Thursday, January 27, 2011

Chemo #3

Today's Shout Outs

Kathy Mc, Jackie H, Amy T, Ruby D, Laurie J, Mary W, Sue K, Barb B, Jodi H, Tree,
Suzy L, Amy P, Sylvia J, Hat Box, Tina (Luv of Stamps), Sheri D, Nicole H, Melissa L, Barbara T,
Harriet S, Stephanie H, Jessica Mc, Jill F, Pam G, Connie P, Karen A,
 Janice H, LeeAnn L, Julia A, Maria P

****************************************************************************

Dear friends,

Wow, I can't believe that its only #3, it really seems like its been so much longer.  The day started with some medication... not bad really.  What you are looking at is a Vitamin E pill which is to hopefully help with the Cisplatin neurotoxity.  The larger pill is Vitamin D which is something almost everybody in Washington State should take. The purple colored pill is my Omeprezol (ant-acid) and the other double colored pill is my Emend which is the bad boy for nausea and the insurance companies bottom line ($800+ for three pills!).  The Emend comes in a 3 pack and when I'm done with that, I will start with my other anti-nausea meds.


After tossing these back it is off to the infusion center.  I got there at 8:00am and things progressed as normal until I got my blood work back.  Each time before chemo, blood is drawn and tested for all sorts of levels.  If things are abnormally normal then chemo starts, if things are extra abnormal then a call to the Dr. must be made to get the ok.

Last week when blood was drawn, my white blood counts were low and that trend continued today.  The "key" number they are looking at are called neutrophils.  The reference range is from 1.8 - 7.7  My first chemo treatment my numbers were normal, my second blood work done during my off week was very low at 1.1, my third test result continued the trend and was 1.3.  When the results are below 1.5 the call to my oncologist is made, so I waited a bit for the ok.

I got the ok, with an extra goody.  The "usual suspects" continue to grow in the side effect line-up.  The end result are 3 shots weekly of  a new to me drug know as Neupogen which will basically tell my bone marrow to get in gear and create more white blood cells.  The side effect may be bone pain and from the 3 women I know, they all concur... bone pain and aches!  Yippy for me!  We opted to pick up these shots at the pharmacy and do them at home.  Kevin will have the joy of giving me three injections a week rather than us taking three trips to the infusion center every week, which was just not going to work for us.

Blood work #1:  5 items that were abnormally high or low
Blood work #2:  7 items that were abnormally high or low
Blood work #3:  9 items that are abnormally high or low


The day proceeded as normal and we were getting ready to leave, but then the portable infusion pump with the 5FU decided to rebel so we had to wait around and ended up with a new pump... just a small delay, we got out of there at 4:15pm.  A long day, but we had a lovely dinner waiting for us when we got home (big thanks go out to Cheri for a fantastic Shepherds Pie!!)... all is good at the Renz household.

And finally, I'm muddling my way through tonight's post (although to be honest Kevin is doing a heavy edit for me tonight).  I am extremely tired, but its strange.  I literally feel like my eyelids weigh 10 pounds... its like slow motion blinking.  I'll catch myself just staring at something, nothing in particular and then realize I should really look at something else, again all in slow motion.  I've already cat napped most of the evening.

So, that's it for me.

Until next time.

-Katie

51 comments:

Holly said...

Katie,

Sounds like a long day, but a good day for the most part. You look radiant in your photo! :) Blue is a lovely color on you and your smile is simply engaging. Hope you can get some good rest tonight and feel good tomorrow too.
Continuing to keep you in prayers...
-Holly in SoCal

Margie H said...

Hey, friend! Get some rest...you'll start a new day tomorrow :0)

Sounds like a good day! Prayers that it will continue for a GOOD LONG TIME!! xo

~amy~ said...

L-o-n-g--d-a-y
Get lots of rest!

Becky Sorensen said...

I hope you sleep good tonight!!
From your favorite flake!!! LOL

Janie Printz said...

I'm sure everyone out here in blogland is with me in wishing you a great night's sleep & hopefully ever day will be continued progress on your road to recovery. I bought some of those super cute Katie For the Cure stamps to make a card for a good frined that is just starting her Chemo treatments & to help support the cause. God bless you Katie & get well soon. You are an inspiration to all of us with your updates & sweet smile.
Hugs, Janie

Cricket said...

Wow, sounds like an extremely long day. Its nice that you had dinner waiting for you when you got home. Sounds like you have a loving, supporting husband.

My prayers are still with you and your family Katie. Keep up the good fight.

Hugs, Cricket

Joan B said...

What a story! I had no idea that getting chemo was so involved. I figured you took an IV and went home. I'm sorry about the side effects but glad you have such a supportive system surrounding you. Rest rest rest. Hugs, Joan

cbuswell said...

Nice to see you smiling. Lucky you having a supportive husband who'll give you injections!
Yum, I love Shepherd's pie!! I haven't made it in ages, I'll give it a go at the weekend!
Enjoy your rest! : )

Susie said...

