Tuesday, March 6, 2012

1 Week Post-Adcetris

I am really late in making my one week report on the chemo effects!  I went in to see the docs last Thursday and I had a goal to write up a post that night and have it published no later than Friday afternoon...  I can't even tell you why it didn't work out!  Except maybe that I seem to be having a little chemo-brain side effect going on? 

The appointment with Doc Mato and Mary went really well.  I love going in to see them and seeing smiles on their faces and hearing genuine care and concern!  Dr. Mato even took a pic with his phone for me since I forgot to take my camera-

Mato, Mary, and Me- My favorites!
The check up was just to see how my blood levels were doing a week after chemo and to make sure I was handling the new drug well enough.  I was all set to leave when I remembered to ask about the results of my blood test for the JC/PML virus antibodies (remember that brain-deteriorating virus that Adcetris has been found to reactivate in 3 of the drug recipients?)  WELL,  Mato and Mary came walking into the exam room with worried looks on their faces... turns out I DO have the antibodies and have been exposed to the virus, which means I'm at risk.   My reaction...?  Laughing!!  Seriously?  Do I really have to deal with that worry on top of everything else?!  Ha!  I got a kick out of seeing Mato and Mary's faces too- they probably thought I was going to break down crying (it's been known to happen in front of them, but can you blame me with the news they've occasionally had to give me?)  I did receive some comfort- Adcetris has worked for thousands of patients (who weren't tested for the virus antibodies) without any serious adverse affects and as long as my immune system is relatively strong I should be fine.  No brain eating virus for me! :)

Aside from that little hiccup I have been doing quite well!  The side effects I have had from Adcetris/Brentuximab Vedotin include the increased mind fog, fatigue, aching body for a few days, about two days of stomach cramps and a couple surprise trips to the restroom.  From what I've researched online I should continue to experience side effects most strongly the week after chemo, but not necessarily the same side effects each time (other than the continued fatigue and mind fog).  The following two weeks should be pretty calm before heading in for the next treatment.  I've read so many different accounts of how people feel after this drug that I don't even want to try and plan for the next chemo!  It seems to be different for everyone!  However, the one thing it does appear to have in common across the board is the "lighter" less severe effects when compared with traditional chemo.  Yay!!  It does seem odd though that I'm in a more serious position this 3rd time around but the treatment regimen is so much easier for my body to handle!

Meanwhile, life has been crazy busy and continues to feel like it's flying by.  Last weekend was full of watching and playing with kids, helping people move, trying to unpack my own home, a Primary Pajama party, church, and visitors, with a little bit of reading and down time thrown in there somewhere.  This next weekend won't be any less crazy than the last, but we enjoy staying busy when we're spending time together as a family.  I'm also really looking forward to my BFF Taryl coming out on Monday for a week to help me with the next chemo on the 15th.  I've never been so excited to go sit and wait at the hospital for chemo, we'll have a great time!

Yeah that's right- we are all three in footie pajamas!!


  1. Love the Pj's! You all look so cute! They look good on ya! :) I'm so excited to come out and play... and take you to hospital... I will go where you go... or where you tell me to go. whatever. c ya soon! YAY!!!!

  2. You look wonderful Tessa...truly! And we miss your smile in Cache Valley :)
    Dr. Kirkman

  3. Thanks for sharing you story. My son is also receiving SGN-35 and he is doing well. A few side affects, but nothing like previous rounds of chemo. You have a beautiful family!!