Thursday, May 11, 2006

Last Chemo Treatment for Awhile???

Sorry for the delay in getting this posted. I should be feeling really happy that I am doing the sixth and supposedly last round of chemo. But, I am just feeling BLAHG! (A term David E. coined in his Blog - a combination of the words blog and blah.) Maybe I can blame it on the steroids, because that is how it does make me feel, very emotional. At least the grumpies haven't hit yet, just the 'downer' feelings.

The infusions went well again on Monday. Just some restless leg/foot syndrome where I had to keep wiggling my feet when I was awake. Fortunately I slept through most of it. I only got 30 minutes sleep from Monday afternoon until about 2 a.m. Wednesday. But I did sleep later on Wednesday morning and then went into work for a little while and I got about six or seven hours last night. I worked from home today, but plan to go in to the office tomorrow. I have taken no nausea medicine, other than what they gave me in the infusion through my port. That really, really is a blessing!

There is a slightly different plan this time with the Prednisone steroids. Every other time I took 80 mg for five days and then quit cold turkey. Well, last time I crashed pretty hard on Sunday afternoon and particularly on Monday. When I told my oncologist about that he changed the regime. I will take the 80 mg for four days and then reduce it every day after to 60 mg, then 40 mg, then 30 mg, then 20 mg, then 10 mg, then 5 mg. This should avoid the crash, but it does make it go for 10 days. I sure hope the moodiness decreases each day with it. I am supposed to teach a class next week and I can see me getting upset with participants, or, perhaps worse, crying if they don't answer a question correctly - HA! The week after that I fly out to El Paso to teach another week. But I will not return to El Paso the week following that one as I had expected.

I will have more blood work done early morning on the 22nd, just before heading to the airport. However, I am not sure how accurate that will be because I will again have just come of the steroids a few days before and that always skews the results. Then in June, I return to the doctor and he will do more blood work and we will figure out what to do from there. Again, he is not as happy with my results as I am. He thinks I only have a partial response. As I told him, I think his aim of treatment and my aim of treatment are different. I would rather have a good partial response than be in a deeper remission with the leukemia but keep getting sick with all kinds of infections and pneumonias like happens to many folks that have done the treatment he wants. As I said, that is something I want to hold in reserve when nothing else works. So far, no treatment has shown any advantage for survivability. So, I am focusing on quality. At any rate, if he pushes hard for that, I will go for a second opinion at MD Anderson. Since he did back off on the treatment talk this time, I have not made an appointment yet. We will see what the blood work looks like in June. At least it is nice knowing I don't have another treatment coming up in a couple of weeks. I usually start feeling better just in time to start the next round, even though I don't seem to come back up as far each time. But since I won't be infused again, I expect to just start feeling better and better.

Well, for those who understand, here are Monday's test results and I know MANY of my fellow CLLers would absolutely love to have these results. (Just wish my doctor loved them as much. Very strange.)

Results first, this labs normal range next - this labs normal range is quite different from the lab downtown that I use on the off-weeks. I also put in red anything low or high. There are only four of those and they are not bad at all.

WBC 4.4 (4.1-10.9)
LYM 2.4 (0.6 - 4.1) This is the absolute number - the important one
LYM 54.8% (10.0 - 58.5%) This is the one my doctor doesn't like
MID 0.3 & 6.8% (0.0-1.8) (0.1-24.0%)
GRAN 1.7 & 38.4% (2.0-7.8) (37.0-92.0%)
RBC 4.42 (4.20-6.30)
HGB 14.5 (12.0 - 18.0)
HCT 43.0% (37 - 51%)
MCV 97.3 (80.0 - 97.0)
MCH 32.8 (26.0 - 32.0)
MCHC 33.7 (31.0 - 36.0)
RDW 13.8% (11.5 - 14.5%)
PLT 101 (140 - 440) He doesn't like this one, either
MPV 9.0 (0.0 - 99.8)

I think my inner kung-foo fighting mouse/hamster needs an extra helping of cheese for all the work the little fellow has done!

In fact, he may really be...


The Dunns, Paula and Earl said...

Hurray for your little super mouse!
We don't understand all the report, but it looks like most of it is within the norm, or only slightly ourside of it. We pray that you are going to really bounce back, and feel lots more like you want to. Hang in there, and don't push yourself too hard. Much love,
Paula and Earl

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