Tuesday, January 31, 2012

BEP Round 3 Day 2

10:25am O:0 P:0 N:1 T:1
Today started off much better. I got 9.5 hours of sleep which helped a lot. Got some crappy traffic this morning but we still made it on time. Pre-meds done, and about to finish off the Platinum. So far doing ok side effect wise, I am starting to get some bad headaches over the last couple of weeks though nurse said to try aleve which I will, Norco always works but its such overkill Med wise. The "fun" of this round wont really start until Thursday if it keeps the same pattern as the last two.

3:05pm O:1 P:1 N:2 T:4
I am back home now, the drive makes it much more of a full day of chemo crud that it used to be.  I am drained, little bit a nausea but not bad and a slight headache.  I have been getting these headaches ranging from a 1->6 on the pain scale still not 100% sure what's going on with that could have been the nuepogen but I stopped taking that many days ago, nurse says it could be the zofran but I just started taking that yesterday who knows. Anyway back home, trying to get a little work done then relax a bit.  I would rather NOT take a nap because I want a full good nights sleep tonight. Sorry I didn't get a "chair pic" for you guys today it was a busy day and I was doing work/telecons from my chair and honestly it didn't even occur to me until after we left.  I will try and get them for the rest of the week though.

9:05pm O:1 P:1 N:0 T:2
I am not very tired, I fought the need for the afternoon nap so I could get a good nights sleep, however I am going to try and go to bed in the next 30 minutes or so.  I did have a couple more symptoms I wanted to let people know about.  Before I do that, I wanted to say my headache has been gone since about 5pm and hasn't come back so that's great.  However, I have some darkening of my joins in my hands on the top of them.  I tried to take a picture but it didn't come out very well.  The "worst" one feels kinda like a callous and its dark grey, I showed them to the nurse and she recommended some hand creme so that's what i am trying tonight.  The other symptom which just showed up tonight is on the tips of probably half my fingers.  I feel like they have a little any bite or a splinter is stuck in there.  If you rub them you can't feel anything but if you hit them just right it hurts, very odd since I thought a symptom of the Platinum was deadening of the fingers! HAHAHAHA.  I will mention it to the nurse tomorrow and see what she says.  Good night everyone, all-in-all not a bad day.. but the bad ones are coming =(

Monday, January 30, 2012

BEP Round 3 Day 1

9:00am O:0 P:0 N:0 T:3
So having to wake up at 5:45am to drive up here for chemo isn't all that fun, hence the tiredness rating.  However, its only for a week right.  I was a bit nervous and apprehensive about starting this week because I know full well what I am in for pain/discomfort wise and its not something I am looking forward to HA.

I have some amazing, awesome, super great (probably enough adjectives) news.  They pulled my tumor markers last Thursday and it takes a few days to get the results.  So I got them today and my HCG <1 which was expected since it was 9 three weeks ago and it decays very quickly.  The thing I was worried about was my AFP.  It started out of 2716 before my surgery (Which is quite high) and it was still 855 before I started chemo.  After the first round it only dropped down about half over the 3 week round.  That worried me because it could mean I still had quite a bit of active cells producing AFP, it could also mean they just gave off LOTS when they died which happens as well. That brings us to today, using my sheet I showed you guys last time to do the half life calculation it should have been at ~84.  I was hoping for at least 150, but really wanting it to be around 84 because that means NOTHING is actively producing markers and its decaying like it should.  Well I got the numbers back and its 27!!!!!!!  Its hard to express how happy that made me, that means in about ~11 days from that date my AFP will be in the NORMAL RANGE!   I wasn't feeling so hot this morning, tired, worried about how this week would go etc but that news made me very very happy.  Here is a pic of a print out of my numbers AND a picture of my reaction when I got them!

I will update later, we are doing the premeds.. then I have all Three today B, E, and P so it will be a long day of chemo fun but its working and that's the important thing!

2:15pm O:0 P:0 N:0 T:2
I didn't do any updates during the treatments because I was asleep HA.  I tried to do some work but the combination of me being tired to start with, then getting chemo, AND getting some benadryl for my reaction to the Etoposide meant I lasted about an hour or so then passed out for the rest of it.  It all went well though and I am back at home.  The trip is about an hour there in traffic in the morning and ~35 minutes back in the afternoon so that's not bad for a few more days.  I am still under the wonderful spell of the pre-meds they usually start giving out around 4-5 and are gone by 7pm.  But since its the first day I am hoping for a decent night.

9:15pm O:0 P:0 N:0 T:5
All-in-all it was a good day, I did some work (almost of full day) and I did some things around the house.  However, I am getting very tired now.  Since I have to wake up so early tomorrow, and every day this week I am going to call it an early night.  I did have an odd reaction though, after a hot shower it went away but my face broke out and my complexion got all crazy look here is a picture I am very confused:

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAH just kidding of course I found that when I was unpacking thought it would be a funny picture :-P (I even have my glasses on) CYA tomorrow!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

BEP Round 2 Day 18

Small update, I have a Dr's appointment today to redo my blood work and see where I am count wise.  I will update it later to let everyone know.  As for how I am feeling, these neupogen shots are really taking their toll on me this time.  I have had pretty bad headaches, hot/cold flashes, and overall body ache/flu like run down feeling from them.  Sorry for it being a short post but I feel cruddy.  I will update later.

UPDATE: So just got back from my Dr appointment.  Good news, my blood counts are all back up!  In fact my white blood cell count is about 5x the normal range HAHAHAH super immune system :-P.  I talked to my doctor about the headaches and body "flu-like" feeling etc and he said its because my white blood cell count is so high due to the nuepogen that my body is reacting like a have an infection.  The counts will balance back out to normal in a day or so and I will feel better.  I think I am going to pop in at work tomorrow just to say hi to everyone, and maybe sync up my computer with the server while I have this cell count!

Aside from that the Dr App went well, starting Round 3 next week and we are hoping that will be the end of it. We have PET/CT scheduled for after the round and we are going to check my nodes and check for active cells (ie PET) because EC has a tendency to leave scar tissue when it dies off which can cause fault positives if you are just going to be size and not activity.  There are more things we can do treatment wise, if we need to after that but I am not going to think about that yet.

Monday, January 23, 2012

BEP Round 2 Day 15

2:30pm O:0 P:0 N:0 T:0
So last day of Round 2!  Just bleo today, and blood work to make sure my white blood cells are cooperating.  I feel great honestly, if it wasn't' for the fact that i was sitting in a chemo chair having deadly chemicals pumped into my body right now I would say I am "normal" :-P

I organized the garage/house a bit yesterday while i was feeling good.  I know that next week is gonna hit me like a ton a bricks so I want to get as much done this week and weekend as I can.  I worked for several hours last night and many more today.  My goal, since its as new pay cycle, is to work 50+ hours this week while I am feeling good and that way I don't' have many hours left to try and cover next week as I descend into chemo HELL!.

