April 2009


Our new looksI took part of the day off and still feel guilty about it. Rather than risk the melt down I had last time after chemo, I took it easier today. Karen generously offered to drive me to my appointment for my injection and helped me get some errands done. It was a  very long haul for her. Santee to Ramona to Mission Valley via La Jolla (Cancer Center). Next she left me off at work for a few hours and headed to El Cajon for an appointment of hers, then back to Mission Valley. Last to the Cancer center for the appointment for my injection, scheduling my next appointments, etc, back to Ramona, then finally she headed home to Santee.

I now have my appointments for my next chemo on May 5. I will have a CT scan the prior Friday to get an idea of how effective the Taxotere’s been. I feel pretty positive about it based on how I feel. The occasional aches and pains in my chest are gone. 

Photo was taken via my Mac in the Cancer Center Lobby while waiting for chemo appt.

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My appointment with Dr B was too early to have my lab results. If my numbers were low, Dr B wanted me to try another injection and wait another day. But definitely I was to get chemo this week. She didn’t like considering the possibility of me dropping out of the trial. Thankfully my numbers were up again and I got my chemo. So it didn’t come to that.

The chemo was not without the delays I often encounter. Ken was really tense the whole day. He had little of the immense patience he normally has with me and with this. It got worse as the day dragged on. I can attribute some of it to a lousy night’s sleep on his part. But, it seemed like a lot more than that. He’s overdue for a break from all of this.

On Friday morning I got the results from lab work the evening before. My counts were back up. So I don’t have to go through injections this weekend to prepare me for Tuesday’s chemo. I still have routine labs again on Monday. But, I think it will be a surprise if I don’t make it.

Saturday Ken and I went to select my wig and get it fitted. First we went to get my hair trimmed so it’s one length. It had been falling out in some places and growing in in others and was getting to be more than I could manage with a beret.

The wig is a different look for me – darker and longer. It’s a relief after the worsening hair issues, yet it’s not without some anxiety over how people will react to such a drastic change. Though everyone’s been pretty enthusiastic and supportive. It’s great not to be dodging mirrors all the time. I’m reluctant to take it off when I get home. I will have Ken to take a photo. Otherwise, I am sure some people won’t recognize me.

We spent Easter day in Indio with family. My sister, Norma, hosted the event. It was good to see everyone. But, several were missed that couldn’t make it due to work or travel. 

Monday my counts were down again! I have no idea why they would drop when they were improving on their own. I’ve been told there is nothing I can do about it. I am supposed to get chemo tomorrow regardless. I had an injection this evening and will go through another blood test in the morning. If too low tomorrow, it might disqualify me from the trial. I am part of the control group so it won’t change my treatment in anyway. But, it means I can’t help with the trial for a new treatment.

My counts didn’t hold and were too low for chemo today. It’s been postponed a week. In the meantime my counts will be watched and I will go back on Neupegene if needed. More later.

My blood counts are backup – ahead of schedule. This is a relief. From here on I will get treatment (an injection) for my bone marrow a day after each chemo. The next one is next Tuesday. I plan to make time to rest this time. Last time it really knocked me down. Other side effects remain minimal – like nausea. No neuropathy yet. I had some last May, but it gradually went away.

The hair is falling out ahead of schedule. I was hoping to be an exception and keep what I have left or at least keep it a bit longer. It’s still a hard loss to face at times. I’ve already been been avoiding mirrors for a long time. I expect it will still be shocking for awhile and then I’ll get used to it. I cry when I think of seeing the look in Ken’s eyes when it does happen. He says it won’t matter – that we loves me. But, my bald head will be a constant reminder of the disease and difficult to hide. Don’t get me wrong – if I could trade my hair for my health, I would in a second.

I don’t expect it to grow back as long as I am on this treatment. I will continue on the chemo as long as it is effective, though I have no idea how long that might be. But it’s the best thing available now. Based on how I feel, I think it’s working. But, I won’t know how for sure or how well until I get a CT. Dr B hasn’t mentioned scheduling one yet. I think it is at least 3 weeks away and maybe 6. I

The earache is presumed to be due to TMJ. My dentist and an ENT doctor both advised me to get a night guard and see if it helps. At least it’s not getting worse. My throat and mouth are no longer sore. That is a big help. It seemed to make my ear worse. Oh now there’s a lovely picture… bald and wearing a night guard. : )