Saturday, April 11, 2015

At the junction between the 5th and the 6th, and last, cycle

Thursday night I was called because my lab tests that day had been low - very very low. With a hemoglobin just over 5 (normally anything 8 or lower gets transfused) i was told to return to Gainesville at 8:45 Friday morning for type and cross (blood testing) and transfusion of Red blood cells. It took all day but 2 units of transfusion later my blood pressure was higher (in this case, a good thing) and I felt better than I had for weeks. Following a trip to Rhode Island for a wedding March 21 I came down with a virus and had two weeks of upper respiratory tract infection and diarrhea. I got pretty dehydrated, which probably artificially elevated my blood counts at weekly testing. I had had trouble standing up without getting dizzy for most of that time. Things improved when i was again able to eat real meals, and even more as I slowly rehydrated. Wednesday I was diagnosed with a urinary tract infection and started on antibiotics. Then Friday i got transfused. Now I feel better than I have for weeks. None the less I spent most of the day dozing in PJs in front of the TV. Tomorrow I will try to be more active. Monday I start the last 3 week cycle of chemo - Monday is the day i get two drugs (carboplatin and taxol). AFter that I will get taxol alone for the next 2 mondays - assuming i do not have blood counts that are low enough to require delaying a week or more of chemo, I will finish my chemo the beginning of May. I am eager to get to that point and then begin improving again. Louisa

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Cycle 5 week 2 moving into 3 and one cycle + 1 week to go

March 21, one week into cycle 5, I went to Rhode Island to a wedding. Wonderful event and would not have missed it for the world. But somewhere on the way up, back or in between I seemed to have picked up a virus which left me in bed febrile and dehydrating for most of 3 days last week followed by GI complications for most of the rest of the week. But as of today I can finally seem to operate at normal body temperature, keep enough liquids down to no longer get dizzy whenever I stand up, and make it through the day without Niquil. Oh and did I mention I am approximatly 10 pounds lighter? (every cloud has a silver lining...) So if I have not been terribly responsive, forgive me. I seem to be recovering now but still a little weak and slow and definitely going to take more seriously avoiding crowds for the rest of my chemo - which barring the need for delays due to low blood counts or other reasons, should continue for exactly 4 more weeks. Four more weeks - the end is in sight! I have graduated to full time medical leave a little sooner than I had planned thanks to the assistance of my little viral friend. But it was coming anyway. Balsam, who often seems to find used kleenex charming things to pull out of the garbage and chew upon, is behaving in a more civilized manner these days. Which maybe means even he has not enjoyed this virus. The singing hound dog did lift his head when the clock radio went off at 6 AM and begin crooning along with whatever was playing. I failed to fully appreciate his musical contributions since I was still in bed trying to sleep, but he clearly does have moments when there is no question that he is attempting to croon along with the music. Like his mother, he has a tendency to start on pitch but then go flat or otherwise slide off key. Sigh. Well, nobody is perfect. 5.66 cycles down, 4 weeks to go.