I will update later with what my blood work says and if I have to do more yummy nuepogen shots, ttyl.

3:15pm O:0 P:0 N:0 T:0
Ok I am just blown away.  I got back my blood work, and .... Its amazing I am walking around.  Nearly every count is at its lowest its EVER been some by a factor of 10!, even my Red Blood cells and Hemoglobin are crashing and that has never happened. Those are low enough to where if they drop much more I am going to need a blood transfusion!!  I am not really sure what to say, most of them are in "Critical" range and the rest are either "Alert" or "Low".  I just don't' understand how my blood counts can be such trash, and I feel fine... best I have in weeks.

So I am on quarantine AGAIN, my doctor made me put on my mask IMMEDIATELY and I can't take it off until I get home.  We are still going to do my chemo today and finish off this round... and we are gonna do LOTS more nuepogen shots (nearly out of pain meds gonna need more of those) and I see my oncologist on Thursday so we are going to reassess then and see how much my body has recovered.

4:00pm O:0 P:0 N:0 T:0
Well i got my two shots for home then next two days, and gave my self one just a second ago; so we shall see if they can bring be back up out of the abyss by Thursday when I see my Dr.  Here is your chair pick of the day, nearly done for the day:

VICTORIOUS over Round 2 of BEP!  Even though my blood cell counts are in the trashcan right now we will get them back up.  The important thing is that I am DONE with Round 2!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

BEP Round 2 Day 14

I wanted to let you all know "moving day" went well.  We got everything in 1 trip thanks to a 24' Uhal, two trucks and a trailer HA.  I did a little bit here and there but since my energy lasts for about 5 minutes at a time before I am wiped out for an hour or so, we had lots of help.  Jenn's parents and her sister's husband came to help.  I can't thank them enough there is no way we could have moved without them and I am going to have to think of some way of properly thanking them.  Jenn's sister's husband especially since he took on the tasks that happen on every move where it takes 150% of someone's energy to do X (move some crazy piece of furniture or lug something up stairs etc) and he put his all and then some into helping.  All-in-all the move went well, we have everything here at the house... now is the fun task of getting it all unpacked and actually usable. We had many instances of that wonderful "Crud we need thing Y, what box is it in? HAHAH"

As for chemo related issues, I did have a few instances of my bone pain coming back and I had a take a Norco about mid day since the Ibuprofen wasn't keeping it at bay.  Luckily I haven't had the fever issue this time I had last time on it, but I think its because I have kept up pretty well with the med doses to keep that issue "hidden". I am getting some rashes back again on my arms and legs (it happen last round too), the Dr said it was from the steroids they give me in the pre-meds but it really seems to have kicked up a bit since I started back on the nuepogen so it might be related to that.  Its not bad though and only mildy itches so its alright.

I do have more news on the insurance front, my first set of Nuepogen shots were basically ordered by my Dr from my insurance (they have to be specially approved) and then they just GAVE me ones they already had while they waited to get mine approved.  So my insurance had to call me today and get me to give them "verbal acceptance of the charges" because they were so much.  Luckily they were covered 80/20 so I only had to pay 20% of it but that was still ~$975!  And that's just for the shots they gave me this time, and I am going to need more so for those of you counting that's about $850 a shot.  I need ~3 more next week and probably another half a dozen for each round so yeah  I am going to have no problem maxing out my "out of pocket" medical for the year very very soon.

As for the rest of my symptoms I have been doing really well, I would say i am back to "normal" now from hell week.  That normal is in quotes because its really a new normal for chemo where I am still tired and I don't have any engery reserves but all-in-all I feel good.  I have been eating pretty well and my stomach is doing fine with it, my taste buds are still nearly dead so really only STRONG flavors get through but even regular stuff doesn't turn my stomach it just doesn't taste like much of anything.

Well  I have 1 more Bleo shot Monday and then Round 2 is officially DONE!  I am not looking forward to the hell week of Round 3 but, we will cross that in a weeks time I am going to try and enjoy this week's NOT feeling like horrible crap :-P  For those of you counting Round 3 might be my last one, we are going to do CT/PET/Blood work and see how well my tumors in my lymph nodes responded to the chemo... fingers crossed its all I need but we can do 1 more round (for a total of 4) to give it a bit more kick then there is the RPLND surgery but I really really don't' want to do that.  Anyway, not going to think about all those what-ifs yet we will cross those bridges when we get there!!

Friday, January 20, 2012

BEP Round 2 Day 12

Short post today, just wanted to let you all know I am feeling MUCH better today.  Eating pretty normally now, energy levels are still a bit low and I tire easier than "normal" but aside from that I am doing decent.  I have a CBC today, and I will post when I know the results but fingers crossed my counts are good because neupogen gives me fever and wonderful bone pain I have to treat medically which wipes me out.

Oh btw its MOVING DAY, or at least the first day of it.  Tonight we are going to move a few things and get the place staged and ready for tomorrow's big move day.  I will post how the CBC turned out later today.

Well Boo, my white blood cells crashed AGAIN.  Nearly back down to zero =(  So its back to neupogen shots for me over the weekend.  This time though I know what to expect, gonna keep on the Ibuprofen and I have my Norco to supplement it when I need to so I should be fine.  Guess the Bleo really wipes out my cells, the Dr/Nurse again seemed confused when they asked me how I felt and I said the best so far of this Round honestly... and they don't see how that's possible with my blood counts so low HAHAHA.

Oh well, so nuepogen and pain killers will be my med of choice this weekend!

So for the first time since I started this "cancer fun" I finally got a full statement from my treatment center.  Its interesting because it shows both last years treatment/cost profile and this year's with my new oh-so-nice insurance.  Basically for all you out there wondering, each DAY I sit down in a chemo chair it costs $4,500<->$2,500 depending on what I am getting that day and what pre-meds etc I get.  That's each.... freaking... day!!!

So previously, last year with my normal person insurance before my company decided to go bonkers and change things around.  I would pay the co-pay visit cost of $40, they would get a "Contract Discount" which I assume is an insurance company and hospital basically agreeing on LESS than the full amount.. and the insurance would cover the rest usually in the $1K-$3K range each day.  Now, however with this new plan where we cover everything up to $3,500 then they start kicking in 80% until we hit $8k (which wont' take long to hit) the bills are getting crazy.  I currently have over $12,500 outstanding on my balance sheet right now and I haven't even finished Round 2.. and I have a Round 3 and maybe 4 to look forward too.  I have told their billing department (though I haven't heard back yet) that I can give them whatever X amount each month they take out of my check for the HSA and not a penny more.  I refuse to put cancer treatment on a credit card or take out a loan... I paid all that crud out of pocket last year and I don't' want to do that again.  Its just crazy to me that these treatments are so much money.  I suppose its good I got my self out of debt before I was hit with Cancer because it seems like I am going to be paying on this for quite a while.  Fun fun!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

BEP Round 2 Day 10

I wanted to post an update since its been a couple of days to basically let everyone know how the "Hell-Week recovery" was going.  The first round I had a rough couple of days followed by stark improvement day to day as the week went on, with me feeling kinda normal by Wed and basically back to my own snarky self by Thursday give or take (within reason at least).

