Some side effects include low white blood cell count, low platelet count, extreme fatigue, loss of hearing, kidney toxicity, nerve toxicity (resulting in neuropathy), nausea, vomiting, hair loss, and all kinds of other horrible things.
You're not allowed to take other medicines to combat the feeling of these symptoms, aside from phenagran and zofran (anti-nausea). You can't take any NSAIDs, so no ibuprofen, no aleve, no aspirin.
Cisplatin is made from platinum, so he is literally getting metal injected into his veins.
Etoposide is not nearly as bad. It's not nearly as toxic and most common side effects are hair loss, nausea, vomiting, mouth sores, and redness of the skin.
These last 48 hours have been the worst. The absolute worst.
My mom came to our house yesterday to pick him up and take him to the VA for his Neulasta shot. She had told me that when she got here, he struggled to get out of bed and was feeling faint. He went and got his shot, then came right back home and got in the bed. I left work early because I figured he could really use the help. Upon arriving home and heading upstairs to check on him, I was greeted with anger and a short temper. He snapped at me in the first 10 minutes about what kind of tea he wanted. Super awesome.
I know his pain and discomfort was just coming out as anger, but that doesn't mean that it didn't still get to me. He was like the cranky old man at the nursing home that scares all the nurses away. He's just angry about the whole damn thing right now. I don't blame him....but I wish he'd realize that anger isn't going to help.
By the end of the night, I was fed up. I had resigned myself to being there for his health, but I wasn't going to subject myself to anything else. If he needed some water, or jello, or needed the fan turned up or down, I was there. But if he just wanted somebody to be in the room with him....no, I wasn't doing that. I ended up sleeping on the couch because I just couldn't go back in that room if I wasn't directly needed. It's not that I was looking for a "good job taking care of me, honey" or a "thank you"... I just wanted a little respect. I'm doing everything I can to help, and I don't deserve to be yelled at.
Today he's much better (attitude anyway). He wanted toast, jelly, jello, and some watered down gatorade for breakfast. After eating, he made his way to the shower. He then went back to bed for several hours. He came down around 4 and wanted the rest of his sandwich from Thursday. By the time he went back upstairs, he had finished off his entire bottle of Gatorade and the last of his sandwich. He still is not experiencing any bone pain, but that may still be coming.
I helped him get upstairs and get settled in bed at 7. He then talked about how this has been the absolute worst 24 hours. He mentioned that his nurse said every cycle will be worse than the one before it. "I've got two more cycles...how will I ever get through them?"
I don't know, honey. I don't know.
I thought taking care of a child by myself was the hardest thing I've ever endured. Guess what? This is so much harder. It's hard for me, its hard for Aria....and it's the absolute hardest on Dave.
This whole damn thing sucks. This year can't end soon enough.