Monday, June 19, 2006

Chemo and Father's Day

Well, that was a strange title for this entry, but it does cover both subjects I wanted to mention today.

First of all I had a great Father's Day and I hope every dad and grand dad reading this, did too.

We all went to church where we heard a terrific message on the importance of father's in the home and the blessings a father receives from his family. Then later we all went out for a steak dinner. Eight of us. The grandkids were well behaved -- AND I didn't have to pay for the meal! My one grandson, Jimmy (oops, "James" now) picked out a blue shirt for me to match his "church-shirt" so that we could wear them together when we go to Ohio at the end of the month. And he picked the tie to match. Actually among the gifts was another tie that I also LIKED very much. I received a total of three shirts, two nice ties, sunglasses, a paid-for steak dinner, a couple of great cards and the best company in the world -- my wife, my two daughters, three grandkids and one son-in-law. (Cindy's husband was out working in the oil fields. He guides the drillers by computer.) So the day included the two most important things in my life - God and family! Can't get much better than that.

This has been chemo week and my buddy, DavidE called the other night to see how I was. He and his wife had been waiting for a posting. I know I should post quicker as I have so many folks concerned over me, but after seven rounds now, there isn't much to say. Still tolerating it well. I did have even more severe "restless leg/foot" stuff going on during the infusions, but I did get a great foot massage out of the experience from Cheryl. She rubbed and rubbed until it finally started calming down. This has been pretty normal chemo week with NO nausea (praise God!) and trouble sleeping but being tired. Moodiness isn't quite as bad, I don't think, but you would have to ask Cheryl to be sure. I know when I read something sad or sentimental on my CLL Forum, I tear up really easy.

However, Friday night to Saturday I did get 12 hours sleep! And that was without overdosing on any medications. I guess my body said enough is enough. That 12 hours was about as much as I had total the days previous. Also, this time, my diabetes is a little more out of control. Several times the glucose level has been over 350 two hours after eating even with an insulin shot before eating (should be below 120). Sure hope I don't end up permanently using insulin when this is over.

A very good piece of news was that my blood work on Monday before starting the chemo was the very best it has been. Only platelets were low but they were very OK at 122 (normal 140 - 440). Here are the terrific numbers with normal range in parenthesis:

WBC 6.1 (4.1 - 10.0) YEA!
LYM 2.4 (0.6 - 4.1) DOUBLE YEA!
GRAN 3.3 (2.0 - 7.8) These are sometimes reported as neutrophils. TRIPLE YEA!
RBC 4.42 (4.20 - 6.30) Quadruple -- ok, you get the idea!
HGB 14.5 (12.0 - 18.0)
HCT 42.7% (37.0 - 51.0%)
PLT 122 (140 - 440) still a little yea :)

Next blood work is the 28th, just before heading out for a long weekend in Ohio, then the next chemo is July 5th followed by an appointment at MD Anderson in Houston on July 12th.

If I could get my energy back, I would feel terrific. I told Cheryl on the way to church this morning that I didn't know why I was feeling so drugged. Oh wait, I am so drugged. Everyone says I look terrific (they must like seeing me fat again). Wished I felt as terrific as I look. I think I soon will!

I have been thinking about my next posting all week and trying to phrase it in my mind to do it justice. I want to comment on a man who makes a difference in the lives of all people with CLL. It needs to be good.

Wow, need to get to bed. I am attending a conference here in Austin all week and I don't have to be there until 9 a.m. so I get a little bit of a sleep in. Even though that is two hours later than I usually go in to work, it will be the height of rush hour so I will really only save about an hour.

Have a great week, everyone. And, once again, thank you so very much for your concern, prayers and support. It means a great deal to Cheryl and me. Please say a prayer for my many friends who are suffering/fighting with this same disease. A few of them are having great difficulty right now and it is rough on them and their loved ones.


Marc said...

It's tough trying to maintain a blog isn't it? I should know. Half of what I post any more doesn't even relate to my MCL.

But I do find the rambling on, and the occasional rant calming, for lack of a better word.

Anywaze, it's good to hear you're doing better.

Paula and Earl said...

John: We are glad to hear that you are doing pretty well. The blood work numbers look really encouraging. We await each posting eagerly, hoping that the drugs and our prayers are a winning combination. Love to you and Cheryl.

Anonymous said...

We are so pleased that your most recent numbers were so good. Also glad to hear that this round of chemo is going relatively well. The sleeplessness is troubling, but we are relieved that you are not experiencing nausea!
Have a fun and safe trip to Ohio. Our thoughts and prayers will be with you as you travel and of course, upon your return.
Please extend our greetings to Cheryl.
Enjoy and be safe!
David and Mary

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