However this round has been much rougher on me, and I share this because as the chemo rounds "add up" in my system this will happen.  So for example, we tried to baby my stomach as much as possible the last day or so of hell week chemo and while it helped a bit at first we ended up down basically the same path of digestive system mutiny as the first round.  In addition, this time its lasting quite a bit longer.  I am STILL fighting my stomach on nearly everything I put in my mouth even water.  Have you ever stuffed your self on something you knew was going to make you feel bad like Taco bell or something you know causes you stomach problems?  When you are done eating, forcing every bit you can you can still kinda feel it up in your esophagus and when you burp or move the wrong way you can kinda feel the food right there.  In addition, you have this really overly heavy feeling in your stomach and it protests with gurgling etc etc for hours.  Since you have so much food in your stomach you also get very physically drained (think a really heavy lunch then back at your desk at work... eyes weary).  Now imagine all of this for someone who ate a 120 calorie soup and some water!!!  Every time I eat anything my digestive system pretends its the end of the world.  In addition to that, my taste buds are totally out of wake so almost nothing is actually appetizing to eat it all tastes like bland blah crud or worse turns my stomach.

Now all of this has led to me not being able to eat much of anything, and certainly not much of it when I do so I am seriously calorie deficient I am sure which is adding to the overall fatigue and cruddy feeling.  I am at a bit of a loss to "turn the corner" on this one honestly, if I could do a fwe days of 2500->3500 calories and get it moving through my system perhaps I could make a come back but I can't seem to stomach it.  One idea I had was to get a bunch of those Ensure meal replacement things and just try and force myself to drink X every Y hours to add up to a decent calorie intake for the day.. but those aren't exactly balanced meals and they are crazy loaded with sugar.

The other thing I have noticed about this rounds recovery time is that last time if I felt tired, and slept I would at least feel marginally better when I woke up.  So sleeping = feeling better, this time that's not really the case my tiredness is much more deep and profound such that sleeping doesn't really aid or cure it.  Again this could be both the added round of chemo and the lack of calories adding to this effect I am not sure.

Now on to the good news, I do actually feel a bit better today and I am going to focus on eating as much as I can and drinking water etc etc .. the normal drill.  I really just wish there was some magic bullet.. take X pill or eat a bunch of Y and it would solve this but that doesn't seem to be the case.  I am holding in there though, and I KNOW I will feel better eventually its just taking more time than I would like!!!!

BTW my fingers are crossed that my Dr decides 3 rounds is enough, 1 more round of this is more than enough for me I think hahahaha the thought of 2 more rounds is a bit much to take right now but I know I will do whatever is needed....

Monday, January 16, 2012

BEP Round 2 Day 8

So I survived the weekend.  It was pretty bad at times, fighting mostly stomach and nausea related issues and just overall crazy tired.  What's odd about the "tiredness" is that I could be at a T:6 and sleep for a few hours and wake up and feel like I got no sleep at all.  And as nice as we were to my stomach eating light things, it still chose to rebel pretty bad this weekend.  I wouldn't say worse than last hell week's weekend recovery time but just different. So on Saturday I mostly slept all day, I woke up to eat/drink/take pills and be somewhat awake for short periods of time but most of the time I spent knocked out.  Sunday I was a tiny bit more active but being awake also exposed me more to my stomach problems so it was a mixed bag.  As for today I do feel better overall, but my body/mind still aren't cooperating 100% yet.  For those of you out there asking about the mental impacts of chemo they became much more clear this weekend and toward the end of hell week. Having a conversation sometimes it was hard to keep my train of thought or come up with a word I wanted to say.  And doing little things on the internet or responding to work emails required MUCH more effort mentally to stay focused and get my thoughts out than normal.

As for new symptoms/side effects, I do have a bit more ringing in my ears but its still pretty rare and certainly not constant or annoying just yet.  My pinky fingers are showing signs of "numbness" or tingling which peaked on friday and seems to be a bit better by today.

On the lighter side of things, Jenn and I got the keys to our new place yesterday.  So the moving shall commence soon!  We are still packing up here at the house, and really most of it will happen next weekend with the help of her parents and I think her cousins but it will be nice to get into the new place.

12:00pm O:3 P:0 N:2 T:2
So my Bleo dose is at 2pm today, where they will draw blood and see if I need any neupogen so I will update with the status of that as well.  Once I get there and get all settled I will do another post.  I did unfortunately lose another ~7.5 lbs over the hell week recovery weekend so I am sure my nurse is gonna
give me a hard time about that HAHAHA.

8:00pm O:2 P:0 N:2 T:5
Sorry I didn't update sooner, its been a busy day.  So my Bleo treatment went fine, uneventful.  My cell counts came back "ok" not great, still suppressed but not bottomed out like that one time.  We are going to draw blood twice a week to find crashes so we can stay ahead of it with neupogen at least that's the plan.  I am still having stomach issues but I think they are starting to clear, I have been able to eat a bit more today so that's good.  I really want to start getting a bit more work done, especially since last week whooped me up so much, and I have some things I really need to do this week (and some tonight) so I am hoping I can get that all done.  Nothing crazy urgent, thankfully my team back at work really stepped up and got our delivery out without me there which was so great of them, but I don't want to slip too far behind on stuff because there is always a "new" problem around the corner!  As this week progresses I will start to feel more normal, and I am even hoping to go into work maybe Friday for a little while both to sync up my work and to say hi to everyone.  When you spend 50-60 hours or more a week with a bunch of people its very odd to NOT see them all the time I feel very secluded and cut off quarantined to the house HAHAHA.

Friday, January 13, 2012

BEP Round 2 Day 5

8:05am O:4 P:2 N:5 T:5
Moving slow this morning again, just overall flu-like feeling of tiredness and being drained.  I am very hungry but my stomach isn't in a state where eating would be good.  Once I get pre-meds in me and things settle down I will try and eat something.  Last day of the hell week, just need to hold out through it and I will be done with the worst part of Round 2!  Oh they are drawing blood to check for my levels too just in case we need to do some nuepogen shots to boost me back up.

9:45am O:2 P:1 N:2 T:3
Feeling better, got pre-meds.  Also my Dr added a new med to the mix, its a longer acting anti-nausea kinda like Emend that will last me through the weekend.  Last hell week, my weekend after was pretty hard so he says this should help taper me off a bit lighter.  Got my blood counts back and they are "ok" HGB/Red are fine... platelets are holding around 80ish since the start of chemo so not great but doing ok. WBC etc are suppressed but still in the "low-normal" range so we aren't going to do the nuepogen over the weekend.

