Saturday, July 17, 2010
Today is Day 10! Hallelujah, we are in the double digits of this treatment cycle. This is, however, a double-edged sword in that the higher the numbers get, the better I feel, but the closer we are to the next round. Ugh. So Day 7 - not a good day. It seems that (although this round was slightly less dramatic than the first) along with Day 7 comes fever, bone aches (from the Neulasta - will explain in a moment), headache, nausea (even unaffected by IV Zofran!) and general crappiness. What I have learned from this is that a good dose of a sleeping pill (I am trying not to publicly endorse too many drugs) will at least help move time along a bit faster.
Neulasta is the injection I get 24 hours after chemo to try to prevent a sharp drop in my white cell count a week later. It works with my bone marrow (which produces white cells, right?), so one of the terrific side effects is that my bones ache, most powerfully on Day 7, requiring some good painkillers.
I went in to the doctor's office on Wednesday (Day 7) to have my blood tested and cells counted (let's hear it for the port...) and although my white cells were low, they were not as low as last time and my "absolute" numbers (from what I understand these are the white cells in the making - still unborn) were good, although troubling since it took multiple attempts to actually get a reading on them. Still, they put me on IV antibiotics (2 different ones) and, yes, Zofran for a few hours to get me all protected against any harmful bacteria lurking in my blood and try to get rid of my extreme nausea.
I returned home, thank goodness, to settle down for an evening of hot and sweaty, feverish fun! At least they didn't make me go to the ER. I have to remember to be grateful for something every day (Kris Carr reminded me). With my parents and Dan by my side, we got through it. Day 8 was a few degrees better, but I still found it difficult to lift my head off the pillow. By Day 9, the stink was starting to set in... Fever off and on for a few days, plus no energy for a shower does not equal a Mia as fresh as the morning dew. However, my spirits were lifted when I got some fun t-shirts and treats in the mail (crazy sexy cancer goddess, I heart my oncologist), plus a delivery from old navy full of fun (and cheap) things I ordered prior to Day 7.
Now we are in the midst of Day 10 and yes, another heat wave here on the East Coast. I did indeed shower this morning and then spent a good chunk of time this morning out on the porch, chatting with neighbors and watching Judah draw with chalk. I was permitted to stop taking the antibiotics yesterday because they (along with EVERYTHING else I take) upset my stomach and it appears there is no actual need for them. So now I'm waiting for the nausea to take its hiatus until Round 3 so I can pack on some preparatory (and restorative) pounds.
Stay tuned for more regular posts as we near week 3 of the cycle and my energy level increases. Coming soon: pukey pill tirade, Judah update, the trouble with making plans, spending a LOT of quality time with family (without committing a crime), knowing about your disease without knowing too much (AKA forbidden to google), and finally, the question of how to show appreciation for a ridiculous amount of emotional (and culinary) support when everyone you've ever known has something to contribute to your healing process.