Friday, November 20, 2009

Round 5, Day 1 and 2

So I'm going to start my log of round 5. I think I'll just add to this blog for a few days, then start a new one for the next 3 days or so, and so on until its time for round 6. Follow along if you want!

Today I probably shouldn't have had chemo because my neutrophils and overall white blood cell counts were pretty low. The doc let me go ahead, knowing I respond quickly to neupogen shots, and knowing that I wouldn't be able to have Thanksgiving at all if we waited until next week. He did say we are taking a risk, and I should wear a mask if I'm around anyone sick (remember before he told me I didn't need a mask?). I need to watch for fevers and signs of infection, and call immediately with any concerns. I wasn't too worried until I went back to the infusion room to start chemo and my nurse (who had seen my blood counts) was REALLY surprised the doc was letting me get chemo. She assumed I wasn't. She said that's the lowest she's seen the doc allow. THEN I started to worry! But really I'm not too concerned. Unfortunately Shonna is sick with a cold, but she's been sick alot this Fall and I haven't caught anything yet. She's good about washing her hands and I put out a separate hand towel in the bathroom just for me to use. I'll stay home for the next few days too--no running to Target or going out to eat. I have to do a shot on Sunday, after my pump is disconnected, then one on Monday. Tuesday I won't need to do a shot if I get a lot of back pain from it on Sun and Mon, because the back pain indicates the bone marrow is making more white blood cells. If I don't have much pain, then I'll do a 3rd shot on Tues. Then 2 days before my next chemo I'll do one more shot. Last round I did 2 shots at home and didn't have much pain at all, which was unusual.

Side effects for today are: cramping of hands, calves, lips, and throat, and extreme cold sensitivity in my hands and feet. My calves are twitching as I sit here and I do a funny stiff legged walk. The throat thing makes it a little hard to swallow, and I have to keep it warm or it gets worse. Other than the cold sensitivity, the other cramping and such should be gone tomorrow. I feel a little tired and out of it, but not too bad.

Brennan update:
Rachel was very excited when she called me this afternoon. Brennan exceeded his minimum amount of milk at the 3pm check today! (and he pooped on his own too!) He is finally making HUGE improvements. Rachel and Ken are spending the weekend in a family room at the hospital and will have Brennan in the room with them. We might actually have him here for Thanksgiving! I'm soooo excited. Alyssa and Shonna have never held their nephew and really want to see him too.

Oh, I wanted to add something about Jaren too--he and a few other guys are leaving the Basra base and heading up near Baghdad. Something about driving around a General. Anyway, please pray for his safety. He should be heading back to the US (Utah, I think) for some training on Dec. 30th, then home around Feb 1st. Alyssa and I have been apartment hunting, and she hopes to move into someplace Jan 1st, so it will be all ready for Jaren when he comes home. Its tough to make that final decision on an apartment tho! She's being very thorough and I know she will make the right choice.

Tomorrow I'll add to this blog, and change the title to "Round 5, Day 1 and 2".

Until then, take care everyone!!

I didn't sleep very much last night, only a few hours. The decadron they give me in my IV with the Zofran keeps me awake. Hopefully I can sleep tonight! I do have Ambien to take, but I don't like to take it with the steroid. Not sure why, just seems like too many drugs at once.
I still have some muscle cramps, but not as bad as yesterday. I've had a little nausea when my stomach gets hungry, so have been snacking alot today.
Took my second Emend pill at 12:30. They give me 1 larger dose pill before chemo, then I take a smaller 1 for the 2 days after. I also take Zofran first thing in the morning and then Decadron after I eat. Then I take them both at bedtime too. I'll continue the Zofran for several days, but only take Decadron til tomorrow, then I'll be done with that. Although, I might try a Decadron on one of my really bad days to see if it perks me up a little. I mentioned it to the nurse, and she agreed that it might help a little, and said to just take one in the morning.
Shonna is still sick with a bad sore throat and stuffy head. I wanted her to go to a Minute Clinic or urgent care today, but she worked instead. She was going to leave early, but decided not to. Maybe tomorrow before she works at 1. I will be relieved when I finally do my Neupogen shot tomorrow eve. to raise my white blood count!
Thanks Ken for the info on the masks again. I'm not going to make Shonna wear a mask, but I do worry about surfaces she touches, even tho she is good about washing her hands. I wipe stuff down with disinfectant wipes.
Thank you to the Bridgewood folks for the 2 meals this week!! Much appreciated! Rich was just going to have cereal last night, but instead we all had yummy soup (and too much cake :)
Tomorrow I'll start a new blog--this one is getting too long. :)


  1. Requests are being sent to God to bless you, Jaren and Brennan!

  2. REMEMBER -- if you're going to plan to wear a mask to keep YOU healthy, don't bother getting cheap paper masks that are primarily designed to keep you from sneezing on other people. If you want to be protected, you need an N-95 mask fitted tightly to your face with no cracks.

    Otherwise, most of the air you breath is just coming around the edges -- and the cloth or paper surgical masks won't filter out viruses or even bacteria in many cases!

    A better plan is to make all the sick people wear masks and stay as far away as you can.

  3. Hi Tina, I hope things go better for you!
    You might want to stay at home for awhile until your blood count gets back up. That's the best defense, and what Ron did. I took him out for drives in the country, just to get out of the house. The masks can be rather uncomfortable to wear after awhile. I also don't know how effective they are. Ron went to church today (without a face mask but with hand sanitizer). He was so happy. It had been several months since he had been able to do so. It is tough to be isolated, but necessary at times. I'm praying for you!