April 2008


The Neupogen did the trick. My blood counts were up and I was able to get chemo today. What a relief! I was nervous about it. This past week or so I have been having occasional aches in my lungs and the lymph glands in my neck making me anxious. Time will tell. In the meantime, I try to imagine it’s my immune system waking up and fighting back.

 

Achy bones were expected from the Neupogen. I didn’t experience much of it – though it would be well worth it. The improvement is supposed to be enough to get me through next Monday’s chemo, too. After that I get another, similar medication to get me ready for Cycle 6.

 

Three weeks after that, in early June, the testing begins again. That will possibly be the end of my chemo for at least a few months while I recover from chemo. Hopefully, I will get the new trial medication and the break will be a long one.  Less and less effectiveness is expected from the chemo, and I need all that I can get out of it. Oh, and a bonus, I only had one “stick” each for the blood test and the IV. Nice. 

Advertisements

Chemo was called off again today because my blood counts were too low. Rather than improve with time, they’ve dropped since last week. As usual, I had my blood test when I arrived, waited an hour plus for the results, then went to the infusion center to get my IV started. That’s when I learned the bad, and very unexpected, news. Now I’m getting treatment to stimulate my bone marrow to improve matters – daily injections for the week. Chemo’s been rescheduled for next Monday. That makes it two weeks and a half weeks behind starting my 5th cycle. (A cycle is three weeks). Ken is doing a great job, as always, cheering me up and helping me to cope with the set backs. He is the most amazing person. He is there every step of the way with lots of hugs, smiles and tremendous encouragement. I know it’s hard on him facing these disappointments, too.

Wednesday’s chemo, the first of my 5th cycle, was postponed. My blood counts were not high enough. The appointment’s been delayed until Monday when they should be fine. I know it’s necessary, but I was very disappointed to have to wait.

 

The results of my last CT shows the tumor is smaller, but I don’t know to what degree. The effectiveness of chemo lessens with each treatment and any reduction is considered good. I’m going to try to get more specifics of  the CT. In 3 weeks I start my last cycle.

 

When that’s complete, another round of tests. At that point I hope to try a new medication, a vaccine that’s supposed to keep the tumor at bay. There are other drugs that are now in use. But, even with that, the break from chemo normally runs from 2 to 6 months. Then it’s back on chemo. The bone scan indicated concern about my bones. Treatment to make them stronger and more resistant is under consideration. And, my blood count may need some help to get through the 6th cycle. There is medication for that, too. Ken returned from his business trips on Wednesday. It’s beyond wonderful to have him back. 

For the first time since this all began, I am feeling more like my normal self. At least my energy level seems to be what is once was. Given how far behind I managed to get at work, this has been a real blessing.  For the last few days I have some minor aches, something I would have ignored in past years. But, I’ve learned to be anxious about every little thing… wondering if it’s the cancer rearing it’s viscous head. Knowing anxiety is bad for me, I try to manage it better. I see Doctor B on Wednesday and will get the results of my last CT scan. I know generally that there has been improvement and the tumor is smaller. I have a complete bone scan scheduled for Tuesday. Dr B says it is routine. It sounds like an easy test at least – and no IV! 

After days of exhaustion I am finally recovering. Thursday I was feeling well enough to drive and to work part of the day. Friday I worked from home, well I tried, though I didn’t accomplish much. I was still not clear-headed or very effective. But, over the weekend I made a lot of progress. By Monday morning I felt the best I had in weeks. I was able to work a full day! So much improvement in one week! Last Thursday I had a CT to check on my progress. It was done early because of concern about by lingering problems from the pneumonia or pulmonary emboli (PE). It does not show the effect of my last chemo just the day before. I do not have details about the results yet, other than the tumor has continued to shrink and the PE’s are gone. I will get more info late next week. 

Chemo went fine last Wednesday. But, by Saturday my energy dropped and by Sunday morning it hit an all time low. I’ve also been in a mental fog. Monday was about the same, as was this morning (Tuesday). I scarcely had enough reserves to get dressed. Hopefully, it was just from starting chemo earlier than I should have.

 

This afternoon Im feeling improvement. So, I am encouraged. Tomorrow morning is a chemo day – pending my blood tests. Next week is my week off – and time to check on the progress against the tumor with a chest CT.