Archive for February, 2006

Cycle 6

Saturday, February 25th, 2006

This week’s session was much shorter as promised – around 3-4 hours. The doctor doesn’t want me to come in for another treatment until three weeks from now instead of two. So I get a week off where I may start feeling better.

He also wants me to have another PET/CT scan in about two weeks. That will show us how much more progress has been made.

The treatment made me fatigued the rest of the day Wednesday and most of Thursday and yesterday. I seem to have more energy in the afternoon after resting all day, and can do some things around the house in the evening.

Reaction and rebound

Sunday, February 19th, 2006

Wednesday’s shot did a number on me. I woke up Thursday morning with a sore chest and throbbing lower back pain. The muscle relaxant helped and I stayed in bed most of the day.

I felt a little better Friday and was able to get up and about. I spent most of yesterday in bed resting and felt back to “normal” by yesterday evening.

I didn’t feel any need to call the doctor’s office because I’d expected some sort of reaction, and it was manageable.

Mid-session Visit

Wednesday, February 15th, 2006

Nothing much to report to the doctor today. I still get headaches almost daily but not severe ones. My fingertips are still a little numb but not so much that I can’t use them. Today I don’t have much energy at all.

One reason may be chemotherapy-related anemia – my red blood cell counts were low, with hemocrit being around 35. That compares to 36.7 last Wednesday, with 37-52 being in the normal range.

That doesn’t seem much to me, but it must be enough to affect me. He had the nurse give me Aranesp by injection to help the bone marrow in my body produce more red blood cells. That should help with the anemia, which usually comes on gradually as someone undergoes more and more chemotherapy treatments.

My white blood cell count was low as usual, and should start rising in the next couple of days.

I wondered, since my red cell counts were low and my white cell counts were low, what cells are left in my blood?

I forgot to tell the doctor that my legs and joints in general have been really sore the past few days. But that may just be due to shoveling snow last Sunday.

Cycle 5

Saturday, February 11th, 2006

Last Wednesday’s treatment didn’t wipe me out too much. No severe headaches or sleeping all day so far. Blood counts looked good, too.

The nurse said she’ll indicate on my chart that the next time I should have a faster drip so it will only take about three hours instead of five. What had happened was that I’d had a different nurse administering the medications each time, and each was going by the preceding treatment, which were all five hours.

Since there was nothing in my chart saying I didn’t have any adverse reactions, they erred on the safe side and assumed there was a reason for a slow drip.

Fortunately Sandi is arranging to have more time off at work through leave donations. She’ll be able to work partial days when I have chemo so she can pick me up about three or four hours after dropping me off. I’ve been getting drowsy while driving for a half hour or more to my appointments on in-between weeks, and the doctor said I shouldn’t be driving long distances.

I mentioned that I’d had a killer headache earlier this week, one that made the backs of my eyes sore. The doctor prescribed a muscle relaxant, Ativan (Lorazepam) for when they get that bad. But I shouldn’t make any plans for a few hours after taking it. Hopefully that won’t be necessary.

The nurse asked if the Cytoxan made my nose run while it was being administered. I told her no, but it has been running a lot the past few weeks. I’d thought it was an old ailment returning, but apparently not. I’m glad it will only be temporary.

CAT Scan Results

Tuesday, February 7th, 2006

Last Wednesday, the 1st of February, I had my biweekly blood labs at the oncologist’s. He said my white blood cell count couldn’t be any lower, but my medications should be kicking in within the next couple of days. And that I might be sore, especially my lower back and hips, as my body generated new white blood cells.

Fortunately that didn’t happen and at the most I felt a little run down.

I also dropped off my CAT scan films and will hear more about them next Wednesday. After looking at the written report, Dr. K. said the scan showed an improvement of about 40 percent from when we started treatment.

So that means that I’m almost halfway there. Great news!