Friday, October 21, 2005

countdown to DICE

The hospital contacted me this morning informing me of their desire to begin the DICE treatment on Monday. I told the hospital representative that I have an important meeting regarding insurance on Monday morning, so the person agreed to postpone the treatment until Tuesday (granted there's an available hospital bed). I suppose you can consider the DICE regimen of chemotherapy as Phase II. Phase I was composed of all the preliminary doctor appointments, scans/tests, catheter insertion, and a few other things. Phase III is, of course, the heart of the entire treatment that being the high dose chemotherapy and peripheral blood stem-cell transplant (PBSCT).

What is DICE and what is its aim? Well, DICE is simply the acronym for the 4 chemotherapy drugs that I'll receive as part of the treatment regimen. The 4 drugs are dexamethasone, ifosfamide, cisplatin, and etoposide. I'll be in the hospital as an inpatient for 2 cycles or rounds of the DICE. Each cycle is about 5-7 days long with a period of rest in between. After the second cycle, I'll undergo a scan to determine what effect the regimen had on the tumor and then, the medical staff will decide if I need another cycle of chemotherapy or if I'm ready for the next phase. The aim of the DICE regimen is to shrink the tumor and to see how well the tumor responds to the treatment before beginning the high dose chemotherapy and PBSCT. I guess you could look at DICE as being the aerial assault aimed at softening up the enemy's defenses before the commencement of the ground war.

Life is about to get more interesting.

2 Comments:

Comment Anonymous Liz Murray said...

I'm glad you inserted this portion in your blog , thus I understand what treatments you are undergoing and do not have to be the dillionth person to ask you about the chemo you're taking. That can be distrubing at times if you are not in the mood to talk about the subject when someone else brings it up. Because you are aware of the worst case senario with the stem cell transplant, you have more power to handle it.

12:13 AM  
Comment Blogger Foteini said...

:) so glad that you deceded to write about all this! I am going through HL myself and just today was told that I am going to have the DICE treatment... I am reading about DICE since... but only here I've read what I wanted to know...
and hey... life is always interesting we are just too busy to see it!!!

6:58 PM  

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