Last week I got prescribed two new medications, both of which I’m hoping will help me a great deal. When I met with Alicia, one of the nurse practitioners at the Toledo Clinic Cancer Center last week for my monthly checkup, I told her about the fact that almost eight weeks after they stopped the oxaliplatin, I still have very bad neuropathy (the feeling of pins and needles and often times a bad burning feeling) in both my feet. While she did remind me that the neuropathy may never go away, she did suggest that I try Gabenpentin, which sometimes provides relief.
I’ve been taking it three times per day since last Wednesday, however because it takes a while to build up the right levels in my system, I have no relief as of yet. I am hopeful that I do get some relief, because the feeling of pins and needles is constant in both my feet. Constant like all day, every day. It really does suck. But, even if I have it for the rest of my life with no relief, if the cancer keeps shrinking, I’ll take it.
While talking with Alicia last Wednesday, I also talked to her about Provigil, and the potential side effects with my chemo. I read an article about Provigil a couple of months ago where they said that it is kind of like the real life version of the “limitless” drug, from the movie Limitless. The article stated that about forty percent of the executives in Fortune 500 companies use this drug. I showed my wife Tina the article, and she did some research into it (and shortly after got a prescription for herself).
What the drug does is help people who are chronically tired, or get very little sleep, concentrate and focus better. Tina has been on it for about a month now and she says it helps her at work, over her twelve hour shifts. Since I am always tired and feeling drained from the chemo, I thought it was worth talking to Alicia about it. She said that it is not only okay to take while on chemo, but she knows of at least a few patients at the clinic that are using it.
With her blessing, I went to my primary care physician on Friday and got a prescription. I have to say, after starting it on Saturday and also taking it today, I see a difference. Both nights I only slept for about five hours each, and yet I was able to focus on quite a few things that normally I would have had difficulty with, such as reading documentation on JQuery and some development stuff I wanted to knock out for work.
We’ll see how both of these new medications help me over time, though I have to say that I am more than a little hopeful that the Gabenpentin provides some relief, and I’m also hopeful that the Provigil helps me to focus at work and get more done.