This Should Be Interesting/ Juggling Cancer Meds

Anyone with a chronic disease will understand this issue. Trying to keep track of the various medications as well as a regular life of meals and activities can be a serious juggling act.

I had a teaching appointment today to learn about new medications I am starting. I am starting new meds because recent tests showed advancement which means the last drug wasn’t working anymore. For most people new meds means a trip to the pharmacy and maybe a couple minutes with the pharmacist. With cancer it means;

1. Someone in the Oncology unit checking and helping to find funding for the more expensive meds. (Even with 80% covered under my plan the cost would have been well over $100)

2. A blood test to be sure it is safe to start.

3. Meeting with an oncology nurse specialist to go over the new medication (one hour appointment)

4. Getting the meds, some from my local pharmacy and some by delivery from special pharmacies.

5. Figuring out the schedule for taking the meds.

6. Taking meds and staying aware of side effects as well as trying to eat well etc.

For me the biggest issue is scheduling. So, calcium tablets cannot be taken with other meds as they reduce the efficacy. Calcium 2 times/day. Then there is the one that has to be taken on an empty stomach, 2 hours after eating or 1 hour before…or is it the other way around? There is one which can be taken either with or without food, but if with food it has to be a low fat meal…no the low fat thing is the other one. Then there is the mouth rinse 4 times/day for 2 minutes followed by 1 hour of no food or drink. This gets added to my other meds which are less finicky.

I think I have it figured out now, I start tomorrow.

Moving forward

Image-1 (2)Hi all, I think it is time to update you on my progress. As you know, I have finished with chemo, surgery, and radiation. On Tuesday I began to take two new medications; Letrozole and Ibrance (Palbociclib).

Letrozole is a medication to take every day which works to reduce the amount of Estrogen in my system. Estrogen encourages the growth of cancer cells, so less estrogen is a good thing.

Ibrance (Palbociclib) is a medication to take every day for three weeks, and then take a week off. This one aims to keep certain cancer cells from dividing. It is a newer drug than Letrozole and is still being studied. Approved for sale and use for specific purposes, the company has been asked to do further study to show what the drug actually does. I am a part of that trial.

Overall, the goal is to keep any stray cancer cells from developing further. There is a whole list of possible side effects for both drugs, but so far (3 days) I am not noticing anything.

 

For more information on Letrozole check out Letrozole by Teva

For more information on Ibrance check outĀ About IbranceĀ