Monday, August 31, 2009

Got my yellow on ...

No, not the lance bracelet. Just finished chemo # 8. Skin always goes a bit yellow the day of. I had my SIL Sarah take a picture. Second trip for her. She's real good at it! We both have a good time when she's there. Field trip to the Cancer Ward!

Today was Get Shorty and more of Season 1 of Sopranos.

Trouble sleeping again last night. Note to self: Ativan helps to shut the brain down. Next time take it before 2:00 am. Chemo sucks on short sleep. Actually, it sucks regardless, but more if you're tired.

WBC were back up. Neutrophil shot on Thursday did the job, and there were ultimately no ill effects from Friday's bee sting (aside from the usual).

I've got another CT scan on Friday to check the size of the tumor. No PET this time

8 down, 4 to go. Starting to feel like I'm getting there. whoopdee fuckin' do

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Question and answer

Conversation from the autobus on my group ride yesterday.

The other Chris (just met her that evening): "Are you racing?"

Me: "Not this year, I've been sick."

The other Chris: "What is it?"

Me: "Hodgkins."

The other Chris: "When did you finish treatment?"

Me: "I'm stil IN treatment."

The other Chris: "And you're still out here??"

Me: "When I'm up for it, it's the best place to be."

3 sticks and you're out

Today's visit: the phlebotomy lab was W A Y backed up. Took an hour for my to get my draw. Normally it's 5 minutes. Some sort of training debacle there.

When I finally got in it took the phlebotomist 3 tries. It's not the multiple sticks I mind so much, it's the digging around while my veins roll away from the needle. And trust me, I got some good veins - "juicy" they say (though I don't think that's an actual medical term).

Anyway, when I went back with my Nurse Practicioner and Doctor, we looked at the results on the computer and my Neutrophil count was 0.0. If my math is right I think it was actually 0.04, but they round the counts off. For those who don't know, neutrophils are the particular white blood cells that are your first line of defence for infection.

They gave me a shot of neupogen - a hormone to boost WBC production - but they decided to postpone my infusion until Monday (originally scheduled for tomorow), but we're going through with it regardless of the counts.

So I called up my Sister in law - she was going to take me to this treatment. To my surprise she said she could do Monday! Tomorrow we're going to try for a bike ride, weather permitting.

So I get a bonus weekend of not feeling crappy. I'm probably going to be thrown off next week though. I usually have an idea of how I'll feel based on the day of the week after treatment. When I went just one day early for the July 4 holiday it threw me.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Betrayed - I don't think so

It seems to be a constant refrain from cancer patients - "My body betrayed me."

I'd have to go the other way on that. Looking back I'd consider my body a worthy ally throughout this fight.

So, what, one cell went bad to start the tumor out of how many? Trillions?

Not unexptected, especially having an Uncle who had the same disease given what I know (albeit limited) about probability, and medical probability specifically.

Since starting treatment my body has done the following:

- First and foremost: responded exceptionally well to treatment

- Handled 3 necessary surgeries within a month

- Handled the chemo relatively well (despite my not so occasional complaints)

- Allowed me to continue to ride the bike, and I would say, effectively given what it's been through

- Maintained a stable weight

- Remained relatively free of complications - I have NOT been hospitalized since starting treatment

Betrayal is certainly not a word that comes to mind considering that record. Until now I've basically always been healthy, and always counted on my body to stay healthy and perform.

I never thought I'd need it to perform in this way, but I certainly expected it to rise to the occasion when I found I was sick.

And it hasn't let me down.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Zombie Day

Slept late then passed out for a 2 hour nap in the afternoon. Had to walk myself around the block to TRY to find some energy - maybe get the heart moving. Not sure it worked :).

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Another day after Ride

Went off-road with Claire. These rides are starting to feel like what my doctor wants me to do. Low end of moderate, but still one and a half hours. I made sure to cut it off so it wouldn't be two. She still helped me feel fast :).

I'm being more purposefull about drinking water. It was hard at first - the taste. But you have to go after it. Gatorade helps, and I'm helping to flush out better. We'll see how Monday, Tuesday go. Monday is the first day without the EMEND. So far I'm getting through on Zofran and Ativan. Compazine at bed.

More pharmacy nonsense today. Finally tracked down my refill and got it picked up. At this point MY word should be good to get the regular stuff filled! How's that for healthcare reform?

Friday, August 14, 2009

Back from #7. Into the second half.

I'm thinking Zofran, Compazine and another Ativan before bed.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Another Mountain Bike Ride

I LOVE being out there when I am able. Early on I wasn't sure if I had the energy to ride off-road. It quickly became my preferred option. And thanks to MORE for the work they do keeping MY trails open and available.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Bad Day

Didn't ride on Friday - sun was too intense.

Woke up this morning with stomach cramps. And had to go downtown for bloodwork. Took a Compazine even though I don't like the way they knock me out. Wound up going all in on the nausea meds today. Just didn't feel settled at all. Felt lucky to eat.

At least the labs were fine.

Looking to fall asleep now.