive, and thus a little more toxic. So the side effects of the Cisplatin will probably be similar to the side effects of Carboplatin, just a little worse. The nasty long term side effects that Cisplatin is infamous for (hearing loss, kidney problems) occur in patients who have multiple rounds of treatment with it, I'm just having one, so no one is too worried about that. Also, to prevent the chemo from sitting in my kidneys, I'm going to have to have a lot of fluid replacement, which conflicts with me taking my medication for my Diabetes Insipidus, so I'll probably be in a similar situation to the last round of chemo where I have to have a catheter just so I don't have to get up to pee every hour.
I'm going to be receiving the chemo over the course of 5 days, so I'll be in the hospital at least through Tuesday, but hopefully everything goes smoothly and I can leave soon after that. I'll try and post some kind of update as soon as I can afterwards. I'm prepared for it, and I'm going to make sure they keep me full of anti-nausea medicine, keep my fingers crossed and hope for the best. Wish me luck!