Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Zometa and Herceptin

If I had twin girls, I would have named them Zometa and Herceptin.  They would have been lovely little girls who played the violin, but who only loved each other.  Herceptin, Hessie for short,  would be the easy-going one, cheerful and happy, while Zometa (no nickname) would have the tendency to be loud  and throw tantrums.   They would have remained spinsters for life, eventually becoming hoarders who - unlike their mother - would not be freaked out by spider webs.

I went to visit the twins today -  I mean, I got my Herceptin and Zometa infusion.  I like all my infusion nurses, but I decided that I need to ask for Joe from now on. Not only is he funny, but he is the only one able to access my veins without causing me to look like little Zometa beat me up.

I may not look like I've been beat up, but I think the girl got me to a bit.  I have a headache now, and I feel a bit woozy and nauseated.  The main side effect of this medication is bone pain (to which this regular tamoxifen user says:  what else is new?) and a sometimes a fever and flu symptoms.

During the infusion, there was a very strong chemical smell.  I kept  looking around the room to see if anybody else was wrinkling their nose and sniffing for spilled drugs, but no, it was just me.  I was experiencing a phantom smell.  I also had that old familiar metal taste like when I got chemo - ah memories.   I missed it so.

I told Joe about my bad mammogram, and that I would be having a diagnostic mammogram/sonogram next week.  You might think I was bringing it up for sympathy (always welcome), but in reality, I wanted to know at what point, if it's a new cancer, I would need to tell my oncologist.  Last time I saw surgeons first.   But, if it is a new primary cancer, that would mean my chemo may not be effective so he might want to be clued in early.   Joe seemed to think he should be involved immediately, even before any biopsy was done, which surprised me.  I now have an appointment to see him for next week.

Next week, my nephews are visiting.  I went from only having a MUGA during their visit, to now having a MUGA, a sonogram, a diagnostic mammogram, and an oncology appointment.  All on different days.

What a great Auntie I am!  I am going to show those boys a good time!

After all this - I'm going to be pretty embarrassed if the tests come back negative.

And, I hope I'm mightily embarrassed.

Little Zometa is acting up, I better go lie down.


  1. Wait a second, did you just personify two drugs?

    I hope you're mightily embarrassed too. Sending lots of good vibes your way!

  2. You know, it's only because I, too, have been through this (the Herceptin infusions, the endless MUGA scans, doctor visits, etc.) that I can truly laugh at your posts, especially this one! Thanks for making me chuckle at your humor and sarcasm! I SO know just how you feel!

    Hang in there, and I hope your visit with your nephews goes well.

  3. I'm on the zometa schedule myself - I get it every 3 months for a 2 year period - I've had it once so far, and dose 2 is this week. I didn't realize til reading this post that you were getting it too...have you had any side effects?

  4. Hi Julie,

    The day of Zometa I felt pretty terrible. It's hard to describe but I was light-headed and floaty and my head hurt. The next day I had a headache. I wake up each morning feeling like a truck hit me, from tamoxifen, and on Zometa I felt like the truck was pulling a full load. But, it resolved quickly and I was fine after that. I was lucky, I know some people feel bad for a few days, have flu symptoms and fever and toothaches. I didn't. Have you?


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