12:30pm O:1 P:1 N:2 T:6
HELL WEEK 2 DONE! I am back home now, I feel "ok" but I know that's the pre-meds talking.  I am very tired still though just wiped in general.  I went ahead and charged the rest of the day to sick time, I need to just sleep and focus on making it through the weekend and recover.  I am going to try and kick it up a bit next week work wise and knock out some unit tests.  I have a great team at work supporting me and they really picked up some of my stuff this week.  Thanks so much guys/gals!  I am going to try and keep my meals very light and mild this weekend and avoid the horrible stomach issues I had coming down off last hell week.  So I realized today that if I only have to do 3 Rounds I am more than half way done!!!!  And even if my Dr decides I need a 4th I am still halfway done with the hell weeks so... starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel (at least for this section of treatment).  Pick of the day, sorry I was going to try and shoot a jovial silly one but honestly this reflects more how I fell so might as well be honest so many bags hooked up to me! hahahaha

9:30pm O:5 P:1 N:6 T:6
At least its predictable. Back to the crappy nighttime feeling. However, at the end of last hell week I had to do xmas eve and xmas stuff... this time I don't have to do anything so I plan to sleep.. take pills and drink water etc and nothing else. Just gonna shut down for a couple of days and try and recover. I may or may not post until my Bleo treatment monday depending on how I fell.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

BEP Round 2 Day 4

Late start waking up this morning. Very tired. Getting premeds right now I will post an update later.

9:45am O:3 P:0 N:1 T:5
So having some serious fatigue issues today, I woke up (over an hour late) at about a 8 probably on the Tiredness scale.  I slept "ok" I guess, not super great but decent.  But I can't seem to really re-coup my losses tiredness wise.  I am deep into Round 2's hell week so my level of tiredness could be normal I suppose.  Anyway I am doing fine otherwise, my stomach is much better today and overall I feel ok kinda like I just had a really hard day yesterday working out or maybe pulled an all-nighter or something.  Just started the platinum, so I will update later how everything goes.  Still zero mouth sores which is awesome, we have done a great job staying ontop of that this time and its nice not to have to deal with that.

As for moving I felt really good last weekend and we got most of the house packed up, we have a few more things to do but we are in really good shape to move... and we get the keys Sunday (though we probably won't really start until the 21st when I got the SUPER UHAUL mover :-P )

1:05pm O:2 P:0 N:1 T:6
Done for the day, only one more day left for this round's hell week.  I am crazy tired though, I feel like this week is taking a lot more out of me than the first week did.  Though I remember more nausea and other issues the first week so I guess "just" being tired is better than all that.  The chemo day was uneventful, more bags of poison, more fluids... then done.  No reactions or any surprises today on that front.  We did find a bug, we think, in some of my code at work so that's always fun especially trying to debug remotely from a chemo chair over a shared desktop session with CRAZY lag because the hospital wifi is crud.  Hopefully I can get some rest and take a shot at fixing that later, or maybe someone on my AWESOME team back at the office will fix it before I even get a chance.. go guys go! hahahaha  Here is your chair pic of the day (hat off) feeling ok just super tired.

4:45pm O:1 P:0 N:1 T:3
I wasn't able to sleep, but I did get to relax and take a break for a while.  My mind was too focused on the work thing, and other stuff... plus "chemo tired" doesn't always let you sleep its a weird tired feeling.  Anyway, I wanted to let you all know one of the AWESOME guys on my team Nhat found a great work around for my cruddy bug which will let the delivery go out! Great job Nhat, you are one of the reasons I love working on this project.  Working with you the last 5 years has been great!  And I can come up with cleaner solution once I can think better next week HA.  Again, thanks so much for stepping up and helping me out!  Oh and someone asked me earlier in the blog if the chemo affected me mentally as well as physically and I can say YES for certain now... just reading this simple compound IF statement that Nhat sent me earlier in our debug session made me think much harder than it should have... so yes be wary of your ability to do analytically thinking at least during strong hell week, I still "got it" it just took me longer than it should have.

9:15pm O:5 P:2 N:5 T:3
Its getting much worse, this is how I remember last Thursday/Friday being as the pre-meds wore off.  My head hurts, my stomach feels horrible, and I feel like I have the flu or something.  I am not overly tired but my knees are hurting (happens when I get tired or over work them its something from high school).  I went ahead and took a promethazine, hopefully that will help turn the tide.  I might up my Ativan dose as well because it has anti-nausea properties but I am wary of over medicating the issue.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

BEP Round 2 Day 3

6:15am O:1 P:0 N:1 T:2
Actually feeling pretty good this morning. I never did end up taking a nap during the day yesterday, and while I felted pretty drained toward the end there.. I got MUCH better sleep at night, and I think a good 8 hours of solid sleep seemed to help me better than lots of little naps. Anyway, its hump day of this week and last Round this is where my symptoms really started to kick it up a notch (urgh I really dislike that show).
This is when my tongue sores started to set in, my nausea really started to ramp up, and my stomach basically refused to play nice with anything. However one thing I have noticed already that's better than last time is that metal taste isn't as bad... its certainly there especially WHILE I am getting the chemo but it doesn't seem to be lasting. Its different this time, I just can't taste much of anything. Not sure what is better.. metal taste or NOTHING taste :-P As for the comment/suggestion about a video blog, I had thought about that but even though I am devilishly handsome and witty (All be it more aerodynamic as of late).... not sure I have the skills needed to do a decent video without it looking like Blair witch project or something (which btw I can't watch more than like 3 minutes of without becoming crazy motion sick!!!!)I will leave the video work to the professionals at PTP NEW MEDIA :-P
Chemo starts at 8:30am so once we get settled etc I will give you guys an update around 9-10.. CYA!
TIP!!: Little tip for all you guys (and gals if you are cooking for your guys) I found it almost impulsive this morning that every time I handled RAW food and put it in to cook I went and washed my hands before returning to cook. No sense in risking mixing in a bit a raw "stuff" when your body has enough to deal with right now.
9:15am O:3 P:0 N:3-7 T:0
Something new has been happening. So normally "waves" of nausea have been from smells or something but this morning I am getting spikes up into the nearly vomit range for no reason. 1 was very close to the tipping point. They are doing the premeds now so hopefully that the squash that. I will update later with how it goes. Taste is still mostly "dead" which I guess is better than everything tasting like tinfoil B-)
10:15am O:1 P:1 N:2 T:1
Well not sure what happen with blogger there but it inserted all the HTML code for some reason. Jenn cleaned it up for me and emailed it back. Another new thing happen. I had some light 1-3 level pains in my left chest area. We stopped the platinum for a minute just in case but my blood pressure and heart rate were fine. It went away a so we started back up, no idea. I do have a thing when I get stressed with a very sharp pain right in the middle like in my sternum but this wasn't that. And no were near that strength. Oh well it went away and we are back off and running. BTW my nurse officially rocks. With all my issues with insurance one of my best meds is Emend but its like $900 a dose and they are being a pain about it. Well she got me a FREE dose pack voucher from their pharmacy. \(^-^)/
Awesome free expensive pills from my nurse, she rocks!
1:45pm O:1 P:0 N:2 T:4
Leaving a bit tired, with some mild nausea but that's better than I was in Round 1 so I take it as a victory.. so you get VICTORY POSE!

