Starting Imbruvica for CLL

I finally started the latest and greatest medicine for my cancer, CLL – Imbruvica (aka Ibrutinib.  The regimen is to take three pills once daily with a full glass of wimbruvicalogoater.  I’m also instructed to drink extra fluids and take on a regular schedule.  As of today, there is no set amount of time that I’ll be on this – but my script so far is for 6 months.

According to the paperwork that came with the medicine, the biggest side effects are diarrhea, fatigue, headache, loss of appetite and a host of others.  Long term, I run the risk of experiencing low blood counts, excessive bleeding and kidney problems. My chance of also developing skin cancer also rises so I have to stay out of the sun, stay covered and wear an SPF.  Doesn’t my doctor realize it’s summer, dammit!

Now that I have begun, I’ll be getting my blood drawn weekly to monitor my blood counts and organ functions.  I’ll also be getting evaluated in two weeks by my oncologist.  There is no need for another PET scan yet – especially since I have visible effects of the CLL.  Once my lymph nodes go back down, I’ll receive a scan to monitor the activity in my body.

As of today, I’m on Day 5 of Imbruvica and am already having some symptoms.  On Friday (my first day), I experienced terrible fatigue after only a couple of hours.  I even came home from work after a half day and slept almost 6 hours.  After I woke up, I was too tired to go out and was back asleep by 11PM for another 12 hours.10352406_626180524124546_4125485429222510689_n

I also developed some lower right abdomen pain on the first day that has plagued me daily since.  I’m hoping the pain is ovarian since I just started my cycle – but it feels almost like I’ve burnt my side.

The stomach issues have also arisen! My stomach has been churning since Saturday afternoon and have been very uncomfortable.  I haven’t ventured very far from the house these past few days.

As I write this, I have a call into my doctor about upsetstomachboth the abdominal pain and upset stomach.  I would like to be able to take something for it but don’t want to until I get the go-ahead from her.  If possible, I’d like to return to work but will not if I’ll be spending half of the time in the bathroom.

I guess that’s it for now.  I’ll update daily on Cancerboxer’s Facebook page and Twitter feed.  Thank you everybody for your continued support.


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Category: My Fight

One comment on “Starting Imbruvica for CLL

  1. Wish I could take some of your symptoms from you so you could at least go to work and feel better. Lousy what these miracle pills do to your system but if they work, the agony will be worth it so lets hope they work their magic on your little body. Hope the doctor gets back to you sooner than later with something you could take to alleviate your stomach pains……………..prayers 24/7 for you my dear niece……….

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