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Last Chemo but Questions Arise

brissance's picture
brissance
Posts: 192
Joined: May 2016

I am totally jazzed that I finished my front treatment today.  I was scheduled 2 weeks ago but we had a devi of a time getting the ANC/white blood cells to cooperate.  Long journey and I may have not done it with grace and elegance but by golly 25 external, 3 days low dose brachy and 6 chemos.. I rang the bell, brought donuts and hubby and daughter took me to lunch at Olive Garden.. I have been longing one of their endless salads.  It was delightful.

Well, this morning before we left for the big celebration, in the shower I found a bump, lump on my bottom next to my rectum (gross and I apologize) I honestly thought about keeping this a secret.  Just finish and don't look back.  But I knew that was stupid and advised the nurse...  The oncologist sent his intern and she looked at the offending lump and does not think it is cancer.  I have been plagued with infections...   I have had a boil on the eye, a boil in the nose, 3 boils under the arm, and three boils (anal abscesses) since beginning this treatment, add two UTIs and infection in my surgery wound.  My blood count stays lower than normal even on chemo.  But made the cut off and don't think it is cancer but a beginning boil.  I am really thrilled.  Then I see my oncologist walk in... awwww cheat, me thinks.  Not a good sign.  He is upbeat but tells me I am not doing well with the infections and we need to find out what is going on.  So I have to go back in Monday. HIV test and blood test then probably a referral to a Hematologist/Oncologist probably for a bone marrow exam.  He is a bit concerned I may have picked something up during the work in the hospital. He says it is precaution and I know he is extremely thorough and I am trying to just enjoy finishing the treatment and sure hoping my bum doesn't do like last time and I have to have a surgical lancing.  Now that smarts quite abit.  So I am happy but very leary.  I came in last October bleeding.  Only med history was tonsils, appendectomy, 2 babies and a prolapsed bladder. No meds at all.  Since I started my trek I have cancer, Afib (should be short lived and probably disappear after chemo..  only take asprin in am, discovered a congential hole in heart. have had 4 emergency room visits, been admitted to hospital stays on three occassion.  

I promise I am thrilled and I am alive and everything at this point seems doable, survivable and life should come back in focus and all good again.  But I am wondering, am I normal.  Is the white blood thing something anyone else had to fight with Taxotere and Carboplatin?  I have spent a large amount of time in the middle east and Africa over the last 5 years.  I asked about something picked up on travels but I have maintain a blood surveillance and nothing showed.  

But I am a survivor as I just graduated from Chemo and I am quite proud of myself. I am blessed and all in all quite lucky to be where I am today.

Thanks for listening to me ramble.  You are the greatest.

 

MAbound
Posts: 1088
Joined: Jun 2016

You sure got put in the "lucky" club, didn't you?

I disagree with the "not done it with grace and elegance" comment as the humor you express in difficult circumstances is its own form of grace and elegance! I'm always envious of people who can do that!

Love your positive attitude...it sets such a good example, but remember it's ok to not always be the strong one here...but girl... you are strong! 

 

brissance's picture
brissance
Posts: 192
Joined: May 2016

I just love you MAbound.  You always say the perfect thing for me to hear.  You are the bomb (is that still an accepted and hip accolade?)

Kvdyson's picture
Kvdyson
Posts: 789
Joined: Jan 2016

Brissance, congrats to you on finishing frontline! I hope you take time to reflect on how much you've accomphished these past months. You should be so proud of yourself! Whatever comes next, you will make it through it. You are a fighter! Now, go and celebrate and don't waste any of your precious time worrying about the test results. Let the doctors worry about them - that's their job! 

brissance's picture
brissance
Posts: 192
Joined: May 2016

I do love your upbeat and positive encouragement.  Thank you so very much, Kvdyson!  Muuuhwaah

rcdeman
Posts: 257
Joined: Aug 2016

Grats on finishing front-line treatment, brissance! Please continue to stay strong (you've already gone through so much!) and I hope the best for you as you deal with these various side problems and infections. I will pray that none of them are serious and can be easily cured/remedied/healed. I'm glad your doctor is taking the cautious and safer route! Better to check these things now!

Best to you,
Rebecca

 

brissance's picture
brissance
Posts: 192
Joined: May 2016

Rebecca, ya betcha, wish you were nearby and we would go lift a Jamba Juice and celebrate.  I too pray that this is all over reaction on the docs part and I just bet it is.  Again, thanks for the encouragement.  :)

 

EZLiving66's picture
EZLiving66
Posts: 1436
Joined: Oct 2015

Hey Patty, did they test your blood glucose level?  Between a low white blood cell count and my high blood glucose levels, I was having infection problems too while on chemo.  My wound care doctor told me that was why my port site was infected for four months and why it was so hard to clear it up.  Once I stopped the chemo and my white and red count finally went up and my blood glucose level went down, I was able to fight off infection.  I hope this is true for you too, my friend!

