View Full Version : first treatment today

February 21st, 2018, 08:41 PM
Today, we were supposed to be at the oncologist's office at 8 a.m. We went in, they had him all hooked up in a bit and they started the second of a 3 part treatment to help prevent gout. All that went just fine. Then they started the Rituximab (sp?). They started it slow and every half hour or so, they increased the amount going into the IV. About an hour or so into the treatment, he began to get squirmy. I knew his back was aching -- it has been for days now -- and I thought that was what was the problem. Then he started saying his abdomen was aching and then he felt like he was going to be sick. I asked for a pan (they gave him a nifty little bag thing). Then he started shaking (he is never cold). They had four nurses around him, working on him and another rubbing my back (because I am just a big baby and I was crying). They gave him several medicines intravenously and covered him with a couple of blankets, and finally, after about what seemed like an eternity, he stopped shaking. We had been told that this drug could cause a reaction, but you really don't think about it until it actually happens. They also had stopped giving him the drug for awhile, to make sure everything was settled down. About an hour later, they restarted it and he finished that bag without any more problems. But now, instead of going back tomorrow for just the 30 min. dose of the gout drug, he must finish up the rest of the chemo they were not able to give him today. We were there for 8 hours. Phew!! What a day!!! They said there should not be any reaction to the drug tomorrow or in any of the remaining 5 treatments. Fingers crossed!!

There was good news. The spinal tap showed only a few lymphoma cells, so it has probably not gone to his brain yet. Yippee!!!

Again, I want to thank all of you for your words of encouragement and prayers. They mean so much and are helping to get through trying time.


February 21st, 2018, 08:57 PM
My thoughts and prayers are with you both at this time.

February 21st, 2018, 09:38 PM
Thoughts and prayers for both of you. Praying that you both conquer this and kick Cancer's *ss to the curb.

Judy, USMC
February 21st, 2018, 09:44 PM
Thankful that you got some good news ... and hoping there is less reaction to the treatments. Hang in there! Prayers continue.

February 21st, 2018, 09:55 PM
Yes, you spelled Rituximab correctly. :)

The reaction you described is VERY common with the first infusion of Rituximab. If the patient has a lot of lymphoma cells, we say they have a high tumor burden. As those lymphoma cells break down, they release byproducts (called cytokines) into the bloodstream. If a lot of cells are breaking down, which is what happens when you get Rituximab, the cytokines reach a point of critical mass and the patient experiences a reaction. The most common reaction is chills and severe shivering. The shaking/shivering is called rigors (pronounced "rye-gurs"). As you witnessed, rigors are uncomfortable and unpleasant, but are not life-threatening.

The fact that he was able to complete the Rituximab infusion today is very promising. With future doses, the infusion will still be started slowly and the infusion rate increased as he tolerates it. But his tumor burden will be a lot smaller because the first round of chemo destroyed many of those lymphoma cells. So he won't have as many lymphoma cells remaining to cause a reaction.

I'm sure you are both exhausted after such a long day. Tomorrow's infusion will be a lot less exciting -- thank goodness!

And that's wonderful news about the spinal tap results! :icon_woohoo:

February 21st, 2018, 10:06 PM
MSN, how very thoughtful of you to explain all this. If I were in Beth's shoes I would so appreciate your explanation.

Tracie T
February 21st, 2018, 10:07 PM
Thank you for the update. Boy, that sure is a long day! I'll continue to pray and I'm happy to hear you had some good news!

February 21st, 2018, 10:27 PM
Hugs & continued prayers for both of you, Nancy. So thankful that this one is behind you. Thanks for the update.

February 21st, 2018, 11:39 PM
That is the same chemo med my husband got, also called rituxan and he tolerated it really well with hardly any side effects. The first treatment is always the worst because you really don't know what to expect. If you know now what "the worst" is, that makes it a little easier to handle. It sounds like your treatment team is really on top of everything. I was so grateful to those wonderful people who do this every day. Lean on them, they really want to help however they can. Congratulations to you and your husband on making it through this roller coaster of a day!!!

February 22nd, 2018, 12:02 AM
What a day indeed!

Thank you MSN, I appreciated your explanation. When you don't know what's going to happen, it just makes everything scarier.

Nancy, you got through today. Lean on those around you, it sounds like the team is on top of things. They'll be the ones to help you with the medical stuff you're going to be going through.

Continuing to pray for you and yours.

February 22nd, 2018, 12:49 AM
I'm so sorry he had this reaction. Hopefully things will go better going forward.

Before they started, did they give him anti-nausea medication in an IV? That always helped my mother in law and MM. If they do labs once you get there, we figured out after a few weeks that it was much quicker to run to the lab the day before and get it done beforehand. That way we didn't have to wait while they were processed the day of chemo.

February 22nd, 2018, 01:03 AM
I truly what nothing are gong thru. I am thinking and praying for you both. Keep us updated.

Simply Quilting
February 22nd, 2018, 01:47 AM
Thank you for the update. I am glad that he did make it through the first day. Continued prayers.

February 22nd, 2018, 02:19 AM
What a rough day! But also some good news too. Know that we are all here to encourage you.

February 22nd, 2018, 02:41 AM
My heart just aches for you and your husband. Its so hard to watch a love one going through treatment like this. I hope it helps him and I hope the next treatments are easier on him the next time. I wish so they had caught my husbands cancer in time to have treatments for him. My prayers and thoughts are with you and your husband.

Jean Sewing Machine
February 22nd, 2018, 03:44 AM
God love you both! What an exhausting day! Here's hoping and praying things get easier for you both tomorrow.

Star lover
February 22nd, 2018, 08:10 AM
Thankful your first day of treatment is over....thankful also for some great explanations about the whole process (MSN and others). Continuing to lift you both in prayer. Love and hugs!

February 22nd, 2018, 09:29 AM
I know how exhausting this is for you both. There are a lot of ups and downs with cancer treatment. I often say it's an emotional roller coaster. I will continue praying.


February 22nd, 2018, 09:44 AM
Nancy, I hope I am never in your shoes (knock on wood). Sending you both prayers and hugs.

February 22nd, 2018, 11:19 AM
I think it might be harder of you than your DH. You are feeling so helpless and in need of support. We love you and are here for you

February 22nd, 2018, 11:20 AM
Must be so difficult and exhausting but at least there was good news with the spinal tap and the next treatment should go a lot smoother. Prayers will continue for both of you.

February 22nd, 2018, 12:15 PM
Continued prayer for both of you.....

February 22nd, 2018, 05:03 PM
Sending hugs, my thoughts & prayers. God bless you both.

February 23rd, 2018, 02:14 AM
Hope today's treatment went better. Still thinking of you.