Thursday, June 14, 2007

Thursday, June 14th, 2007 - Last Visit with Dr. Ma

Hiya Bloggy!

Hahaha... maybe I should change this to say it's a Once a Week blog rather than a daily journal? Then again, once summer is over and the winter blahs set in, it may very well go back to being a daily journal. I guess I should just leave it and we'll see how often it gets updated. The funny thing is.. when I do get over here to update it, I really enjoy the free-form forum where I can just start babbling and see where it takes me. Obviously, I don't have a structured way of reporting on the blog.

Now, I guess I haven't reported on formalities such as blood work and the like. So I should get that done. I have the last four weeks' blood work results which I keep forgetting to mention. HA! As time goes on, my memory is getting worse and worser :D I KNOW it is all because of the chemo and the impact chemo has on the brain, but golly gee whiz, it can throw a girl for a loop! I can see where, if one were to attempt to work during these treatments, it would be extremely frustrating for oneself and one's co-workers then the most obvious things are hard to remember. And concentration... not a chance! Ok, where was I? Oh yes... blood work results. I'll just list the main ones. I am STILL showing in the "normal" range which is phenomenal considering what my body, blood and immune system has been going through this past 5 weeks (more on that later with a report from what Dr. Ma, my radiation oncologist has to say).

Ok.. here are the results. The numbers in brackets are the "normal range"... the numbers with an asterisk are the numbers that have fallen out of the normal range.

May 22, 2007:

White Blood Cells (4.0 - 11.0) 5.5
Red Blood Cells (3.80 - 5.20) 4.52
Hemoglobin (115 - 155) 118
Hematocrit (.35 - .45) .365
Platelet Count (150 - 400) 269

Liver Function (40 - 95) 57

May 29, 2007:

White Blood Cells (4.0 - 11.0) 5.1
Red Blood Cells (3.80 - 5.20) 4.17
Hemoglobin (115 - 155) *111
Hematocrit (.35 - .45) *341
Platelet Count (150 - 400) 223

Liver Function (40 - 95) 57

June 6, 2007:

White Blood Cells (4.0 - 11.0) 4.7
Red Blood Cells (3.80 - 5.20) 4.22
Hemoglobin (115 - 155) *114
Hematocrit (.35 - .45) .354
Platelet Count (150 - 400) 235

Liver Function (40 - 95) 46

June 12, 2007:

White Blood Cells (4.0 - 11.0) 4.6
Red Blood Cells (3.80 - 5.20) 3.84
Hemoglobin (115 - 155) *109
Hematocrit (.35 - .45) *.328
Platelet Count (150 - 400) 245

Liver Function (40 - 95) 55

Soooo... the good news is that overall I've managed to keep pretty much in the "normal" range, which means my bone marrow has been producing the red/white blood cells it needs, as well as the platelets. This, in turn, has managed to fight off any bugs or infections that a normal, healthy immune system does on a daily basis. The fact there is some fluctuation there is due to the fact my system is being bombarded with both the chemo and the radiation, and has been bombarded with one or the other since early March and is still holding it's own. Yayayaya me!

Today was my 22nd radiation session... only 3 more to go to complete the radiation treatment. It was also my last visit with Dr. Ma, my radiation oncologist. He told me today that he is extremely impressed (and surprised) at just how well I am doing. The amount of radiation that I'm getting is pretty severe, as was the chemo I was on before starting the radiation. He told me that he has another patient, same age as I am, same kind of cancer. She was getting exactly the same treatment (dosage of radiation and dosage of oral chemo) that I am getting. After two weeks (10 sessions) he had to stop her radiation/chemo treatments and admit her to hospital. Her body just can't handle it at this high of a dosage. So she is now in the hospital, being rehydrated and medicated so they can get her in a condition where she hopefully can handle a much lesser dosage of the radiation and chemo. Then there's me... who is driving herself in every day, then driving herself home, still doing errands, grocery shopping, laundry, dog walks, etc. I laughed when, 2 weeks ago, they had a nutritionist meet with me to go over whether or not I had the energy to cook meals for myself, was I eating, did I need help in these things and should they arrange for some home care help. Of course, when the nutritionist met with me, she could see I was totally fine, and could easily be mistaken for a caregiver, not the patient (grin).

I tell you, I firmly believe that my success is because of my strong beliefs in the Laws of Attraction. You attract what you put out. As far as I'm concerned, I am one healthy female who was given this challenge but I will beat it and be healthier than ever. I do not dwell on how sick I should be... but rather on how healthy I should be :)

Dr. Ma even admitted he was surprised that I am doing so well... whereas I just assumed I'd do well and was wondering if I was being too much of a whiner with some of the side affects that I do have.

I have tenderness in my left side and now the skin is starting to break down on the front, left side. I have also been getting some bouts of diarrhea.. not too serious, but definitely a nuisance (hey, I have places to go, people to see!). Two of my main complaints are painful feet/legs which makes it a bit of a challenge to walk and lower back muscle pain on the left side. Dr. Ma explained why I was getting this.. basically, in a nutshell, the radiation is like a microwave. I am being cooked from the inside out. Now, at the end of my treatments we are starting to see the results of burning from the inside to the external skin. Inside it is much more serious and what I am feeling is the burned internal tissue. As for the lower back muscle pain.. one of the zaps is taken from underneath the radiation table through the back.. so the radiation is going through the muscles to get to the abdominal wall. Hence, those muscles are inflamed and burnt as well. The feet/leg pain is a result of the oral chemo and not the radiation. That is why he can't believe how well I'm doing because inside of me is the remains of a war zone :)

Anywho... Dr. Gill, my primary oncologist, is going to give my war zone a nice rest after the last radiation/chemo session. We need to give my body a fighting chance to bring down the internal swelling before we start up with the aggressive chemo again. So I get 4 weeks of NO TREATMENTS!! Yayayaya!

Hahaha... not that I'm going to be lazy. As I said in the previous entry, I will be involved with Theatre Under the Stars this summer. They are being very accommodating knowing that I will be going through chemo treatments while we do the shows. But what a great way of keeping myself distracted, eh?? :D

Oh... and I must share the little Diva's latest additions to her wardrobe :) My friend, Brisi, who lives in Tennessee has this wonderful website for pets --
PetPails.com
is a great site for ordering gifts or treats for our loved critters. So check out the little diva (grin)...

Hehehe... those Desperate Housewives have nothing on Bridget!! Here she is in her Desperate Housedogs t-shirt!

This is going to be Bridget's way of joining a good cause! She is going to be quite the hit around the city in August when there's the big weekend walk for Breast Cancer Research!

Now, although you can't see the words on this one... on the back of the shirt, in sequins, is DIVA DOG. And that she is!

Well, again this has been longish, so I'll stop here :) Over and out...

Ciao!

Cheryl

2 comments:

Chet said...

you said. "Yayayaya me!" and i concur. You are doing wonderful and I think you positive outlook and strong will are responsible for that. Keep it up and big Hugs and slurps from the White house.

Chet said...

UMMM, Hey Chemo brain, you doing oK? It has been a week now.....