I have quite a bit to tell you but none of the following topics warrant a long enough blog post to themselves so I will break it up under headings
With my chemo being weekly and if the Adriamycin works I will be on it till April so if any of my more local friends want to book a Thursday to keep me company at Auckland Hospital – its only a very quick chemo takes about an hour or so and the appointments mean I’m at the hospital about 11, 11.30 – 1ish – let me know so I can add you to the roster of chemo chauffeurs. We are all good until mid January at the moment, MD, OD, OH and JMJ have all had turns, and the girls and OH can take me if no other volunteers but just thought I would put it out there to see if anyone else wanted to volunteer. Ring or text me if you are interested.
Guess my Neutrophils
As the Adriamycin is another chemo like Taxotere and Vinorelbine that can affect my immune system I have to keep an eye on my neutrophil (new white blood cells) count. Above 2 is normal (around 4 is usual) and if it drops below 1 I can’t have chemo. With the past experience I have had I am getting pretty good at gauging what level I’m at but I realised just how good yesterday. Since I’ve started Adriamycin my blood counts on a Wednesday before next chemo on Thursday have been 4.5 after the first chemo and 1.7 after the 2nd. When talking to RI (Cancer Society Liaison Nurse) when she rang to check on me on Wednesday afternoon I said that I felt they were possibly a fraction lower than the week before from the way I was feeling and that I thought they would be about 1.5 – Official result yesterday: 1.49 – how good am I at gauging it???!!!
Other Chemo side-effects
As the toxicity builds the nausea and other side effects are becoming a little harder to ignore – We are experimenting this cycle with adding another med to the mix and seeing how it goes. I have to take steroids the day of chemo and the 2 days following to counteract allergic reaction and they do tend to help with the other side effects. I actually feel more fatigue, nausea etc Sunday Monday. Afternoon naps have become my friends. I am still doing my Cancer Wellfit gym program and I know that is helping keep my fitness levels up and helping me cope.
Hair today, gone tomorrow
I bit the bullet and got my hair shaved at my hairdressers on Tuesday, it is just starting to thin in patches and should be all gone by Christmas. This time is way less traumatic than losing my long curly hair I had all my adult life was the first time, and I actually went by myself to the hairdressers on Tuesday. As I was saying to A, the hairdresser, part of that was purely psychological. I am in control of so little at the moment as far as ‘Gertrude’ and her spawn in my liver go, that this was one thing I could control and could decide when to shave my hair and go and have it done by myself. It was very empowering in a way.
apolgies for the typo in the pic caption it won’t let me edit it and change at the moment