2:35pm O:1 P:0 N:1 T:2
Ran some errands, basic stuff and got my nice free $900 meds.  When I got home I got caught up on some work emails and... well not going to get into it but it was a surprise to say the least!

6:20pm O:1 P:0 N:0 T:0
I feel a little "off" overall, but it might be from my work thing I dealt with. Honestly, I feel pretty dern good for being halfway through my Round 2 (which could be out of 3 or 4 depending on how things go).  I got some new toys in from Amazon I am playing with and I am going to do some work for a few hours later today once I get settled.  I did a few hours starting at 5am ish when I woke up so I figure if I can get in 4-6 hours at least on these HELL WEEK days I am doing good.  I will post later if anything changes for the worst or any odd symptoms show up.  My body seems to be handling this round better for some reason.  Either my wife and my plans to "stay in front of it" this time and keep my TIPS going full force or maybe my body is just getting used to the onslaught :-P

9:35pm O:4 P:0 N:3 T:5
As is usually the case, the evenings are the worst.  Longest away from the pre-meds, I have stayed up on all my medication but it doesn't seem to really keep things at bay.  I am trying my best to stay up long enough to get a decent nights sleep until tomorrow's treatment.  My nausea is up because I was quite hungry and pulled a rookie mistake and ate a huge serving... now my stomach is hating me and when you do that it drains you and makes you feel "flu-ish" all over.. hence the Overall rating.  PORTION CONTROL, tip for the night.  Goodnight all, I am going to hope for a great morning!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

BEP Round 2 Day 2

1:51am O:3 P:0 N:4 T:0
So I have had some spikes in nausea up into the 7-8 range, I was talking with my wife about how bad one of the "waves" was and I said something like "It almost feels like if I just THOUGHT of something that smelled bad I would...." and nearly had to run to the bathroom!  Crazy even in my hardest days of Round 1, I was never that sensitive to just thinking about something.  I think its because I waited to eat until about 30 minutes before my Zofran dose.  So that means it was at its weakest and it took about an hour or so to kick in so that's 1.5 hours of me being vulnerable to nausea, and I decide to eat... smart move.  Anyway I said we should probably be more aware of my dosing schedule as it aligns with my eating schedule.  I shouldn't try and eat a big meal at my weakest point, so to speak. Anyway I slept a decent amount last night, and then I slept through most of my session yesterday AND slept for like 4.5 hours mid day when my body just gave out so ... I am not really tired right now.  I am just watching TV, and I did a little work (for you co-workers following this.. Unit Tests are boring so so freaking boring!!!) resisting the urge buy more things on Amazon... HAHAHAHA

My chemo isn't until 10am tomorrow, and its a big day I have my normal E&P rounds but I also have my bleo AND they are going to draw blood to check on my SUPER HUMAN white blood cell count :-P Depending on where that is, we are going to do another nuepogen shot or X however  many the Dr wants.  I think we, I am basing this on zero medical experience, probably won't do more than 1 or 2 considering 4 shot me up to 3x the normal white blood cell and neutophil count HAHAHA but hey he could keep it like that.  It was nice not to have to wear the mask when we ran some errands... being bald is one thing but being bald AND having a medical mask on makes 100% of people stare at you.  With next week being a "Bleo only" week, I am hoping my white blood cells stay up enough to go into work for a little while.  I am getting a good amount of work done here but I have to say its very odd NOT to be at work.  This is coming from some one that probably averages 55-60 hours a week most of the time and can go into the 70s or higher during peak times like before a build being due or something.  Its just very odd to be basically quarantined to the house, my only trips out are to the hospital to get more chemicals pumped into me or the occasional errand where I have to be very careful about anyone around me that could be sick etc.  Its actually funny, my wife and I were talking about how we have become very good observers of people's health.  Are their eyes/cheeks/nose red, do they look "out of it" etc etc.  This one lady sneezed and and I not kidding you I did an immediate 90 degree turn into another aisle before I could even really process WHY I did it.  Anyway I am just rambling now cause its late and I am bored.  I will update you guys/gals later today when I get my chemo etc.

10:30am O:1 P:0 N:1 T:0
So I am feeling much better this morning, my nausea is mostly gone still have that "bubbly" feeling in my stomach.  I described it to the nurse last time as a light "food poising feeling" she didn't know what that meant HAHAHA guess you have to had food poisoning to understand.  I talked to my doctor and we are going to TRY 12.5mg of IV benadryl this time instead of 25 (We started with 50 which immediately knocked me out).  Hopefully that's enough to get the Etoposide from giving me a bad reaction and its low enough to keep it from making me sleep all dern day!  Well I will post more/later as the day unfolds.

3:30pm O:2 P:0 N:3 T:5
All done, Bleo, Cisplatin, Etoposide... swimming around in my body whooping up on Cancer... and my hair what's left of it :-P.  So the moral of the story today is CRAZY amounts of water to get it all flushed out of my system.  Tongue is doing good, no sores yet.  The 12.5mg of benadryl worked, I didn't have a reaction to the Etoposide so that's great we are going to leave it down at that level.. easier for me to function at those lower dosages.  I might try and persuade them to try the full 523ml/hr speed instead of the reduced 400ml/hr speed tomorrow we will see.  All in all I feel ok, very tired but I normally am when I get home from a chemo set and with it being 3 of them today its that much more for my body to deal with.  I am having some nausea issues, but they are minor mostly just uneasy stomach and NOTHING sounds good... like I feel as if maybe I could eat but nothing sounds good and I am apprehensive of what some random thing would do to my already bubbly stomach.  Here is your "chair pic" for the day, I am actually working on a stupid Unit Test and it just refuses to link for some reason AAaaaah I hate linker errors they are so hard to debug.  For you work people reading.. take THAT for commitment 3x Chemo day and BAM still doing work :-P HEHEHEHEHHE

Oh and here is a pic of the Bleo I said i was gonna get you guys, I kept forgetting its a tiny bag:

And I will update later how the day went if I had more nausea or if I passed out for 4.5 hours again :-P cya!

