Mar 26, 2009 - 6:54 pm
I FINALLY got my last chemo round today, at 80% strength because my blood count numbers were still pretty bad and the oncologist said we ‘pushing the envelope’ giving me chemo today. (i.e. my platelets were 84 instead of the 100 cut-off number; and absolute segs at 1.01 which is the subset of white blood counts that provide immunity). In order to get chemo today with those lousy counts, I had to agree to go in tomorrow for a shot of Neulasta as my white count (immunity) is dangerously low and will drop further after today’s infusion without some intervention. This will be my FIRST Neulasta shot so I am soon to experience what so many of you do as a matter of routine. And I have to plan on going in weekly over the next month to have my blood drawn again for very close monitoring as this chemo starts to kick in, so there may be another blood transfusion in my near future. So, in addition to my Neulasta appointments, I have an April 2nd appointment scheduled to coinside with when this chemo begins to really kick in and drop my blood counts even lower. But at least I got my 6th round of CHEMO into me!
The injection site is a big goose-egg gooney for the first time, and Vic and I turned the car around and went back when we were coming home and my hand started to swell. It’s the lack of platelets causing bleeding inside and they told me to ice it for 24 hours off and on and then switch to warm compresses after that. My veins are almost all shot now and they had to poke around with the needles to find one that the chemo hadn’t scared too badly, so my arms look like I’m a junky with purple and yellow bruises everywhere. I pity the technician who has to stick me for my CT-scan in 2 weeks; it’ll probably be my daughter-in-law Audie who has to find a working vein for the contrast. I should have gotten the port, but it's too late now.
But I feel surprisingly good (steroid-induced hamster days, perhaps??), even with my compromised bone marrow and scary blood counts. I had to be there at 8AM today and got home at 4:30 so I am really tired. Looks like my 4 or 5 week ‘recovery’ period before radiation starts will be interrupted with my weekly monitoring visits with hematology, and (I'm guessing) getting my radiation ‘butt cast’ and tattoos, but am sooooo happy to have the chemo infusions behind me at last!
Thank you so very much for all your prayers and good vibes and faithful support and guidance. I'll keep you posted on the decision about my radiation, but I plan to fight to get it ALL, if my bone marrow can recover enough to do it.