Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Chemo Round 2 Of 8

Maybe I should say round 6 of 12? Because these 8 rounds are a continuation of the 4 I had in the spring--for a total of 12 rounds. But the side effects are more like a round 2 than a round 6. If that makes any sense :) .

My blood counts were a little low, but still within the range that my doc allows for chemo. We discussed doing the Neupogen shot to increase the white blood cells (specifically neutrophils), but since I can't take ibuprofen for the pain (because of my blood thinners), we decided to hold off until next round. By then I'll be done with the blood thinner shots (Lovenox), and will be able to take the ibuprofen before the shot.

I can stop taking the antibiotic for the c-diff, but the doc said he was going to double check with the infectious disease doc to see if I should stay on it longer at a lower dose. He said he was going to do that last time, so I hope he remembers this time! Because of the c-diff, I haven't been able to touch my grandson, so I'm hoping by the time he comes home in a month or so I'll be all clear to hold him!

I did get the flu shot today. It was for the seasonal flu, as they don't have the H1N1 shots yet. I asked the doc if the flu could kill me, and while he didn't say no, he did say that those with the blood cancers (like lymphoma) are more at risk because of their suppressed immune systems. While my counts get low, I still have a working immune system to help fight the flu. But it is weaker than a normal, healthy person. I asked him if they (the ones with blood cancers) are the ones I see wearing the masks, and he said yes, and I don't need a mask.

So, while I was sitting there getting my chemo, Shonna sends me a text that says "I called in sick to work--don't come near me or you will die". ( That's typical Shonna drama:) ) Turns out she has a really bad sore throat and headache. These are the same symptoms my oncology nurse, Cheryl, tells me her son had about 3 weeks ago and her doc thinks it was H1N1 and gave her son Tamiflu. Great. Shonna is staying away from me and in her room as much as possible, but we do share a bathroom. I think I'm going to put out a separate hand towel just for me. I'm going to try to get Shonna in to the doc tomorrow. If I tell them I have cancer, maybe they'll be willing to fit her in! Shonna said several kids in one of her college classes all got sick around the same time. She's been using hand sanitizer and washing alot, but really, this flu virus is airborne and hand washing might not help all that much (although its still recommended).

So far my side effects have been stronger than last round. I've been getting the hand, lip and calf cramping, and my throat is more affected by the cool air. I brought my new scarf with me, and I'm glad I did because I really needed it. I still have it around my shoulders so I can breathe into it every now and then to warm up my throat. I still get that weird pain in my jaw from my salivary (sp?) glands everytime I eat something. The first few bites really hurt, then it stops. I don't remember what the doc said about it, but its normal for this treatment.

Typing is getting difficult, and I have a headache, so time to stop.

Love to all!


  1. One day at a time Sweet Jesus, That's all I'm askin' for Tina!

  2. If you're going to wear a mask, for heaven's sake do it right! If you slap some cloth mask or a painter's mask on your face it will just make you uncomfortable and possibly protect you a LITTLE if somebody sneezes in your face.

    To be safe against bacteria and viruses, you need a resperator (not a face mask) and it must be certified to prevent infection. Also, unless you happen to be a health safety professional, you would need to get the mask fitted because they are utterly useless if you have even a small crack around the side. I mean honestly, do people think that even the most expensive resperator is going to prevent infection by 1 micron particles if they have a 1 in. gap around the nose?!?

    Of course you could make Shonna wear a cheap facemask around the house... Wearing one yourself would just make you look weird for no reason.

  3. I am so glad you cleared that up about the H1N1. I have been trying to stay away from anyone that I think may have a cold or an infection. I'm glad to hear that we still have immunities even if they're lower than the rest of the people out there. Sorry you are getting the reactions to Oxaliplatin. I really hate that drug but I wonder if Camptosar will be any worse?