I am now 1/3 of the way through my treatments. The last two weeks have again been a roller coaster ride of side effects and live events. The life events will be a topic for another blog post at some point, but not today.
I have now figured out the neutrophil cycle. Hooray! The result is that the weekend before my treatment, my neutrophils crash. I typically feel fine and have good energy, I just can’t go out in public. Sorry adoring fans and paparazzi. You will just have to get me as I sneak in and out for acupuncture, blood work, and cancer center appointments.
The next big stop on this cancer journey comes next week. Our ninth wedding anniversary will begin with me getting a PET scan. We will get the results the next day when I meet with the oncologist. These results will tell us how effective the treatments are and if we stay the course or if we need to change the course of treatment in some fashion.
Basically, with this scan they will be able to tell how many cancer cells I have in my body. That number will be compared to the starting point, calculated by a scan done the day prior to my first treatment. Then, and you thought there would be no math on this blog, they will be able to calculate whether or not I will have zero cells at the end of my 12th treatment. If the calculation says “cancer cells = 0 after 12 treatments”, full speed ahead as we are. If it says “cancer cells more than 0 after 12 treatments”, changes will be made. I figured some of you would like to know how this works.
About Treatment #4. Each treatment day is a long day. Blood work. Wait. Chemo gets ordered from pharmacy. Wait. Need to get IV fixed. Wait. Three drugs get pushed from syringe into IV by my amazing nurse Jodi. Final drug gets dripped over 90 minutes from a bag into my IV. Wait! Then more fluids via the IV. Then home. All total, it takes about 7 hours. I was very tired when I got home yesterday from treatment. I took a nap, had a great dinner, watched some soccer (US v. Canada) and baseball (Red Sox v. some other team), then hit the mattress for the night. Today, not a lot of activity, did some work, basically laid around all day. There is a solid chance I watch some Stanley Cup action tonight. The next couple of days are the tough ones. The energy level really drops. The side effects from the medications that combat the side effects of the chemo start to kick in. I have a headache most of the day and generally don’t feel good. I do have acupuncture tomorrow morning, which helps all of this. I am getting better at managing all the side effects, so hopefully the dip won’t be so low and the rise will start quickly.
Again, to all of you reading, thank you for your kind notes, cards, messages, emails, texts with your support. Each and every one empowers me, gives me strength, and truly help me get through the days. Please keep them coming.
I will post an update next week after the PET Scan results. Until then, pray for tumor reduction!!!!!!
Love and best wishes,
- Treatment #3 update and a story (andyridesagainstcancer.wordpress.com)
- Chemo Treatment #2: The Neutrophil Edition (andyridesagainstcancer.wordpress.com)
- Chemo Treatment: 1 Week Later (andyridesagainstcancer.wordpress.com)