9:45pm O:3 P:1 N:4 T:5
So I made it through the day without crashing, I have been very tired and I was worried that if I did go to sleep it would be for 3+ hours.  I have had a few instances of pretty strong nausea but they were quick to swell and fade.  I was able to eat lunch and dinner though but nothing has any taste aside from this one mustard which I put on things which shouldn't have mustard on it... so it would have a flavor HA.  I am going to try and stay up until 10:30 at least so I can get a good nights sleep before day 3.  I read through all my Round 1 week 1 posts and day 3 is when things started going down hill so I am hoping I don't repeat that.  I am going to try and stay awake and continually drink water and little snacks, maybe some odwallas if I can't stomach anything else if my wife can go grab them or maybe on the way home.  As for work, on of my co-workers pointed out something today.  Going in during business hours might be a bad thing with all the germs etc around however I could go in later and do my sync up of my work and pull down the current baselines and run a few tests our licenses won't let me do from home so I am debating that approach.  Seems like we are going to get the keys to our new place early this sunday so we might be able to take a little field trip and check out the new house!  With everything going on right now with me honestly I don't remember much about the inside of the house I was distracted to say the least when we saw it.  I am also considering taking a few days off for moving next week and the following week probably as vacation days since I don't have it in me to work extra hours to try and flex that time away.  I will see you guys/gals tomorrow! (Btw google bugged me about adding AdSense to my site since I have gotten lots of hits so I figured why not.. if it gets crazy or in the way i will just remove it)

Monday, January 9, 2012

BEP Round 2 Day 1

And so it begins!!

9:15am O:0 P:0 N:0 T:0
I can honestly say today i woke up feeling 100% normal.  Good way to start the next CHEMO EXTRAVAGANZA!  I got my blood work back, first lets talk about my tumor markers:
AFP Starting [2716.0] Post I/O [855.8]  Now   [454.8]
HCG Starting [503]    
Post I/O  [304]    Now   [9]
LDH Starting [290]    
Post I/O  [220]    Nos   [397]

Ok so a first lets talk LDH, this is basically body inflammation level i was never all that high even with the primary.  However, I did ask the nurse about why it when UP... she basically said its the chemo causing all that inflammation in your body as it attacks the cancer cells.

Next, AFP.. this is really the highest of the numbers.  Its always been the highest and while it is going down it is certianly not tracking to its half like.  So we can gather two things from this, its is DOWNWARD trending which is fantastic.  And the second is that oboviously I stll have some active cells in my body producing AFP but we have 2 (maybe 3) more rounds of chemo to whoop up on it so I am ok with the number I guess. I was really hoping for a sub 100 number but oh well (that would have been where it was if it was tracking like it should). I made a sheet that calculates the daily half life decay of each element and tracks it over time so I can compare its projected path with what we are seeing.  This allows me to track how well the chemo is responding and how "dead" everything is inside since after its all dead it should track 100% to the observed decay curve.  See Graph:

Finaly, HCG has dropped off to nearly normal levels and probably will be by the end of this round if not sooner. (its the bottom tracking curve on the graph) It should be lower strickly speaking from the tumor decay rate but its going way down that's all that matters.

The second bit of news comes from my blood counts.  Normal Range for WBC is 4,000-10,500.  If you recall last week I dropped down to 1000! with my Neutrophills being 100! which is crazy low.  Well good news is that the nuepogen really knocked it out of the park.  My WBC is 32,500 so I am chocked full of white blood cell fun! 

The other white blood cell marker that's important is your neutophil count, normal range is 1,800-7,800 and mine had dropped to 100! So now after all those wonderful shots its up to 23,400 HHAHAHAHA. So basically my immune system is super powerful right now :-P  Made a joke to the nurse I should get some taco bell and eat it while swimming in the sewer HA.  She made a comment that I have the immune system of 3-4 people right now all shoved inside me! hahahahah maybe if there is a bad flu or something going around we should just keep neupogen on hand to boost us up :-P just kidding!!!

Anyway what that says is that 4 shots of nuepogen is probably overkill, 3 maybe even 2 would be enough so we can keep that in mind as we move forward..I will update later once I get some E/P in me!

Me in the chair today, excited about day 1... Cancer BRING IT!!! (Wife says I also look like maybe I am scared or something is about to attack me.. guess "jazz hands" don't come out well in still photos)

12:25pm O:2 P:0 N:1 T:8
So I have finished both my E&P today, just finishing up fluids.  The benadryl really knocked me out, I slept through the whole day's treatment basically.  I woke up a few times here or there but it did kick my butt pretty well.  We aren't going to do the Bleo today, I kept trying to get them to switch the Bleo days to Monday but that never happened.  So Bleo, Etoposide, and Cisplatnim tomorrow should be a long day... Oh and I get nuepogen shots on bleo days so wow that should be a busy day!

I will up date later in the day with how I feel once the premeds knock off... I put N at a 1 simply  because I should be starving right now and the thought of food isn't appetizing at all.  Hopefully that fads too so I can get some calories.  TTYL all!

2:15pm O:1 P:0 N:3 T:2
Here are the meds I am taking, premeds and then the E/P i keep forgetting to grab a pick of the Bleo since its only on there for like 15 minutes it slips my mind but I will try and remember tomorrow.




That's the cocktail of fun for the week!

6:35pm O:1 P:0 N:1 T:2
I just woke up from an unplanned/unexpected ~4.5 hour "nap".  I remember working on the computer, I "kinda" remember eating some lunch though by how messing I ate it (ie the surrounding area) i think I started to fall asleep while eating it.  Now this isn't the first time during chemo I have had an impromptu-nap basically sneak up and wipe me out for a couple of hours. But normally those are like 1-2 hour things, this one I was out for EASILY 4 hours maybe a bit more.  Now this could just be that my body is tired and decided he needed some sleep, I haven't been sleeping all that well recently.  Or it could be this round of chemo is taking a bit more UMPH out of me than it did last time. Or it could be the Benadryl pre-med but it was only 25mg.  If you put that together with the time I slept during the Chemo session I "napped" for nearly 8 hours today!  On the plus side I feel fine, I don't have any nausea (again I rated it as a 1because I have only had a couple of tacos for breakfast at 7:30am and nothing else so I should be starving but I am not... and nothing even sounds good.)  I am going to mention this to my nurse/Dr. tomorrow during my session.  My Dr is at the main clinic on Tues/Thurs so its a good chance to get a face to face question/answer session with him.  Guess I am going to have to charge all of today to "sick" time at work because I didn't get a chance to do any work aside from read/respond to a few emails.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

BEP Round 1 Day 20

11:15pm O:2 P:0 N:0 T:0
So, tomorrow is the start of Chemo Extravagaza #2 ie "hell week". I am a bit apprehensive about it honestly. I thought since I had been through it before, knowing would make it easier but it really isn't. I know the crud I am in for, and how crappy it will get later in the week. But I have high hopes that with my tips, and trying to stay in front of it this time we can do better!!

