Yesterday’s chemo was boring and sleepy, although I ended up in a chemo chair that was not as comfortable as the ones I usually get to use. Alas…. I like to lay on my side, and this chair didn’t really get flat enough for that. Oh – don’t worry – I still did get a nap in! It just wasn’t quite as satisfying as usual! So, that was cycle ten in my sixteen cycle plan. Woo hoo!!!! Ten down!

Stats: the notables are 135 lbs (I often lose weight during carbo-week, so this is probably a good thing. But, I also od-ed on sugar over the ten days around Halloween, so it’s probably a load of sugary fat and water weight as well. Whatev – 135 is a great weight for my height and heavy bone structure. It’s weird, tho, to see a HIGHER NUMBER! Messes with my mind a little), hemoglobin at 9.7 (ack!!!! That’s about 75% of my pre-chemo norm. Yup – that would explain why I couldn’t quite catch my breath yesterday), neuts were at 2.7 (peachy keen for chemo), and platelets were 186 or 187 or something like that – actually totally fine.

BUMMER: My doc is recommending – strongly, I might add – against any more racing until spring. Why? Well… at Velo CX, I was racing the single speed race, and a guy came up behind me and pulled an a$$holish move as I was leaned hard into a corner coming right out of the start-finish area ON THE LAST LAP. I felt him make contact on my left side, and I think he cut in front of me enough that he nailed my front wheel. Well, I went down, and I went down pretty darn hard. Top tube left a fabulously colorful bruise on my lower thigh… down past my knee a bit. It’s big – about eight inches long, probably… And it’s colorful.. And there’s swelling. The doc was NOT happy to see this bruise. She informed me of what kinds of complications I could experience should I re-crash on that leg… or if the crash had been worse. Yeah – she did a good job of making her points.

This is hard, right? Because I look forward to this races alllll weeeeeekkkkk loooonnnnnggggg!!!!! I know, I’m not really racing. I’m riding pretty hard while everyone else is racing, working on my technical skills (cornering, descending) and keeping risky moves to a minimum (I get off a bit earlier at the barriers and am careful to make full clearance as I hop over them). If in doubt, I get off and run (or walk) whatever comes my way. I’ve not crashed at all, and I normally average about ten crashes a season, I’d guess (wiping out in cornering too hard – biffing a barrier or two – sliding out in snow or mud). Usually, crashes in cyclocross draw a little blood, make a bruise or two… But usually, nothing major. This crash was definitely a harder crash… And my platelets were fine, so this giant bruise is “legit” – I mean to say, I don’t think it would have that been much smaller before chemo. Anyway, I don’t want to skip racing… I really don’t want to skip racing…. SWEAR WORD HERE. So, I’m pretty ticked off with this guy… because he ruined my track record, and now I’ve essentially been banned from racing til spring.

Well, at least Tre still gets to race. And I’ll still pre-ride with him… He just might have to pre-ride a few more laps, right? Ha ha…


On the very up side of the upside. TEN DOWN – yeah!!!! Ten down! Last carboplatin / taxol combo is DONE! I’m told that the AC cycles will feel easier than the Carbo/Tax cycles… I hope that’s really true. I am also told that the wee bit of hair that I currently have on my head will be gone… and probably my eyebrows and eyelashes too.


Speaking of hair, I think the hair I miss the most – wait for it… wait for it… is the NOSE HAIR!!!! Yes – you read that right. It turns out, no nose hair means absolutely no leeway in getting yourself to a tissue. As soon as there’s even a hint of a runny nose, it’s visible a running nose! Man – I look like a two year old with 40 years worth of wrinkles. Yeah – that is not a pretty site, the runny nose thing.

Chem TEN photo… Nice hat, eh? Fantastic gift from Cali (of Kitsune Cycles) and Jordan – THANK YOU! Anyone interested in seeing the embroidery on the inside of the bill is more than welcome to ask! It’s fantastic!

Oh geez – what the heck… It’s awesome and reminds me of superbly terrific and awesome times…


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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3 Responses to LAST CARBOPLATIN – TEN DOWN and six to go….

  1. Bonny Donzella says:

    Pouting with you, Lee. I know that the “No Race” rule has to be driving you nuts! But you are right to focus on the upside. Hey– 10 down. Know what that means? 11 becomes a good number again!

  2. Susan Burroughs Soltis says:

    Love the embroidery!!
    Missing the races is a bummer big time!!
    I guess this means more regular biking and less racing. Not what you want to hear or do. Gotta give you the old “could be worse” trite platitude, but I know how much you hate trite platititudes, So nuff said! Glad that the taxol/carbo is done with!!

  3. Jen H says:

    Congrats on moving on to the next chemo regimen. So sorry about the racing. I know nothing I can say will make you feel better so just hang tough. Good luck this week and thank you for all the kind words. You rock!

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