I'm so glad you were able to post (with Kevin's editing)! I so look forward to reading your updates.
Yes, there is SO much involved in getting a chemo treatment. I learned that when our nephew had chemo.
I admire your strength and spirit Katie!
You're in my prayers and thoughts,
Susie

Sue Ann said...

I wish I lived closer. I could make you some tea and give you a little massage. How are your taste buds doing these days?? Sending tons of hugs your way Katie girl!!!

Lee said...

Thinking of you in the UK Katie.Hugs xxxxxxxx

Dawn B. said...

I am thinking of you today Katie and all the days to come. Stay strong and know that you are loved. I can't imagine what this must all be like but know that we are all here for you..hugs.

Theresa Momber said...

Wow, it doesn't seem like it's been two weeks already. Long day. Good luck with the side effects this go round. Big hugs! I'm thinking of you!

Bonnie Weiss said...

Something very strange struck me as I read your post ... your smile is like a moonbeam. I can't say anything that has not already been said but I am one of thousands who send you hugs and well wishes, Katie.

Sheri said...

So glad you are back and Chemo #3 is behind you. I am praying for not so severe side effects. Bless you

ribenaruby said...

Hi Katie, you're in our thoughts. Hugs and healing prayers sent your way. Ruby x

Cassie said...

Wowzers, what a day for you. I love your smile, Katie, it's so good to see. That and you look pretty darn cute, even though you're surrounded by hospital equipment ;D

Ted said...

Katie, I'm praying that #4 shows you some less abnormal normalcy. :)

Candy F. said...

Girl pretty soon your house is going to be stocked with more drugs than the local pharmacy! Glad you were able to "cat nap" and I'm loving the hat you are wearing. ;-)

PJ said...

Dear Katie,
I like you had cancer, mine was breast cancer. I am two plus years out of treatment. I had to have both chemo and radiation. Lost my hair the same as you. That was a trauma for me especially when I was in the shower, like you. I took a lot of medication and still have to take one pill for the cancer prevention every single day. Your attitude is what is going to get you through this. To me you sound very positive and that is good! I surely know what the nausea feeling is and I spent a lot of time in bed just plain o not feeling good. I live alone, but fortunately my little Shih Tzu was by my side constantly. My best friend of 50 years and my daughter were there for me when I needed to have my chemo. You are so fortunate to have your family supporting you. My prayers are going out for you today and I hope that your chemo counts improve. I still have to have an infusion once a year because I ended up with 100% osteoporosis after all the chemo/radiation. I am told that the infusion has to continue for another 3 years. Through all of this you will probably have some depression and I think the drugs play a big part of that. You sound like a very tough cookie, somehow I just know you will get through all of this. God is in your corner, I truly believe that. I will continue to follow your progress. Remember, you will beat this disease!

Hugs & Prayers,
Pam Cole Glenn

Whimcees said...

Hello,

God Bless you Katie. I hope you have a good weekend. You and your wonderful family are in my prayers every day. Stay strong.

Hugs,

Barbara Diane

Grandma Nancy said...

More prayers Katie!! I am trying hard to do my part! I know you and Kevin and the boys are doing theirs. Lots of love from friends and family too. Hang in there and stay strong. You can do it!!

Axes DesigNs said...

Hi KATIE!! You seem better now.. I hope you continue with your positive attitude.. that's count a lot.. you are in my prayers and I'm going to continue reading your jouney.. just to see that picture remind me my old days and the taste in my mouth.. be strong.. be happy!
God Bless you ;)
Magdalena

Sparkly Pink Star said...

so sorry to hear everything you are going through, feel better soon

Susan said...

You look so cute - even while you're in the chair at the infusion center. You are also one tough little cookie. I pray that once again you will begin to feel better and that all of your numbers will improve. I am so happy to hear that you have a support net.

Julia Aston said...

Hi Katie - haven't been by here for a few days - love the card you made! hope you are inspired again - I would think it might help take your mind off other stuff. Congrats on doing the tread mill - I need to set myself to that task also! Unbelievable about the cost of Medicine isn't it? Hope you are feeling good today!

Claire's cards said...

Blue is definately your colour, you look so cosy in there.
I'm sure your positive attitude and sense of humor will see you through this. I hope the coming few days are kind to you and that you can enjoy some food.
Love
Claire xxxx

Olivia Mulligan said...

I send you big big big hugs and lots of smiles to help you through the day.

Stay lovely and sweet as we wouldn't have it any other way.

Love,
Olivia

Debbie Nelson said...

I know what you mean about the heavy eyelids and staring at things. I call this my "out of body" experience from the chemo...a very strange feeling. I love the picture of you in the chemo room...adorable! Hoping you have a great weekend...sending hugs and prayers..I will have chemo again on Monday...My sister and I, along with friends from our crafting group, are making blankets this weekend for the patients in the chemo room...should brighten up the room a little!

