Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Chemo Went Smoothly

I didn't have any reaction to chemo today. My oncologist lowered the normal dose by 25%. He says fatigue is the only reaction & possible neuropathy in the fingers and toes. No nausea. My white counts were lower than last week: 3.2 vs 3.9. (4 is normal). My neutraphils went down: 1.8 this week vs 2.9 last week. (2 is within normal range and .9 is good but if they go down to .5, I'm in danger) But my red blood cells and platelets were up, though the RBCs were lower than normal range.

I ran out of one of the immune building Chinese formulas so I was off of it from last week until this week. So I guess now I know that I really need to continue taking that! I took a different formula in the meantime but it probably wasn't covering me fully.

My doctor wants to see how my immune system does on this new chemo and then if I do ok, we'll probably do 3 more sessions every 3 weeks. If I don't do well, he mentioned the possibility of doing "dense dose" which is a lower amount every other week but ends up being a higher dose overall. Just to get this over with and not damage my immune system. I still want to ask him if we can just do the dense dose anyway and get it over sooner! I'll ask tomorrow when I go in for my neulasta shot.

We saw the radiation oncologist today. We liked her very much and she was recommended by all my other doctors. She confirmed my desire to get mastectomies on both sides to lower my chances of recurrence and no reconstruction to lower my chance of not being able to feel a recurrence, plus to lower my need for more surgeries! Survival rates remain the same between lumpectomies and mastectomies. I just don't want to go through this again more than I will mourn the loss of my body parts. But I will have to go through some grieving over the loss for sure.

This Dr. also lowered our expectations for being done with all my treatment by our Hawaii trip, August 5th. She said if there are no complications, then we can make it. If there are complications (example: extra surgery recovery time due to infections, etc., or not being able to get all my chemos on schedule.) Plus she recommended changing Aimee's Bat Mitzvah date from July 26th to sometime in the Fall.

One very positive thing she did say was that after an extensive palpating exam of my breasts, she couldn't feel any tumor! I will bring that up to my oncologist too because maybe I don't have to go through all this chemo?

Anyway, I hope I feel fine next weekend because I want my parents to come visit. They will bring my niece Rachel too (my sister's daughter). Rachel gave me the ok to miss her softball games because, "family's important!"

Here's a quote to end this update,
"Whenever someone has found the courage to live more deeply, more courageously than before, no matter how short a time it may be, they hold open that door for anyone who tries to follow." Rachel Naomi Remen, M.D. in her book: My Grandfather's Blessings.

Have a good rest of the week and weekend.

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