With my 800mg dose today, I’m five days into my first month of oral tyrosine kinase inhibitor, Votrient. Thursday afternoon, I was driving down the road near the John B. Amos Cancer Center and because I just didn’t feel right, I whipped in to see if I could get someone to check my blood pressure.
Nurse Tammy delivered this reading to Dr. Pippas and he wanted to see me. Hypertension is a common side effect of Votrient. But with one kidney, I can’t really afford to allow my blood pressure to rise unchecked. Dr. Pippas called my nephrologist, Dr. Raj Alappan, and they decided to prescribe 5 mg of Norvasc to try to control my blood pressure.
I absolutely hate to have to add another daily drug, but I’ve got to try to remain in control of my body’s systems and not allow any of them to tilt out of control. The risk of having a chronic disease like kidney cancer is to keep things as balanced as possible and to try to maintain a healthy immune system. If one major system tips, then the whole thing can spiral out of control and I’d be in trouble.
The other interesting thing Dr. Pippas said to me on Thursday is that Votrient would likely cause some changes in my fingernails. That has begun to happen. The nail beds look a bit different than normal and there is a slightly red rainbow-shaped stripe on each of my nails just above the nail bed. Some of them also have a little indentation right above that red stripe.
I’ve experienced the most highly-predicted side effect of these drugs. Diarrhea (I never know how to spell this word. I always have to look it up.). Thursday and Friday, I had excruciating headaches, probably due to the elevated blood pressure. My headaches have subsided, but yesterday and today I’ve had some nausea to deal with.
All this sounds uncomfortable, and it is, but all-in-all I think if we can control my blood pressure, I should be able to get through this. I just feel pretty lousy all the time.
I’m going to be soon and I’m planning on tomorrow being a better day. I’m going to shoot photos at Columbus Regional Medical Foundation’s Gingerbread Jubilee tomorrow at the RiverMill Event Centre. If you’ve never been to that event, you wouldn’t believe the amount of pandemonium that can ensue when you’re in the presence of several hundred children who are hopped up on sugar.
The kids will be having an absolute blast. So will the photographer. It is the parents who will look like they’ve been whipped. Such a fun event!