Lorraine said...

Wow, what a long day you had. I sure hope you were able to get a good night's sleep and praying that your side effects in the coming days will not be so rough. I am so amazed at the photo - how you are able to smile so radiantly while going through this. Stay strong, Katie! We're all in your corner!

Karen said...

Hang in there kiddo. I, too had those neupogen shots. Now they just give me one injection of Neulasta the day after my chemo and I am good until the next infusion. Hopefully your side effects will be minimal this time. Take care.

Dinahsoar said...

You are doing great...in the photo you look good. Sending healing thoughts to you...be well.

Wendy (Woo to friends!) said...

Katie I read your story on Jak Heaths webpage and followed the link to your blog. I have so much admiration for your fighting spirit, even though there are days when you find it tough. I am sending you positive thoughts and agree with all the comments from crafters, no matter where we are in the world, we are a unique breed of people. Sending you lots of love and hugs from the UK and a speedy successful treatment.

Wendy
xxx

Curt in Carmel said...

What an absolute cutie you are in that picture. You have such a sweet, genuine smile. Sorry your counts are all screwy, but let's hope for better next time. Think you better study for these tests next time??? Sorry, bad joke. . .Hug on that Kevin for me for some solidarity on the injections. The medication I inject Jay with 3 times a week cost $7,000 a month. . .Yes SEVEN THOUSAND. Thank God we have good insurance. You just get some rest, take care of yourself, and feel all the love that is out here streaming your way. And that goes for you too Kevin! Hugs to all of you. . .I think about you guys so often. Best, Curt

Kathy said...

Katie, you are in my prayers as well. I agree with the others, you look really cute in your chair getting treatment today. It's amazing what a positive attitude can do and I'm inspired by yours! Sleep well, sweet dreams.
Kathy

AmyP said...

Looking cute at your Chemo (if that's even possible) Keep your spirits up girlie. I'm praying for you. :)

Creative Dee said...

sending love and hugs across the miles...you continue to be an inspiration to me, although we have never met! kind wishes Denise in Australia :)

Nannie said...

Sending prayers and healing thoughts from the UK. Hugs Pauline.

IamDerby said...

wow. I had no idea it was an all day affair. I am glad you are back home and I hope your bones dont hurt to much, that sounds horrid. I hope the chemo, is right this minute, kicking cancers butt.

Saskia said...

Take care Katie!!! Oooh, I love that smile on your face... you are really such a positive, beautiful person!!!! And so strong!!!

BIG hug, Saskia :)

sevi said...

thinking of you and send you smilie toughts.sevi

deedoodle said...

Katie:
Wow, you are amazing. Way to go. Keep up your positive outlook. Praying that you will conquer this demon (cancer). I lost my Dad to Lung Cancer 10 years ago, he had Non Small Cell Carcinoma.
I think about you everyday and hope that you are doing well. Hang in there and keep your head up.

Dawn said...

Hi Katie

Have just been cathcing up with all your latest posts, you are bravely living this every day and telling it like it is, we can only imagine what you are going through, your posts are inspirational and so informative. I looked at your picture here and was struck by your huge smile which beams out from the page.

Hope your nights get better

DAwn

Renee said...

I can't even begin to imagine what you go through with each treatment...
but you handle them with such strength and courage...I admire you more than words can ever express.
Your smile is stunningly radiant...and though I imagine it is not felt in the heart...it's beautiful.
Thinking of you.

Whimcees said...

Hello!

Thinking of you and hoping you were able to rest and that the new week brings you some relief.

You are always in my prayers.

Hugs,

Barbara Diane

Davi said...

Sounds like a very long day Katie. As always your great attitude is a real plus when dealing with this disease. Have a restful weekend. :)

Bobbi-Lynn said...

Prayers are said for you daily in my household. You continue to amaze me with your strength and courage

Theresa Tyree said...

Katie, I'm starting nursing school in May. This journey has been so educational to me, both in the emotional sense as well as the medication sense. Thank you so much for your insight. Love ya, girl!

Sue W said...

Hi Katie,
just checking in to see how the treatments are going!
Long long days but you're still smiling.....good girl. So glad to hear your husband is able to help with injections though.....saves you the backwards and forwards to clinics. When you feel tired that's the last thing you need. I'm smiling looking at you in a track suit.......It's a 30c+ day in Sydney today and I'm hiding out trying to keep cool. Take care Katie and keep smiling you're doing so well.

Connie L said...

Hi Katie, I recently followed a link to your blog and want you to know that you and your family are in my prayers. I've had several members of my family & several friends who have also had to battle cancer so I know that your faith, your family and a good sense of humor can help over-come alot of adversity! Keep smiling and we'll all keep praying for you!

Runnergirl Creations said...

Praying for you, Katie! :) I'm proud of you! Glad that you received my card. :) Much love & blessings to you!!

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