May 2008

Chemo went smoothly this time. Only one stick! My blood counts were great, too. My dose was reduced to 75% of normal so I can get more next week. This will mean a higher dose spread out over the 2 weeks.


Next week is my last chemo for at least 2 months! Dr B says this is my chance to take a vacation. I will be able to start the trial in late June or early July IF I am eligible. First my tests need to be run and they are being scheduled for the 1st week of June. The trial is one injection a month with an achy arm as the only expected side effect. If this doesn’t work, it will mean I’ll be back on chemo eventually.


As the aches have been diminishing my attitude has improved tremendously. My low blood counts appear to have been the cause. The medication that’s likely responsible is the one I received last week. It’s slow-acting and is supposed to prepare me for Tuesday’s chemo. I am also feeling more “normal” as the chemo side effects gradually wear off. My energy level and attitude are both up! Yeah! Now I just have to figure out how to manage the other stressor – work.

Monday was chemo day – week two of my cycle. So, it’s the day with one chemo drug, gemcitabine. Week one always includes carboplatin – the harsher of the two. Last is week three, my week off.


The improvement in my blood counts dropped sooner than hoped. But, I was at least able to get half my dose of chemo and move on. Maybe that’s why the “chemo-hangover” isn’t so bad this week.


Monday was a long and grueling day. One of those days that felt like two or three. The lab didn’t start to process my blood work after an hour plus long wait. More tedious waiting. Then the IV went very badly. I stopped counting after 6 “sticks.” An all time record. I will bear the bruises for awhile. I was fortunate to have the company of our friend, Steve. He took me since Ken was out of town. He was great company and helped me through the very rough day. I would have been a wreck otherwise. Big thanks to Steve.  


My glands are still achey. If it’s my low white count causing it, this should fade as yesterday’s injection for my bone marrow turns that around. I am back on extreme infection alert for the next several days – though it’s important to always be watchful. Two more chemos to go in this phase. Then all the testing should start again the first week of June. We will know a whole lot more then.


Our wedding date is approaching…. so much to do. Luckily, Ken and I have help.


While Ken’s away, my sister, Betty and her adorable lab, Sassy, have been keeping me company. They have both been a comfort in many ways. We watched a cute/clever/quirky movie, Juno. I highly recommend it. Ken will be back on Thursday and I have a lot to keep me busy between now and then. It all helps to keep my mind off the big question of how much time I really have. With the set-backs and delays it comes to mind too often lately. This is a battle of many fronts. I have more to add, but I have work to catch up on. So, I will try to post again soon.

I can’t pinpoint anything specific, but it’s been emotionally tough this past week. Of course I had a lot of low points in the first weeks of this battle. But since then I’ve learned to manage pretty well for the most part. I am concerned about the delays caused by my poor white blood counts. The occasional aches I have cause me to worry the tumors might be growing back. Hopefully, it’s something else. Whatever it is, I won’t know one way or the other for over 4 weeks. In the meantime, I’m trying to focus on how well I’ve done so far and to hope the progress continues. Tomorrow (Monday) is a chemo day. Next week is my off week.