In related news, for those of you that follow on day 13 my hair started falling out (all over). Well over the last couple of days I have had an itchy neck, but I just bought some new tshirts so I thought maybe it was just that. BUT I noticed today that my collar and the couch were covered in little 1/16" hairs (remember I buzzed it to 1/16" when it was patchy). So that's what has been irritating my neck, so I figured its time to just shave it. Now I might be wrong but I think I was born with hair on my head so.. this would be the first time I have EVER been bald. Posted for your viewing pleasure :-P

Friday, January 6, 2012

BEP Round 1 Day 18

11:15am O:1 P:1 N:0 T:0
No big new yet today, my hair is starting to get "patchy" so probably gonna shave it soon.  The new meds are keeping my bone pain and tiredness away.  I did want to share with you all an awesome video that came out from NASA on the project I am working on.  When I look back over the years of work I have put into this program, and the years to come it always makes me proud.  We ARE a space faring people, and we need to get out there and explore beyond low earth orbit and I am helping that!!

Shameless plug for me but for those of you that don't know I work on the Orion program for NASA as a subcontractor (I work for Honeywell Aerospace directly).  Watch this video!

5:00pm O:1 P:2 N:0 T:0
4th Nuepogen shot done, that's the last one my doctor told me to do before next week.  So hopefully when I get in Monday to start CHEMO EXTRAVAGANZA #2 my counts will be back up to decent levels.  Feeling good, the meds are working well even backed the Ibuprofen back to 400mg every 4 hours, and a Norco when I feel I need it (only been 1 so far today).  I have felt good all day and I got a full work day in, AND I have been doing packing etc around the house.  My wife and I are going to focus on getting my nutrition well fortified before next week over the weekend so I am ready.  I mentioned earlier that my hair is getting a bit "patchy" but its buzzed to 1/16 " already so I am just gonna leave it like that for a while its nice to have some hair hanging around.... And its not like it falls out when I shower in huge amounts or when I rub my head so, I will keep it a bit longer.  Oh interesting side note, as I said it isn't just hair on your head that "falls out" its most places... BUT a cool plus is that normally I have to shave every day and each day its pretty thick the next morning... but during the last week or so I haven't had to shave its nice :-P

Thursday, January 5, 2012

BEP Round 1 Day 17

First let me say that I have been taking Neupogen NOT Neulasta.  I thought they were the same thing, but most people seemed to say the latter so I had been sticking with that latter name.  However they are different medications.  Neupogen is a daily shot that last for a short time and allows more fine control over both the pain (ie it stops when you stop taking it quicker) and the boost to your white cell count (if it has recovered today you could stop sooner).  Neulasta is apparently a shot you take that works over the course of many days and has more serious side effects.  At least that's how my Dr described it to me.

3:30pm O:3 P:2 N:0 T:5
So saw my Dr today and my white cell count IS coming up, slowly I was at 2600 up from 1000 a couple of days go.. normal I think is like 5000->8000 ish so I am still low.  Which means I still have more shots to take.  I didn't get the number but my baby white blood cell count is still pretty low so i am going to have to take two more shots today and tomorrow to help boost it up before next weeks "hell week".  Then we are going to add a 3 day doze of Neupogen for every Bleo day to help try and keep my cell counts up for the next several rounds.  I am wiped out today, I got back from the doctor and i was probably at a T:7-8 and I crashed for several hours.  I am not sure if that's just overall body fatigue or if its Neupogen related or what but after my nap I feel a bit better but still pretty tired.  Still having bone aches, the ibuprofen helps quite a bit but my Dr wants to keep my daily dosage down to <3g so it limits how much of it I can take hence the pain returning a bit.  He also is going to call in a prescription for Norco which is nice, basically a Vicodin dose with lower acetaminophen so it doesn't impact your liver so much with higher dosages.  That will help take the edge off, he said i can "mix it around" between those two pain killers and find a schedule that works for me pain wise to help keep it under control.  I would of course rather have a P:0 all the time but I dont' think that's possible so I am going to settle for a P:1-2 if I can keep it in that range I will be able to deal with it.  Yesterday there was a point I was up in the 8 range and it was pretty bad.

So that's it for today, neupogen shot today and tomorrow... maintaining some pain killers to keep the pain at bay and preparing for next weeks hell week.  Oh, and my doctor told me I need to start wearing a medical mask when I leave the house until my white blood cell count comes up.  He wasn't happy I didn't have one on today when I saw him, but in my defense I didn't know I was supposed to be wearing one until he said that.

4:15pm O:3 P:2 N:0 T:5
Crud I am running a light fever 99.2, if it gets to 100.5 I have to do all sort of crappy things like go to the ER and call my oncologist etc etc.  So that's probably why I feel so run down etc, I took some acetaminophen hopefully that will bring it down.

5:15pm O:2 P:2 N:0 T:3
Neupogen shot number 3, injected and all done.  My fever is up to 99.4 so I took ANOTHER acetaminophen.. If in the next 30-45 it hasn't started at least settling out or dropping I am probably gonna have to call my Dr.  My tiredness feels a little better but I think the slight fever is draining me a bit.  On a side note this could all still be from the Bleo, technically you could take the acetaminophen dose schedule out for 48 hours past the dose.  We have been just doing 24 hours, and I haven't had any issues but perhaps as we get deeping in the treatment and my body is weaker we should start maintaining the acetaminophen for the full 48 hours.

7:00pm O:1 P:2 N:0 T:1
So I am feeling much better, medicines kicking in and my fever is gone!  It got up to 99.6 at one point, I was getting a bit worried but.. all is well now back in normal range and my tiredness is all but gone which is great.  I debated updating the P to 3, because i am getting some shoulder and leg aching, in addition to the lower back pain.. but they are all similar in their intensity so I guess MORE of them doesn't really mean I am in more pain.. its just more diverse :-P  Honestly with a crappy as my blood counts have been, I NEED this medicine so I just have to grin and bear it and hope it gets me ready for next week.  I am going to change the name from "Hell Week" to "Chemo Extravaganza".  Its more up beat and has a nice fun ring to it.. perception is important right? HAHAHAHA

Btw I ordered one of these, from a link in Dane's blog [www.iamtheuniballer.com]:http://www.jackiefarry.com/cancerhat/

F Cancer indeed! I think, cancer is one of the few things you can openly curse in society and everyone is cool with it :-P

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

BEP Round 1 Day 16

Not sure if I call this "Round 1" still since its over technically but Round 2 doesn't start until Monday so... i will just keep counting these as Round 1 days.

2:30pm O:2 P:4 N:0 T:0
So I wanted to let you guys know that I am having some pretty bad back pain.  Not sure if its directly related to the neulasta shots or not but it is uncomfortable.  I have been working from home over the last several days and this chair isn't that comfortable so it could be just that but I will keep an eye on it.  Overall I still feel fine though, not even tired today so that's a plus.

