Thursday, February 15, 2007

Bexxar

Okay, some catching up to do ....

On the last day of January Mom and I moved from Potter's House (the bed & breakfast of transplant patients) to the Nebraska House (the Embassey Suites of transplant patients) to get ready for my Bexxar (Bexxar is, essentially, a radiated version of Rituxan, a chemo drug that was part of my protocol last summer) treatment. Since I was going to be radioactive for the next two weeks the manager of Potter's House decided it would be best if I isolated myself as much as possible so as not to incite panic among the other residents when a glowing guest shared their bathroom. The move really wasn't so bad ... we moved from a house about four blocks away to a hotel in the hospital building that, if you've been keeping an eye on Nebraska weather lately, has been more than convenient (who doesn't love rolling out of bed, pulling on sweats and heading down for an MRI?).

The actual Bexxar procedure isn't so difficult and has few side-effects. It's much like going in for chemotherapy (technically speaking). The procedure is done over two days, a week apart. Six people (two from radiation oncology, two from radiation safety, one from x-ray and the nurse) arrive with a cart holding a lead-coated vile of radio-active Rituxan. Over the next two hours I would get a mixture of saline and Bexxar then go home. The first week was the "Cold" dose - they gave me 5 mci (milli-currie -- named after Marie Currie) as a tracer dose to located the tumor and to see how much radiation I retained over the course of the week so they could determine the correct dose to give me. The following Friday and Monday one of the radiation safety guys came to the room and checked out the radiation levels with a Geiger Counter. Interesting fact #239: My mother, who was sleeping ten feet away, got the equivalent of a dental x-ray the first two nights after the Cold dose!

I got the Hot dose the following Thursday. This time they infused me with 65 mic of Bexxar! All that radiation will hopefully find it's way to the tumor and kill whatever is left. Meanwhile, the fatigue and the abdominal pains I developed the first week got worse. And all I could do was use The Today Show, The View and What Not to Wear (I draw the line at Ten Years Younger which comes on right after) as a bad distraction.

8 Comments:

Blogger jon berry said...

Holy Cow! Tresnobyl!!! (Tres Mile Island?) okay, maybe thats not funny... (do you really glow?) :) Hope all that hot and cold makes things just right!

1:47 AM  
Anonymous Mark Will said...

Hmmm...does this mean you'll now have superpowers??? You should audition for HEROS or somethingw when this is all over!! :) Hang in there Tres!!!

Mark

7:10 AM  
Blogger Ron said...

You can save a small fortune on night lights now!

Take good care and keep up the good progress. We're cheering for you.

8:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

GLOW ON! Kill that sucker! LA

1:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is really getting sci-fi...
Can't wait to see the new, glowing you!

Ann

3:45 AM  
Blogger johnsallot said...

I'm thinking this would make a great Dragstrip performance! Delight becomes a light!

John

10:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tres - keep up the good work! Its good to hear some of these "glowing" reports!

Love Amanda

6:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am wondering what new-found super-powers you will get from your radiation doses a la Stan Lee. I think I would prefer invisibility. Super-human strength is overrated.

-c.l.mayfield

9:47 AM  

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