Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Round Two of Chemo

Sorry I am a little late in posting this update but I have been spending a lot of time (too much time) on a great new site for CLL survivors and caregivers, This site was started by a group of folks who are also on the ACOR site. This new site just serves a broader purpose and does not replace ACOR. This one is like a little community (growing fast) of friends to have FUN and share. Lots of different areas to post, even a fun game area.

Anyway, yesterday's chemo went fantastically well. When we got there they accessed my port (breast implant) and drew blood for testing. Then we waited for those results and then saw Dr. Netaji. He was so very pleased with the results. He asked me what I would hope my white count would be. I told him I would be happy with about 15,000 as they were 48,000 last time. He said they were 9,000! NORMAL RANGE! My lymphocytes had come down some, but were still at 80 percent. (I don't have the exact figures in front of me) and my platelets had dropped into the 70's. The steroids this week will bring the platelets and white count up temporarily. He was so pleased with the results of my "whimpy" choice of treatment (his words, remember he wanted the big guns drawn first), that he thinks maybe we will only do two more rounds after this instead of the planned four more. It was hard for me not to say, "I told you so." I wonder what my results would have been with my first choice of treatment? Oh well, I am pleased and I won't second guess that. Then he thinks we might do Rituxan maintenance every few months. I can handle that!

After talking with him, we moved to the infusion room to get comfy. I started off with two Tylenol and a bag of anti-nausea drugs, followed by a bag of Benadryl. After I was sufficiently loopy from the Benadryl, started the Rituxan (my little mouse parts). They started real slow because of the "shake and bake" reaction I had last time. At some point they added some steroids too, but I missed that while I was in la-la land. The Rituxan took several hours. When that was done, they added the Cytoxan, my chaser for the mouse coursing through my veins. (Getting harder and harder to pass up trash cans now and I really think I am beginning to get cravings for cheese :-o) We finished up about 3:30 or so and I had NO reactions of any kind. I even managed to watch a movie, "Hitch" on my new portable DVD player. Of course Cheryl drove home because I was still 'under the influence.' For supper, I added an insulin shot as my sugars were already off from the treatments, two Tylenol, two Benadryl, my four friendly Prednisone pills and the strong anti-nausea drug. This on top of the 8 other pills I normally take every day. They all did their job and had me surfing the web and joining my new cllforum most of the night. I did finally try to go to bed about 3 a.m. and napped on and off some. Cheryl commented that I was still staggering some last night. But officer, I only had just a few legal drugs in me. It must be that sneaky inner mouse.

Today was another good, wide-awake, slightly hyper day. Started my income taxes, but surfed the web and tried to fix my home network (didn't fix it). Still no reactions, and now none expected. Got the full 80 mg of Prednisone today and am now wide-awake typing away. Even two Benadryl tablets aren't winning the battle with Prednisone. I will be taking the Prednisone pills for five days, the strong anti-nausea drug regularly for four days, and then only when feeling nauseas. I am still planning to go to work tomorrow, so hopefully I will start to get slightly sleepy soon as I get up at 5:20 in the morning.

By the way, after that one day of hair coming out in little clumps a couple of weeks ago, it stopped -- until today. I think it is starting again. My sink was littered after only running my hands through it. They did say it would take about a month or so to start to lose it and it has been three and a half weeks, I think, since first treatment.

I go to see Dr. Netaji next Monday morning. Then, hopefully with his blessing, I will be heading out of town to Tyler, Texas, to help train our new course. If I can't make it, my work has a backup plan. There will be two of us training and they are having me drive my own car too so if I have to go back to the hotel early to lie down I can. I am so blessed to be working with the people I work with. They are a great bunch, sometimes a few are a little strange, but great. And hey, I like strange. I fit right in!

Well, now a little after 2 a.m. Central Standard time, so guess I will go lie on the couch and watch infomercials. Sometimes when I can't sleep in a hotel I put them on at low volume and I drift off to sleep. Hmm, maybe some CHEESE and crackers before I lie down. I could still get three hours of sleep. My feet are still doing a happy dance and God is in control!


Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.