Thursday, September 13, 2007

Guess What

I went in to get my last chemo today at 9:30 a.m. and my white blood cell counts were too low again. Instead, I got another 2 hour drip of iron at the hospital and a shot of Aranesp in the belly at the Cancer Institute. I'm going in tomorrow afternoon to get a new shot in the belly called Nupagen (sp?). It's supposed to help my white blood cells to get a boost so we can do chemo on Monday the 17th. It will then be 5 weeks between treatments. I'm starting to really get weary. Can I do this?

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

My Poor Body

The treatment is often worse than the ailment. Do you know what it feels like to run a race and give it all you've got, and when you get to the last stretch and you have nothing else to give you just try and make sure your legs are moving even if you can't feel them? Well that's how I feel. That finish line is just ahead but I can't get there fast enough.

The bloodwork that I had done on Monday indicated a couple of new things beside the low blood counts. My TSH, or measure of my thyroid, is 0.04 and should be at least .5 or so. That means that even though I don't have a thyroid, my medicine is making my body think I have an overactive thyroid. Not a problem, I just need an adjustment on my medication. But that does explain the extreme sleepiness and dragging I've been having.

Also, my iron studies are low. So low, in fact, that I had to go to the hospital today and sit around for a couple of hours getting an infusion of the tar-looking substance. I'll have chemo tomorrow at the Cancer Institute and then go to the hospital the next day for more iron. That should help the bruising and other symptoms. I *think* that's it for infusions. I'll just have to make it through the next couple of weeks and try to get healthy.

For some reason I've been finding myself thinking of myself as two parts in the whole: my soul/mind/aura/whatever and my physical body. It's almost as if I am two different people. I used to not have this division. I am a true believer in the mind-body connection. I guess I feel a little betrayed by my body. I feel like I've treated it pretty darn well, and what do I get in return? Cancer. And now, during chemo, my body is not listening to my mind again. I'm trying to heal and understand what my body is whispering, but it's almost like it's speaking a different language all of a sudden.

Clinical Research Trial for Ovarian Cancer Patients

I was asked to post this link about a clinical research trial for a drug called phenoxodiol used in patients with recurrent ovarian cancer, fallopian tube cancer, or peritoneal cancer. I don't know much about it so I can't give an opinion on it or any clinical trial program, but I believe that more information and education is better than less.

There are links to study locations as well.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Damn Blood Counts

I got a call today at 7:45 a.m. from my nurse practitioner saying my white blood cell count was too low and I can't do chemo today. It was 2.3 and it needs to be 3.0 at the least to do it. Argh!!! I can't describe the feeling but it's somewhere around disappointment. No one likes to receive chemotherapy but I'm so ready to be done. Every time they postpone a session, I have to postpone going back to work.

Anyway, I will have to go back on Thursday to do chemo and run my bloodwork when I get there to make sure it's high enough. Luckily I don't have to do it next week. I don't think I could wait any longer!!

Monday, September 10, 2007

The Journal Begins

I said I was going to keep track of chemo week meticulously, so here goes. Chemo isn't until tomorrow (Tuesday), but the day before chemo I always have to go in and do bloodwork. I've been going to the lab where I receive my chemotherapy infusion to do my bloodwork because I worked out a special deal where I don't have to pay my co-pay ($35). I have to do bloodwork once a week so the co-pays add up. I also pay a co-pay when I do chemo every 3 weeks and when I see the doctor.

I found out that if you go to an alternative lab to do bloodwork, they can charge different prices. I found one nearby that only charges me about $5 total. When I couldn't even afford that, the Cancer Institute worked out a deal with me so I wouldn't have to pay anything if I went to their lab instead. Whew!

They draw my blood through my port in my chest. Today they took 2 vials of blood and flushed it with saline. I can taste it when they give me the saline. They'll check my CBC and CA-125. I also asked them to check my thyroid levels per my doctor to make sure my thyroid medication is working for my body.

The needle kind of hurts going in, but it's not as annoying as having a needle in your arm. Someone gave me some Lidocaine gel for some mouth sores before I got the Magic Mouthwash (don't get me started on how awesome that is!) so I'm going to rub it on my port tomorrow. I don't know if it will work, but I'm going to try it out. It gets sore if I have my port accessed two days in a row.

Stay tuned!

The Last Lecture