Okay boys and girls, here’s the vocabulary lesson for next week. These unpronounceable pharmaceuticals will soon be injected into my personal regions as the chemo cocktail with the acronym RICE:
Rituximab (ri TUK si mab) – a monoclonal antibody that works by targeting the CD20 antigen on B-cells. This wonder drug was also the R in my R CHOP chemo.
Ifosfamide (eye-FOSS-fa-mide) – an alkylating agent chemically related to the nitrogen mustards. Used for recurring cancers. Can cause hemorrhagic cystitis (bladder irritation).
Carboplatin (KAR-bow-plah-tin) – cytotoxic alkylating agent that causes a dramatic decrease in the blood cell and platelet output of bone marrow. Used in preparation for stem cell transplants.
Etoposide (e-TOE-poe-side) – a.k.a. VP-16, is a type of topoisomerase inhibitor that blocks certain enzymes needed for cell division and DNA repair. And it may even kill cancer cells.
This particular chemo regime is used in preparation for stem cell transplants and I will be getting two rounds of it, three weeks apart. It is a bit more toxic than R CHOP and requires being hospitalized for 3-4 days.
This will be my first hospital stay since I had my tonsils out over fifty years ago. I’ve been extremely fortunate in the health department, having gone over HALF A CENTURY WITHOUT SPENDING A SINGLE NIGHT IN A HOSPITAL BED!
How many of you can say that!