Thursday, October 23, 2008

10.23.2008 - Bad Lab Results

I went in for lab results on 10.23.2008 and they drew my blood and five minutes later had my results, as usual. They can do it that fast because they are a hematology lab and don't send anything out. My neutrophil count was zero. That level alarmed my chemo nurse. Evidently, neutrophils are the most active of the white blood cells and are the first to attack microorganisms. My nurse wanted me to begin injecting myself with Neupogen daily and taking an antibiotic daily until my next appointment, which will be on Tuesday.

Friday, October 17, 2008

10.17.2008 - Another Round of Chemo & A Timeline

On 10.17.2008, my wife took me to my doctor's office and I got my intravenous line started and then went to radiology at the adjacent hospital and had a MRI. After that, the doctor met with my wife and I and reviewed the scans. The scans revealed that everything was stable and unchanged. The tumor is under control. While the chemo usually lasts a year, my doctor asked me if I could continue with aggressive treatment for four to six more months. His rationale was that he is treating an aggressive disease and most people don't survive it. His goal is just to get me to the three year mark, where the survival curve flattens out and most people survive indefinitely after that point. Since chemo is only something I have to deal with every four to six weeks, I thought I could do that. He wanted to keep me on Thalidomide as long as we could, possibly even up to three years. If I needed to lower the amount I was taking at some point, he thought that was quite reasonable. My body has adapted to the Thalidomide well and I don't notice the fatigue nearly as much these days. My wife and I felt all of it was reasonable. I didn't feel so hot from the round of chemo and will likely be laying around the house the whole weekend and probably Monday and possibly Tuesday as well. This one, while a one day session, usually kicks my butt pretty hard. What I had today was Irinotecan and Taxol. My wife had to drive me because I can't drive myself home after the chemo due to all the benadryl that they treat me with to prevent any allergic reaction to the chemo drugs. I will also be taking Temodar orally for the next five days and usually don't feel good until that is over with. Wednesday or Thursday will probably be the first day I feel good again.