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Monday, March 19, 2012

Damn Mesna

Ha ha ha.  It's all fun and games until someone gets a catheter.  And when I say catheter I don't mean veinous catheter, I mean urinary catheter.  And by someone I mean me.

When I went in for chemo mobilisation they gave me a bunch of drugs.  It did annoy me a little because I like to know exactly what I am going to be taking so I can research it properly.  And I do remember asking before days before the procedure what they would be giving me.  They told me the chemo agent, the lasix and a bunch of maybe medications, but they did not tell me about the mesna.

Mesna is a drug they give you during chemotherapy to protect your bladder from damage.  I think that they forgot to mention it because the drug is normally very well tolerated and has few side effects and is so routine it hardly justifies a mention.  Never the less, they didn't tell me about the drug and after it had been administered I started my research.

I found out what it was for, how it works, side effects etc.  And they I hit a problem.  Under mechanism of action on the wikipedia page it stated that 'drug also increases the output of urinary cystine'.  Now, for most people that wouldn't mean anything.  For my fellow cystinurics that read my blog you know exactly what I was thinking.  My heart skipped a beat.  I felt like I had cut the blue wire when I should have cut the red.  And if I was aware of the administration of this drug I could have raised my concerns with my doctors well ahead of time.

Just to clarify, my kidney disorder, cystinuria, leads to an abnormally high concentration of cystine in the urine which causes kidney stones.  The last thing one with cystinuria would want to do is take a drug that increased urinary cystine.

Fortunately, during the whole mobilisation process they gave me plenty of fluids so the extra cystine should have been washed out and the effects of the mesna are temporary.  Still, it added an element of stress that I didn't need.

However, they wanted to give me more mesna when I go back to have my stem cells transplanted back to me so I raised the issue with my medical team.  The good news is that I don't have to have the mesna.  The bad news is I have to have a urinary catheter and bladder washes whilst I have the chemotherapy.  Oh well, it is a small price to pay I guess.  On the plus side, with all the fluids and lasix they will give me the bladder will be in overdrive.  A catheter will negate the regular five minute trip to the toilet.

On another note I am pleased to say that I have managed to harvest the required 2 million stem cells.  I am not sure what the final count is yet, but they were expecting 20 million and my mid count was 8.7 million.  So all there is now is hopefully my very last IVIG which is tomorrow, and they I get two weeks off until the main event.  Until then, stay well:)

1 comment:

  1. Actually, the catheter sounds like the lesser of two evils! See you later today hopefully!
    Wendy :)