Saturday, 1 November 2008

Third Chemo - At Last

Thanks to my former good health and membership in a raw feeding list for dogs, I'd always thought that Prednisolone was a veterinary medicine. But, sonofagun, if I'm not on it, myself. That and industrial-strength (1000 mg) paracetamol, both for the joint and muscle pain that I experience from about the second to sixth day after chemo.

Had the session on Thursday. The neutrophilles just made it. Normal is 1500-8000. I clocked in with 1600. I am now receiving a Neulasta injection the day following chemo to stimulate production of white blood cells. I think the red ones could use some help, too, but I'll just have to keep yelling at them for the next three weeks. I haven't yet received my copy of the blood tests. No mail today. It is All Saint (Souls?) Day and a public holiday.

Dr. Litor is on vacation. Her replacement was a very nice man with the bedside manner of a born researcher. But he was pleased, not to say suprised, even, at how fast my CA125 is falling.

I asked about the flu injection that I am reminded to take each year. I never do, and I don't get the flu. It's a killed vaccine, but I thought I'd check. No, don't take it, he said. Pause, then, but your husband should, so that he doesn't give you the flu. Poor Nick.

My "roommate" this time was a confused middle-aged woman recovering from breast cancer. She had come for treatment before, but been sent home. From her conversation with the nurse, I gather it had something to do with her blood pressure, but she didn't know. She also had never seen Dr. Litor; I can't imagine how she bypassed that step. And she had no idea she'd be there for 3 hours or so, so she'd brought nothing to read and no puzzles to amuse herself. This tells me that she either didn't see the nurse for the explanatory session or just didn't understand it. I didn't get much reading done and I'm getting tired of ham for lunch.

She wondered why I hadn't lost my hair. Because I keep it next to the bed, so no one can steal it. No, I didn't say that. She couldn't get over how real the wig looks. (This is my punkierish style, but I'm still going to try to get some more cut next week.

Yesterday, I had the worst reaction since starting chemo. I was crevée - vulgar slang for feeling like you'd been run over with a steamroller. Applied to tires, it means flat. No one can tell my why this should be vulgar.

Anyhoo, I started to think that, more than being cumulative, the effects of chemo were exponential, I was so tired. We went to lunch at a friend's. I couldn't cancel because she'd already had to reorganise other people due to the treatment delay. Climbing up the old village in Nyons, I actually had to stop and rest for a minute. I felt much better about this when the other guests arrived and they were puffing harder than I. And they're supposedly healthy.

Anyway, I feel fine today, so it was temporary, whatever it was.


  1. "She wondered why I hadn't lost my hair. Because I keep it next to the bed, so no one can steal it."

    This is my favourite part of this whole entry!
    I am glad you re-inflated. :)

  2. I think it's "normal" to feel tired - the damn cocktail is killing the good cells with the bad. Your WBC were already low, makes sense you were more tired. Sounds like it's working if you are feeling less fatigued.

    Neulasta can be useful for fatigue, too. Ads all over the place for it, here in the USA.

    No talk of something for the RBCs in case they don't smarten up? Something like Aranesp?

    All Saint's Day. Yes, I am a saint. I need to move to France where it's a holiday so I can have my birthday off:)

    Keep up that diary! You aren't too tired *now*, right?

  3. Does the cute punkish hairstyle lead to more inspired yelling at various cells?

    Pleased to hear you're feeling better :)


  4. I'll talk to to Dr. Litor next time about something for the RBC. And diary is done, Miss!

  5. Unfortunately, you're going to have tired days. Thankfully yours don't seem to be bad or last for long. Paracetamol is just Tylenol (acetaminophen), right? Is that helping your pain?
    And prednisone is a steroid used for lots of things, including chemo.
    Maybe they'll put you on something for the RBCs as well. Procrit, Epogen.. That would probably help with the fatigue.
    This is a completely random post, but I took a percocet for knee pain last night, and I haven't really woken up yet, so forgive the flight of ideas. :)
    Glad you're feeling better, and that your CA125 is falling at such a rapid rate.

  6. Love the punkish style!


    Catching up.

    I'm waaaay behind.