Archive for March, 2006

2nd 2D Echo Test

Wednesday, March 29th, 2006

I had my 2D Echo cardiogram test today. It went pretty much the same as the last one and didn’t take too long. My doctor should have the results well in time for my next appointment.

Last Friday, the 24th, was my last session of Physical Therapy, so I may be able to get more things done now.

Labs

Wednesday, March 22nd, 2006

Had my blood checked today, with the usual results – low red and white cell counts. I wasn’t given a shot of Aranesp this time, but the doctor did instruct me to take a Tequin tablet (the antibiotic) once a day for the next five days just to be on the safe side.

The side effects of treatment remain about the same, but fortunately there are no new ones. Several people have told me they lost their sense of taste after a couple of treatments, but I’m glad to say that hasn’t happened to me.

The Lost Weekend

Monday, March 20th, 2006

This last round of chemo has really hit me hard. I was in bed all weekend, sleeping on and off during the day, and up most of the night until three or four in the morning, resting in a recliner. I had no energy at all and felt wiped out and drowsy. I still feel that way but at least didn’t sleep all day. Last night I was able to go downstairs to look for something, so my energy is slowly coming back.

Getting a laptop computer was a great decision because now I can work on this blog and my web sites, check email, and more. I just haven’t been up to sitting in a chair for any length of time for a while now. It makes my legs sore for one thing, mostly in the knees. At least I feel a little more productive now, even if I’m not. And that’s all that matters, anyway.

Last week was quite a week and we were on the road almost every day. In addition to having the PET scan, picking up the results the next day, and chemotherapy, I had an unrelated outpatient procedure and physical therapy for some slight nerve damage in my right shoulder resulting from the biopsy in December. That could have added to my exhaustion somewhat.

This week will be almost as busy – an appointment with my shoulder doctor, labs on Wednesday, physical therapy, and my sleep study on Saturday.

Chemo Cycle 7

Wednesday, March 15th, 2006

We picked up the PET scan results yesterday and Dr. K looked at them this morning. He said they looked great, showing about 80% of the cancer is gone. He wants me to have another 2D Echo cardiogram done two weeks from now to see if my heart is strong enough to withstand another round of chemotherapy. If the results look good, the final round will be in three weeks’ time.

The chemotherapy session afterwards went pretty well and only lasted about three hours. It seemed to go even quicker since Sandi was able to sit with me and keep me company. Not to mention going out to get us some real lunch food.

I have to go back for blood labs next week, then I have two weeks off again. Or no more treatments, depending on the test.

Dr. K. is also wanting to do a final treatment of radiation therapy regardless. He didn’t say (and I forgot to ask) if that would be an injection of isotopes or external exposure.

Second PET Scan

Monday, March 13th, 2006

Today I had my second PET scan to see how successful the chemotherapy has been. The experience wasn’t nearly as bad as the last time. I didn’t get nauseous and my heart wasn’t racing. I felt okay afterwards and didn’t have to lie in bed the rest of the day.

Having chemo every three weeks feels much better than every other week. This past week I’ve felt my energy returning a little as the anemia subsided. I also feel better when I can do more instead of just rest or not have the energy to do anything more than sit up in bed and read. It feels good to be able to get out and about.

Of course, Sandi is still driving me around everywhere because of my sleep disorder. I’m very fortunate to have such a loving, devoted spouse. And thankful that she can make use of the Family Leave Act to help me out.

Mid-session Visit

Thursday, March 2nd, 2006

Yesterday my red and white blood cell counts were low again so they gave me another shot of Aranesp. As a result I’ve had spasms of pain in my lower back most of the day today. Pain relievers help but they took all day to start working.

The doctor also wanted me to take Tequin once a day just as a precaution.

Since I’ve been going to bed late and not having energy until the afternoon, 3pm has become my 7am, when I get up and have enough energy to start doing things. It will take some adjusting before I go back to work.