Third time is a charm!

Well, I did chemo VI Monday morning.  It was a little rough pulling myself out of bed at 5:30a, but I’m glad I did because now I just have the whole week in front of me.  It was a taxol only week, so I anticipate only one really tired day (Wed).  The benadryl has mostly worn off at this point… so my brain fog is lifting, and I’m able to get some work done…

BUT YIPPEEEE!!!!!  I got to do chemo!  Wait a minute….  Isn’t it strange to be celebrating something like this?  I would much rather celebrate a hard effort in a race or celebrate excellent soccer playing by my child.  Alas….  I’m celebrating that I did NOT get kicked out of chemo.

Pre chemo VI stats:

Pre-chemo VI stats:  131 lbs, HR 56, temp 98.4 °F, WBC 4.0, RBC 3.4, hgb 11.2, hematocrit 32.8, Platelets 433 and neutrophils 1.7.  So, those blood counts are … wow – way better!

PLAN – CBC FRIDAY, in case my neutrophil total has dropped….  If yes, then neupogen (and jamba juice) asap – need at least 24 hours prior to chemo.

Optimitism….  With two missed cycles, I found my nose delightfully not bloody…  It took a while for my hemoglobin to get back up (it was LOW, and I could really tell), but it did come back up.  I climbed one day with a friend… and I climbed hard.  That felt good….  So, there’s a part of me that has really enjoyed the break… and feels optimistic that I’ll be strong again once I am finished and able to train etc….    And, I’ve managed to stick my weight with hardly any effort over these last couple of weeks, and I will work hard to keep that now that things are re-started up again.  Next week is carbo + taxol, so next week will probably require more work in that regard.

Hmmm – this is a pretty boring post, except for the part where – phew – I did NOT get kicked out of chemo for a third time in a row!  Phew!  Hoping to stay on track.  Five more weeks of the platelet-eating experimental drug… and hopefully, the remainder of the chemo regimen will go more smoothly.

Oh – last thought.  I really think a lot of Douglas Yee.  He fit me into his schedule on Friday, and we met to discuss various concerns about the trial and the experimental drug.  I remain committed to contributing to this experimental trial, unless my counts go way south again… something that Doug Yee agrees with.  He even suggested the possibility of going off the experimental drug if I crash again with blood counts.  I’m keeping my fingers crossed.  Five more weeks of the drug, no matter how many delays in the taxol and taxol/carbo treatments.

Best wishes to everyone.  I appreciate everyone’s caring words…  It’s hard to know what to say to a cancer patient (not much to say, it just sucks)… and it’s hard to know what to say as a cancer patient (I often want to say, I don’t want to talk about it right now).  So, as I biff conversations with folks – I ask for your kindness in letting me just biff it … in blissful ignorance.

And – I forgot to post this infusion’s photo….  Gosh – I love Cheryl so much!


About rleepenn

I'm a mom and a chemistry professor, and I love to ride bikes! On July 29th, 2011, I received the news that I have breast cancer. This is my blog....
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4 Responses to Third time is a charm!

  1. Emily says:

    God Lee. Your honesty, physical and mental strength are incredible. I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you regarding your blood counts. Are the low counts from the parp inhibitors?

    I had some totally scary nosebleeds from Avastin and thought for a while that I wouldn’t be able to continue with the study I was on. Somehow or another, I was able to control the bleeding and continue with the study. With WBC, you can’t exactly stick a bunch of vaseline up your nose, can you?
    Glad to hear your oncologist has earned your respect. In the meantime, be well, rest up, jamba juice, and lots of hugs from Tre and Cheryl.

  2. Susan Burroughs Soltis says:

    Yay! Happy that you are “back on track.” There is a platelet-stimulating medicine similar to neupogen for white cells, but it may not be allowed on your study. And yes, cancer does turn you into a cheerleader for things you never thought you would be cheering for. Ain’t it the truth! Those “only taxol” weeks and being happy that your blood counts “qualify” you for chemo, when they basically are beyond your control. And not being able to predict your schedule because you never know when it might need to be changed. Keep up the spirits and don’t be afraid to tell people “some other time” or “not now.” You have way over-earned the right!

  3. Jen Hanks says:

    Yeah for a few days to allow you to see you will be strong when you are done. I’m counting on stronger……..Congrats on not getting kicked out of chemo!

  4. bonny says:

    “Biffing conversations”..? I expected your strength, but look at you with all that grace!

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