4:00pm O:2 P:5 N:0 T:0
I just confirmed with someone I know from work who also had these neulasta shots and my back pain is from them.  Its pretty bad hard to concentrate almost, and he said he only had 1 of the shots... and I am going to have 7 of them!!! AAaaaah

4:20pm O:2 P:6 N:0 T:0
Just talked with the nurse, apparently Claritin helps so I am going to try that. And he said I can alternate between acetominophen and ibuprofen.. and use a heating pad.  However, I have a couple Vicodin left from my surgery and I took one of those about an hour or so ago and it doesn't seem to be helping either so I am not sure if those will help.  I will try though.  Its getting pretty bad though, my arms and legs ache too now not as bad as my lower back.  Walking helps but it doesn't make go away completely and sitting down is horrible.

4:35pm O:2 P:6 N:0 T:0
Ok just injected the second dose =( Hopefully the pain doesn't "build" with each one.

5:30pm O:2 P:2 N:0 T:0
What a difference an hour and 800mg of Ibuprofen makes.  I can't keep up that level of dosage though so I am going to go down to 600mg with the next dose and 400mg with the one after that and see where i can "stand" it.  My liver/kidneys are dealing with enough right now I don't' want to have such high dosages for long periods of time.  Anyway at least its not so bad now, 7 days of that would have sucked.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

BEP Round 1 Day 15

Another Bleo day, should be a quick one like last time. They give you fluids/premeds which takes an hour or so then the bleo which is only 15-20 minutes. It isn't until 2:30 today though so my tiredness that usually comes mid day from it, when I get it in the morning, should just mean I get a good nights sleep. &nbsp;I do have a couple of skin reactions I want to talk to the nurse about which could be unrelated but just to be safe. &nbsp;I will update later in the day after the Bleo to tell you all how my blood counts are (they do blood on the bleo days for WBC/RBC/HGB) etc.

    - So I was omitting the rating system from these posts, sorry that was my bad.  The reason was because I actually "feel" perfectly fine.  I am the slightest bit tired, but honestly it could be from anything totally unrelated to the chemo which is why I wasn't posting anything with these but to be consistent (Thanks Dane for pointing it out) I will keep them on my posts.

3:00pm O:0 P:0 N:0 T:1
STILL waiting to even go in, my company changed our insurance pretty significantly this year and it seems to be causing some issues.  Fun times.  Ok so our insurance officially sucks. Our HSAs aren't active yet and everything is "out of pocket" for the first $3,500 so Urgh. They went ahead and let me through for my treatment today but it cost $350 just for today. I have several doctors.appointments and many many chemo treatments left. Gonna have to call my company and find out how to handle this. I don't have 3.5k just lying around hahahaha

4:35pm O:0 P:0 N:0 T:1
Well crap. Got my blood work back. My counts have all tanked. They are surprised I feel so good. Gonna have to do those shots that make your bones hurt, no fun. I feel fine though!

5:15pm O:0 P:0 N:0 T:1
So I have my numbers. WBC 1000! wow freaking crazy drop from last time it was over 7000 last week. HGB is down from 16.7 last week to 13.3, not bad but certainly dropped a bit.  RBC was fine, thankfully.. but my platlets where down to 80k which is quite low last week they were 155k which was on the low end of "normal".  And my Neutrophils are at freaking 100!!!!!  Normal is 1800->7800 so yeah... um CRAP.  Just got my first shot of Neulasta, hopefully the bone ache/pain isn't bad from it and I have to do one every day for 7 days =(.  My insurance picked a bad time to screw me over money wise, this is gonna suck.

5:30pm O:0 P:0 N:0 T:1
And the hits keep on coming, aaaaaaahhh.  So this whole time I thought the schedule was Week 1 (5 days ) Week 2 (1 day) Week 3 (1 day) Week 4 (off).  That's to say 3 weeks worth of treatment and then an "off" week.  I dont know where I got that from, if I inferred it from things I read online or if I got that impression from the Dr. or what but... yeah I was totally wrong.  There is no such thing as an "off" week, which means.. next week is ANOTHER HELL WEEK!  So, I guess plus side is I will get through the rounds faster... but I was just starting to feel good again and I know next week is gonna destroy me, especially with how my blood work came out today.  Well, on the plus side I will have a week to recover before our move-in week and maybe I won't feel like crap? :-P Searching for good things to be thankful for here HAHAHA.

------------ JUST REALIZED SOMETHING ------------
BEP Round 1 is DONE!  That's it, all doses taken.  Bleo didn't even really tire me out this time I feel fine.  On to round 2!  A few things I am going to do different for this round:
1) Eat better.  Previously I pretty much just ate "whatever sounded good" and honestly it wasn't the best food for me.  Often after I ate it I would feel worse or my stomach would fight me etc.  This time I am going to try and eat more "balanced".  Not really healthy per se, just better all around nutrition to try and not lose ~10lbs this time and to try and keep my energy up because I know by Thursday I will be hurting again.
2) Mouthwash and Brushing my teeth, I didn't do a great job of that last time. I did it a few times a day and tried to be diligent but it wasn't a priority and I was borderline on getting some bad sores.  Luckily we caught it before it got to bad and were able to keep it under control but I don't want to go down that route again.
3)  If possible, if I am up to it, I want to try and be a bit more active at least for an hour a day or so.. I felt like last time I mostly sat around... slept.. and was basically a bump on a pickle.  While that rest was good for me it also was super boring and kinda crappy just laying around all day.  Maybe something active walking around the block with the dog or something just to get up and out.
4) Water, water, water... I did actually a pretty good job of hydration this time but I think I could do better.  Honestly I should be drinking all day.  I probably drank a few liters of water a day maybe more but usually in bursts. If I could try and just be slowly drinking throughout the day and increase my overall water intake I think it would help also with the tiredness flushing that crud out of my system after a treatment.
5) The last one is minor but, LOTS OF PAIN CREME on my port. I did that today ~1.5 hours before (because the insurance crap took so long) and I didn't even feel her hook me up with the needle through my chest HA.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

BEP Round 1 Day 13

I am going to invent a word in the following sentence.

The DE-HAIRFICATION process... has begun!  So, it doesn't appear to be limited to just the hair on your head, without going into too many details underarm and chest hair are also on the list it seems of places you can expect to become more "streamlined" :-P

So it isn't pronounced just yet but if I tug a bit, yeah it comes off.. quite the odd experience the first few times it caught me off guard.  Guess I should pick up swimming, hahaha just kidding.  So I knew it was coming from some blogs/Dr advice etc I was expecting it around day 16 and I would say that in a few days when I hit that mark it will certainly be more noticeable. Anyway, thought I would point out the milestone for those guys going through chemo or expecting to go through it soon to know what to expect.  I have already cut my hair quite short so I would guess I probably have another week or so before its advanced enough for me to need to shave it off.  Once I am all "baldified", ooh another invented word, I will post a pic for everyone.