Palbociclib Chemotherapy

Posted 19/11/2018

I have just started my second treatment of the new anti cancer drug Palbociclib. As with all medications, especially chemotherapy drugs, there are side effects. I have had worse but they still had a negative impact on my daily life. The problem starting medication like this is that you do not know what side effects you will get until you get them.

Ibrance Palbociclib 125mgIbrance Palbociclib 125mg

I spent time reading forums of those who were on the initial trial, plus those who had started recent treatment. Like most things, side effects varied greatly between people, some hardly having any effects at all, others had devastating side effects and some even having to end taking the medication. There was also a difference in the effectiveness of the treatment. Time will tell with me I guess.

During my previous 2 years after breast cancer I had been on a Zoladex injection plus a daily Letrozole tablet which was “supposed” to stop or inhibit the return of the cancer. When I found out how much bone cancer I had, my first reaction was that the treatment I had been on wasn’t really doing much! I felt really let down. So, right now, my hopes are all on this new treatment.

I went to the Darlington Memorial Hospital on Friday 12th October 2018 to pick up my medications. You have to have regular blood tests before and during treatment. I picked up my Palbociclib, plus anti sickness tablets as well as my new chemotherapy record. Looking in my book, it showed my blood test results. These were to have the biggest impact in my treatment.

My baseline blood results were:
Hb          145
WBC      6.8
Plts        266
Neuts    4.0

It was on the Friday evening I would begin my treatment. Looking at the list of side effect, my heart sank again, dreading if I would get even more hair loss. Palbociclib has to be taken with food at the same time every day. As I work shifts, the only reality of me taking food at a regular time is about 7pm when I get tea, it is the only regular timed meal I have.

You take Palbociclib alongside other medications, in my case Letozole, for 21 days then get 7 days off to rest and recover then begin again. (It was like being back on the pill!) I was to have a follow up blood test 2 weeks later on the 24th October then another on 7th of November before my next hospital appointment for my next meds on the 9th November.

So that night, I took my first tablet, along with my Letrozole and the supplements I take for my hair, nails and joints. Saturday morning I didn’t feel too bad. At this point I did nit take anti sickness as I don’t take medications unless I really need to take them. I prefer to see what I need at fist then by the next round I would hopefully have things in place. Saturday passed by without any bother, took my second tablet that evening and went to bed, quite late if I recall.

Sunday morning, OH MY GOD! Did I feel sick! I got up, fed my cats, took my anti sickness and went back to bed! I felt awful! It took me until about 3pm that afternoon to finally feel alive. I had tried getting up a couple of other times but ended back in bed, motion sickness, just being upright, never mind walking! So I was on, and needed anti sickness tablets. I can deal with that.

Went to work Monday morning, had a problem at work that basically knocked me back so hard, it actually put me in depression. I ended up being sent to the doctor by my son and ended up with a sick note for a week and due back the following week. I was to be closely monitored during this first chemo course. The rest of the week I was tired, and very, very down. One of the other side effects was depression, so was it a side effect of an after effect of what had happened at work.

After struggling through the first week, I went back to the doctors where it was decided I would stay off for the following 2 weeks until I had finished the initial course and take it from there. The second week it went from sickness to a really, really bad stomach ache! Well you are limited to what over the counter medications you can take on chemo and I had just about run out when I decided to take some Wilko anti diarrhoea tablets, they finally worked!

Another odd thing I developed was very itchy eyes with some blurred and double vision. Unsure if this was related, a little bit of research online on the forums found others had mentioned a similar thing. I was due to see Callum, who actually prescribes the medications at the hospital, the next day so I added this to me question list. I came home with eye drops that seemed to help with that, so by end of the course I was sorted, so I thought.

Had my bloods taken on the 7th November and toddled back to the hospital on the Friday to pick up my meds. I was tired, VERY tired, but put this down to the effects of the chemo. Waiting in the ward, the nurse came over and said I needed yet another blood test! My Neuts had dropped and they needed to do another test. It had dropped agaon. 0.96. I could not have my meds. I had to have another blood test the following Tuesday and go back to see them the following Thursday.

I was on my knees, I was so physically and mentally tired, I was also at severe risk of infection. I am not even sure how I go through work those few days. I had my bloods done at the doctors surgery the following Tuesday. The Wednesday afternoon I ha d a call from the surgery, could I make an appointment to have my bloods done the following Tuesday as the doctor thinks I may have an infection! I then had to explain to them about the treatment that I was on and I was die back to the hospital the following day to find out what was happening. I do not think anyone had read my notes!

Going back to the hospital on Thursday, I was not in high spirits. My bloods were still low, but how low I wasn’t sure, but I did not expect to come home with my meds. I was called in and the nurse said my meds were ready! Now I know for a fact my latest result was 1.5 which was lower than the first result when I was told I could not go ahead so I didn’t understand but at least I left with my Palbociclib.

So my final blood test results (with baseline in brackets)
Hb        -    145   (145)
WBC    -    3.3    (6.8)
Plts      -    280  (266)
Neuts   -   1.5     (4.0)

So today I am on my first week of my second cycle. I have my anti sickness in place and so far I am ok. I have a good idea what to expect. The tiredness has eased to my "normal". I am a bit nervosu though. If my Neuts drop like they did the fierst time at the end, that may put me in a very difficult place. I go back to the hospital on 5th December to see one of the Oncology team so I will discuss then. Hopefully it will give me an idea what to expect.

My life continues......

Cookie Policy

This site uses cookies to store information on your computer.

Do you accept?