Love,

Eldri

brissance's picture
brissance
Posts: 192
Joined: May 2016

Hi My Beautiful Friend,  Yep they tested glucose and glucose random and they were in the middle of acceptable.  Never had probs w/ glucose (but things are crazy so who knows).  Ones that were off were mainly protein, abumin, wbc, rbc monocrylics lots point towards liver function and autoimmune like hiv or lupus.  I honestly think I have just gotten hammered with all the radiation and chemo and my bod just doesn't like it.  I have a sty forming in my eye this morning I am afraid so both ends will be a problem BUT this is the last treatment.  Trick now will be staying out of hospital till I can bring everything back up to normal and join you!  All is good.  My doc is kind of adorable.  Probably I am having separation anxiety and figuring a way to stay near him!  No telling.  

Thanks again for kind wishes.  It shall pass and just put it in my notes to complain about later.  The chemo hit me harder and faster this time.  I think it knows it is time to come to the end with the poison!  I normally have a 2 day window before I get the hot flashes and stomach pain but it hit me last night (same day) but again.... the LAST treatment so I am ready for it.  

Love to you.... Patty

LindyLu
Posts: 72
Joined: Sep 2016

I think I'll call you Positive Patty.  Good for you for celebrating your last treatment.  Hope all these "extra-curriculum" things popping up are temporary.  You are so upbeat and strong, an inspiration for us all to keep a positive attitude.  Sending Hugs and Good Wishes that  things get better for you as each day passes!  Rooting for you...Cheers, LL

Lou Ann M's picture
Lou Ann M
Posts: 996
Joined: Feb 2015

First, Congradulations on being finished with chemo.  That is quite an accomplishmen, and one you need to celebrate.you are a brave,/strong woman you handled this and you can handle anything. Cancer is not graceful or eloquent so don't worry about how you dealt with your fight against in.

i was on Taxol and Carboplati.  My oncologist said that my blood problems came from the carbo.  I had problems with both my red cells and platelets, but not the white.  I got the Neulasta shot after each carbo chemo and that kept my white cells above the cut off line.  My platelets were such a problem that my oncologist just started scheduling my treatments four weeks apart instead of three.  Red cells low enough I had two transfusions.

Hugs and prayer, Lou Ann

Editgrl's picture
Editgrl
Posts: 903
Joined: Jun 2015

Who cares about grace or eloquence anyway?  If you've got to get down and dirty to get through, we'll roll in the mud with you!  Enjoy as front-line gets smaller and smaller in your rear view window!

Chris

Soup52's picture
Soup52
Posts: 903
Joined: Jan 2016

Congrats on finishing chemo! It's always a great accomplishment! Hopefully your body will start to recover and those infections will be no more. All those treatments while zapping our cancer are quite an assault on our body. Best wishes!

brissance's picture
brissance
Posts: 192
Joined: May 2016

It is pretty neat Soup.  And it should get better from here.  Thanks so much for your continued encouragement.

TeddyandBears_Mom's picture
TeddyandBears_Mom
Posts: 1688
Joined: Jun 2015

Congrats on hitting that finish line! Three weeks from now, you will really feel the finish when you don't have to go for that "next" chemo treatment. I hope your infections start healing now and all of this can get way behind you!  I love that nickname suggested - Positive Patty!  Because you are an inspiration and always have great things to say. :-)

Love and Hugs,

Cindi

brissance's picture
brissance
Posts: 192
Joined: May 2016

Cindi you are so sweet but hubby wouldn't agree that the positive is always the correct adjective.  You guys are the inspiration and help keep focus.  And YAY, no more chemo (I hope).  It feels pretty darn neat.  And hopefully I will soon see my little white cap show up on my naked head.  I wanna look like Eldri and Chris.  I love their dos.  

janaes
Posts: 800
Joined: May 2016

I have been gone all weekend but brissance i have been thinking of you and hoping you were done with chemo.  Its so nice to celrbrate with you.  Yea its not the same stuff, but i have a bunch of aftermath to get through too.  I do love your attidude.  My dad bought me some flowers to look at all week long to remind me it was my last one.  The chemo nurses gave me sparkling cider to celebrate. I got to ring the bell too and everyone clapped

Hey congradulations!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! you did it.  I love what Kim said about reflecting on your accomplishments.

