Wednesday, May 30, 2007

The Chemo Countdown Continues – 12 days

Yesterday was exactly in line with my earlier projection. I rated myself a 3 yesterday. This is primarily due to the extreme fatigue and also feeling ill for about 4 hours in the morning.

I’m partway through today’s hospital visit. It has not gone as planned. First, I gave blood. Next I saw my chemo doctor. He is concerned about the severe fatigue. He viewed my blood counts and although they were a bit below normal, they did not explain the degree of fatigue. He could see that I was struggling and suggested not moving forward with the last chemo treatment today. I agreed. So, no more shots (the 3 times per week Neupogen shots), no more chemo, and no maintenance chemo (daily Tarceva) right now. The issue of ongoing maintenance chemo will be revisited next Wednesday. He wanted me to get some more blood drawn so that they could do a full chemistry analysis and thyroid test. I went back down to the blood center. They took me right away. They usually draw 1 or 2 small test tubes of blood. For this, they needed to draw two large and one small test tube. They also had to use the same vein as was used in the morning. My veins are not what they used to be. I really didn’t want to be stuck again. On a 0 to 10 pain scale, it is almost a 0 (i.e., no pain), but the emotion of it is taking a toll on me. As the phlebotomist withdrew the needle, she stuck herself. I can’t swear to it, but I think this is the same phlebotomist that was in training one or two weeks ago when I gave a blood sample and the supervisor was angry with her for not being more careful with the needle in the patient before me. She actually told her she would stick herself. She is lucky; I do not have any contagious diseases. So, she’ll be okay. But, they needed to stick me again to draw two more large vials of blood to test for contagious diseases. I felt bad for her.

We’re now waiting to see the Plastic Surgeon. I don’t expect any surprises, but will provide a brief update on that later.

I’m getting a lot of e-mails from people following my blog. Thank you for taking an interest and staying in touch. Take care.

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