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Monday, November 22, 2010

love and other drugs

Allison & I after my 5th round of chemo
"Love and other drugs" is a great movie title, I won't see it because it looks sappy....but I thought it was fitting.....I have lots of love, and could really use some other drugs!  Well... it has been just under 1 week since my 5th round of chemo--and it has been a bitch.  We were hoping to avoid neutropenia and bone pain by switching from Neulasta (one injection that increases bone marrow very quickly and lasts for a long period of time) to Neupogen (a shot given daily for 7-11 days that increases the bone marrow for just 24 hours).  If you remember, with my last chemo I ended up in the hospital with extreme bone pain and on a pain pump with the Neulasta shot. 

Now everything went belly-up and nothing seems to be working as we would have hoped.  I spent a majority of the afternoon/evening yesterday in the ER due to bone pain.  I had been taking pain meds and the bone pain was increasing with every shot and yesterday was too much.  I had a great doctor and nurse--they even gave me the option of going home, which I chose to do after being prescribed morphine in pill form and being good and doped up on IV pain meds and fluids.  I made it through the night at home, but woke up feeling even worse than before.

The problem is really in the numbers...........my blood work at the ER was disappointing, and despite being on the fucking shot that is still causing me a tremendous amount of pain, my white count is 2.3 which means I am good and neutropenic (just like after my 1st chemo when they forgot to give me the shot to begin with!).  So I have no immune system and all the things that go along with that: watery eyes, chest cough, chest pain, mouth sores, thrush, sensitive skin, bone pain and aches all over.  My legs are even sensitive to touch and carrying my rotund ass around isn't making things any easier.

Today I went to my oncologist and they confirmed everything that I found out in the ER, it was decided that I won't be hospitalized unless I spike a fever.  It is too risky to have me in a hospital full of germs when I have no immune system to fight it.  I started an antibiotic today as a precaution, I received fluids and was given more pain medication.  I will be going to the oncologist for the next two days (at the least) to receive fluids, get my counts drawn and get the Neupogen shot.  My concern is that I have been getting the shots since the day after chemo and my counts are still low......................more to come tomorrow from the oncologist.

Life is pretty rough right now. I really thought that we had it all figured out and this time would be the best yet.  I had a reaction during chemo--so I should have got the hint that things weren't hunky dori.  (speaking of hunky dori....my sisters and scott have decided that I look like Bobby Hill from the cartoon King of the Hill.............I reluctantly admit.... that I agree. 

Love your body & change the world.

As least now that I have to be a recluse the weather is cooperating...it is not like I would go anywhere in this weather to begin with.  As shitty as I feel it was nice to sit on the couch with Scott, a fire going, and watching everyone else stuck in this crazy weather.  Tomorrow I have my MUGA scan (the MUGA test involves the introduction of a radioactive marker into the bloodstream of the patient. The patient is subsequently scanned to determine the circulation dynamics of the marker, and hence the blood) to see if the Herceptin has done any damage, then off to the oncologist. 

Fingers crossed that I don't spike a fever. 

2 comments:

  1. Dori, I so wish there was a better way for you. Stay strong.....

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  2. Wow, Dori, you are in a thick battle with this cancer and the voodo cures! I encourage you to think of the millions of good and healthy cells!
    I rinsed my mouth several times a day with a half teaspoon salt and half teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda and that chased the sores away. Also there are toothpastes and other creams for dry mouth and they helped a lot. There is so much to do, we need your help, stick around.

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