Anemia, keeping on track, nervous

SHORT VERSION – chemo was a go for this week! Yay! MRI and echo this afternoon. NERVOUS about the results!

LONG VERSION:
Well, I have hit an allllll ttttiiiiimmmmmmmmmmeeee LOW – in hemoglobin that is.

My stats this week: weight 137.5 (WOW – t-day weekend was AWESOME! I pretty much ate my way through the whole time), hgb 8.7 (YIKES but that’s low!), platelets 131 (fine), neutrophils 8.7 (neupogen did its job!)….

But dang, that low hemoglobin is rough. I find myself out of breath easily. I am not dizzy nor am I having chest pains. Apparently, if I start having those, I’m in for a transfusion. And if the number goes lower – especially if it goes lower than 8 – I’m in for a transfusion.

So, I’m hoping that this is my all time low. I mean, I had carboplatin just three weeks ago, and nadir (that’s the time at which everything hits the basement) is 2-3 weeks. So, I’m hoping that I’ll be on the up and up after this.

But next week starts AC – that’s the second of the two phases of chemotherapy. I’m nervous. The side effects are all different… And the A is bright red apparently. I’ll be watching this bright red fluid being injected into my body. And, then I’ll pee red for a bit… WEIRD!!!! and they say that you’ve got to drink tons of fluids in order to avoid damage to the bladder. Say what? Wow.

I don’t know what my blood counts will look like. Hopefully, I won’t have such low swings in hemoglobin and hematocrit (currently, 25 – yikes, but that is also low!). I know that my infection fighters will take a huge hit, but they administer neulasta the day after treatment in order to help deal with that. Apparently, this approach works well. The shot is nearly the same as the neupogen, but they stick a PEG molecule onto the active growth factor molecule, and that means that it sticks around for ten whole days! So, that’s a longer version of the neupogen… And the idea is that then I’ll have infection fighters around for the whole two weeks that pass between each AC treatment.

Right right – on to the celebration – ONLY FOUR TREATMENTS TO GOOOOO!!!!! Woot woot! Really? Just four more? HUGE deep sigh… Feeling like the light at the end of the tunnel is right there – within grasp. I can see it.

One thing I’m worried about these days is what if I don’t get that magical complete pathalogical response? I asked my doc about that on Monday… and one possibility is to take on a third phase of chemotherapy – an oral drug that’s taken daily. I’m really really hoping for cpr! I want it sooo bad – the stats look really good for people who end up with cpr!!!! How much better will my stats look if I don’t have cpr and I do take on this third phase of chemo? Well, I’ve got time… And I still have phase two to complete. And I have an MRI this afternoon… Who knows what it will show us? I know that this tumor is smaller… But will the treatments get me there? Will they? I so hope so….

Well, that’s all I’ve got for today. I don’t have a pic to post. I think Cheryl took a pic of me sleeping, but I’m really not sure. I don’t remember. I’ll have to ask her, and if she did, then I’ll post one!

Hope everyone had a great thanks giving holiday! I sure did! I spent it with wonderful people… Rode my bike every day… and ate a TON OF FOOD … including going to a new restaurant with Cheryl while Tre was at a birthday party …. Overall, I’m thankful for my life and the wonderful people around me….

I know I won’t be benadryl with the AC, so I don’t know if I’ll get to nap through the experience. Yesterday’s nap was pretty nice, actually. Probably helped along by the FABULOUS morning’s bike ride with two of my friends. I needed some help getting up the climbs but otherwise rode like my hgb was more like nine-something as opposed to eight-something. It was fun.

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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 Anemia, keeping on track, nervous

  1. Susan Burroughs Soltis says:

    Who knew you would get to savvy with the stats and the lingo and all.
    Sounds like things are headed in the right direction. Now just need a few more red blood cells. GO RED!

  2. Bonny Donzella says:

    Lee– focus on the positive, focus on the NOW. must be much easier to say than do, and it sounds like you are doing an excellent job of it. Congrats on crossing off another treatment today!

  3. JenH says:

    Wow. 8.7 is really low. Think of how awesome you will feel when you pop back up to the normal range! Does complete pathological response mean that there is no evidence of tumor after treatment? That would be soooooo wonderful! Good luck with AC. I hope it treats you well! Thinking of you and inspired by your strength! Jen.

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