My Brother the Chemo Kid

Continuing the story I’d previously continued here.

My brother is home from the hospital after his first chemotherapy treatment, which was quick and easy if you ignore the six hours of waiting around we did first. He was treated with vincristine, doxorubicin and cyclophosphamide/mesna, and the whole thing took less than an hour and a half. He then had to stay in the hospital for 24 hours to be rehydrated. My mom and I visited and my father stayed with him the whole time, and he’s now resting and playing with the new puppy who arrived Monday afternoon. He felt fine during the treatment and is apparently experiencing a little bit of nausea but is generally ok. I know it’s going to get worse, but I found it to be an encouraging start.

Incidentally I actually hated “The Chemo Kid,” but was stumped on a thread title. :stuck_out_tongue:

Glad to hear he seems to be tolerating it well. I hope you and your family have a happy Thanksgiving.

And WOOHOO! on that pup!!

Do you have pics of the new puppy? What’s his name?

You can call your brother “Yul” or “Kojak” when he loses his hair.


I’m glad it’s starting off well, Marley. And I hope your brother gets totally cured and fixed up and is able to go back to being a normal obnoxious teenager in the very near future!

My sincerest wish is that he’s your Cancer Free Brother very, very soon.

Got three of them here, here and here. His name is Jack, like his predecessor. He weighs about 9 pounds now, but a year from now he’ll be up around 75 pounds.

Being 16, he would not get either of those refrences. :wink: Options he’d actually get might include Homer, Patrick Stewart, and Stan Sitwell. If we get to that point I’ll be very careful about it. If I really wanted to piss him off I’d call him [Dad] Jr. :wink:

I guess it didn’t occur to me that he might feel good during the chemo and only start feeling crappy after, because he’s admitted to puking a few times today. On the positive side I suppose that clears out more room for a big meal tomorrow. Ever since he regained the ability to eat on his own, I swear he hasn’t missed a bite.

Just a thought, but now you can get Miracle Berry tablets on thinkgeek dot com. They’re pretty inexpensive, and a few chemo patients do find that they help with “chemo mouth.” A while back, after a thread on here about miracle fruit, I bought some for fun at home, and we had some leftover, since I knew the CEO here was undergoing chemo, I offered the left overs to him, and they helped him a lot.

Wow, those sound very cool. During Monday’s treatment he drank a little tea and had a few sour altoids, the taste didn’t seem to bother him very much. (I assume doxorubicin has the strongest taste out of all these drugs but I don’t know for sure.) Either way it’s a good idea and he may need some variety.

His obnoxiousness, incidentally, hasn’t gone anywhere. He’s punching my dad more often than ever, probably because my dad is attempting to be more of a goof than ever. They do their thing and it’s hard for anybody else to understand why. :stuck_out_tongue:

Oh- yesterday afternoon, he got a visit from Jose Reyes, which was pretty cool. We’re a family of Yankee fans, but that was a neat thing.

I am not an onc nurse, but it’s my understanding that the day of chemo is no biggie–it’s the 2-5 days afterwards that suck.

You could call him the Better Living Through Chemicals Kid, but it doesn’t trip off the tongue. Any reason all dogs are named Jack? Just curious. (cute pup)

True. Kind of appropriate for him in its way, though. We’ll see.

We’ve got three dogs now: Maggie (English Springer Spaniel, age 4), Brodie (Gordon Setter, 10) and Jack. Earlier this month my family adopted a full-grown Gordon who we were alternately calling Jack and Moose, but that ended swiftly and sadly, so they decided on raising a puppy- even though they adopted Brodie and M/J exactly to avoid the mess of having a puppy. It felt fitting that this fella was also named Jack, so they decided to keep the name, which they hadn’t done for the two adopted dogs.

What is it with English Springer Spaniels and the name Maggie? That’s the third one I’ve heard of…

Make it four. The name suits them, though.

It just fits somehow, and my brothers shot down all of my mom’s suggestions. Unfortunately this dog is more Maggie Thatcher than, say, Princess Margaret or even Maggie Simpson.

Good to hear things are going ok!

And for nausea, if the regular meds don’t keep it under control, you might have him try some ginger candy. It helped my brother fight the chemo nausea so well he took it in lieu of the prescribed nausea medication (after consulting with the doc).

Second chemo session was today. It was an outpatient treatment with just the vincristine, which takes about a minute. Now my brother is off for the next week, and two weeks from now he’ll start the second cycle, which is a five-day stay in the hospital followed by two weeks off, and then some scans to evaluate his progress.

It’s been a rough week. He was sick four or five times Wednesday and couldn’t keep down anything but Gatorade. At one point Thursday, he got so exhausted he needed help getting up off the floor. Then he was sick some more on Friday and Saturday. We’ve talked to the doctors about looking out for any issues with the doses.

We’re trying the ginger candy, RJKUgly, so thanks for the suggestion. He doesn’t like the taste but maybe it’ll come in handy during that long treatment.

Be vigilant against people that are starting to get sick. To many just don’t get what a suppressed immune system means.

Dittoing this. I had to grab the collar of my cousin and yank her back from the door when she was on her way in to visit grandpa a few weeks ago. (His cancer has spread to the bone marrow and while he’s in alright form, he knows he’s waiting to go.) She was snuffling all the way in to the nursing home - I didn’t think she actually meant to go in when she came with us, but when she didn’t stop it was yank-back time. She honestly didn’t think twice about it and felt really bad when I’d reminded her of it, and actually thanked me for doing it.

We’ve had a lot of conversations about that - it was part of the school or no school debate, for one thing, and a minor factor in the whole situation with my mom’s nephews. Nobody has been very clear about the practical implications of what chemo might do to his immune system. NYU, for example, advised us that it was fine if he went to school, he should just avoid people who were coughing or sneezing - as if you can readily avoid anyone when you’re one of hundreds of kids roaming the hallways between classes!

That puppy has some big ole paws! So cute!

NYU is whacked! I only have two classes and they are late afternoon/evening, and I’d still think twice about attending either with a compromised immune system.