Cycle 5 has been very much like the previous cycles. In the hospital the nurses all know me and stop by my room to say hi even if they are not assigned to me. The routine is the same. I had an Echocardiogram while I was in the hospital. Chemo is hard on the heart so they have to monitor my heart during my treatment as well.
Due to the severe anemia following cycle 4, my doctor decreased my chemo dosage back to level 3. Her reasoning was that she knows I can tolerate level 3 well and that level 4 has reached toxicity for me. I am pretty sure that means they were looking for the highest dosage I could tolerate without so many adverse side effects I could not recover for the next round. We found it.
I also learned more about the PET scan results. They were different this time because they were read by a different doctor. But, the results still show the tumor is shrinking (good) and the activity as shown by the brightness is also decreasing (also good). This last one is what they are really watching. I asked why the results were not as dramatic this time and was told that the first few rounds of chemo kill the easy to kill cancer cells. Now we are working on yhe more aggressive cancer cells and they are harder to kill. So, I am making progress but I am not out of the woods yet.
Side effects are still really minimal. I still have minor peripheral neuropathy, but it has not worsened. I sill have a bitter taste in my mouth most of the time. That is worse while I am getting the chemo. Sucking on lemon drops helps. I am mildly anemic at this point so I have fatigue and some muscle weakness but not too bad. Honestly, I cannot complain because the side effects could have been much worse.
Cycle 5 is done. One more and I am done with chemo. WooHoo!