Lots of love Janae

TeddyandBears_Mom's picture
TeddyandBears_Mom
Posts: 1688
Joined: Jun 2015

Janae, Enjoy the flowers and let the healing begin!!!  I love that your Dad did that for you. :-)

Love and Hugs,

Cindi

brissance's picture
brissance
Posts: 192
Joined: May 2016

I did think of you and hoped you were getting to graduate as well.  We did make it didn't we!  God bless.

brissance's picture
brissance
Posts: 192
Joined: May 2016

I brought in some treats and cards.  We all laughed and enjoyed the day.  My nurse staff has been awesome.  Daughter got me flowers (beautiful) and hubby took me to my favorite restaurant for lunch.  It was pretty awesome.  I wanted to ring a bell but forgot to bring it.  I am glad yours went so well makes me happy to hear the positive.  Love to you too, Janae and best of everything.

janaes
Posts: 800
Joined: May 2016

Didnt mean to take over your thread brissance.  I am so glad you are done. 

Cindy it was hard and had to get some motivation from a friend, but i got up  and got ready which some days i really didnt  before except if i had to.  I went for a walk a little around my corner in the rain, because i was so determained.  Im not sure how its going to go from here but im just happy about my progress.  Im laying in my bed just taking it easy for now.   Thanks for your incouragement.  I like it when you said let the healing begin.  It sounds so fun.

 

brissance's picture
brissance
Posts: 192
Joined: May 2016

You couldn't take over the thread as it is ours...  and I value what you have to say and what you have done.  Lets just enjoy we made it through.  :)  

janaes
Posts: 800
Joined: May 2016

Brissance i love you so much.  Thanks for you wonderful words.  Yesterday, i didnt realize it at the first of the day when i had decided to get up and do more, but i ended up doing alot more than i have in a long time yesterday.  My son has been in hockey in preivous years and not realizing it, his first practice was yesterday,  My house was messier than it had been the previous two weeks because i had just done my chemo on thursday and thats when i let the cleaning go.  With what time we had left before we had to leave, i told my son, "how bad do you want to go to hockey practice?"  He wanted to go so i told him to go clean up.  He did but it needs cleanning again today.  While at practice i walked up about 15 stairs and then down, sat on bleachers with no back support to them.  I did it.  Because i had already talken a walk outside earlier i decided that i was going to go lay down when i got home and did just that.  Thank goodness today i dont have not much to do  and neither do the kids. Ive been taking it easy. I think i might still try a little walk to keep that going.

pinky104
Posts: 574
Joined: Feb 2013

If it makes you feel any better, I had UTI's almost constantly through my chemo.  As soon as I finished the treatment for one, I got the next one.  I think it was probably because I'd refused the Neulasta shot.  My brother had dropped dead the week before they offered it to me, and since it had a risk of causing heart attacks (his probable cause of death), I wasn't taking any chances.  It turned out to be good that I refused it, as several months later when I wasn't feeling any better three months after finishing chemo (carboplatin and taxol), I was tested and found to have hemochromatosis.  My ferritin level was 962 and normal is under 150.  I could've had a heart attack, too.  I still get UTI's two or three times a year, but nothing like the constant ones I had back then.  I'm six years out now from chemo.

brissance's picture
brissance
Posts: 192
Joined: May 2016

I have only had two UTIs since chemo started.  I have had a bevy of other infections...  but I am hopeful it is just my bod doesn't care to be poisoned.  I will use the info you gave me.  I am glad my doc is addressing now and not waiting to help identify cause for the infections.  I am waiting to hear back on the tests he has already run and to get the name of the hemotologist/oncologist to whom I will be referred..  hopefully it will be an easy fix.  Thanks for letting me know, I do appreciate you taking the time to allieviate my worries.  You are appreciated.  (I was never offered nealasta.  had neupogin only once..   so not sure on that)

TeddyandBears_Mom's picture
TeddyandBears_Mom
Posts: 1688
Joined: Jun 2015

Patty, Our bodies take time to heal from the chemo. I am 9 months out and my white blood count is still not up to low normal yet. I only had one Nuelasta shot and refused any after that. So, that may be why I'm slow to build back up. I saw my medical oncologist for my 3 month blood work and he said I should hit a low-normal level at about month 12. I am improving each month, but just a tiny bit each time. Just sharing this with you so that you don't expect things to move quickly.  As long as we make positive improvements, we are doing great! I hope your infections start moving in the right direction asap.

Love and Hugs,

Cindi

Mmpeterson
Posts: 124
Joined: Sep 2016

You deserve to be very proud and congrats on finishing your treatment.  I am newly diagnosed and new to these boards but I definately look forward to the day when I can post my victory on finishing treatment.  Brissance and all the ladies on here, you are all an inspiration to me!  Maryanne

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