Friday, May 11, 2007

Post Chemo Cycle 4 Round 3 and Misc.

It’s been almost 2 days since my chemo and I’m feeling relatively okay right now. I was a bit shaky last night, but woke up slowly this morning feeling okay. So far today I had breakfast (that’s an effort for me and the only reason I mention it), I took my various medications (pain, anxiety, etc.), went in and got my Neupogen shot, and read my favorite paper, the Wall Street Journal. On Wednesday, my doctor ordered a 3rd Neupogen shot per week to keep my white blood cell count up so that my chemo could continue on schedule. The clinic I go to for the shot is near my house and is open on Saturday mornings. This is so fortunate for me. They are so nice, and the time and energy savings in not having to drive an hour plus each way to get this shot at the Cancer Center is such a relief. The chemo side effects are currently a little bit of fatigue, some tightening of my jaw muscle (which impacts my speech a bit more than usual and my ability to eat), and some tingling (not quite numbness) in my right leg. I feel well enough though that I made some plans for this evening. Keeping these plans will be dependent on the weather and how I’m feeling later.

Now to the miscellaneous stuff.

I’ve received lots of e-mails since posting this blog. Some were from friends and family, some are from friends of friends and family. Some have shared their own personal cancer stories and many have shared their emotions surrounding what I’m experiencing. I love hearing from each of you and hope you will continue to stay in touch either through the blog discussion option or e-mails. If there is anything you want to know or if you have a question which you think others may benefit from, please let me know and I’ll try to respond.

I’ve asked myself hundreds of times why I didn’t start a blog at the beginning or sometime sooner than I did. The answer is that in the beginning I thought I would get better and this whole thing would go away. Two years ago I was told that I had up to an 85% chance of being alive and cancer-free two years out. With each recurrence, the odds kept getting lower and lower. My cancer has so far been resistant to radiation, lots of surgeries, and prior chemo treatments. What is important now is that I not look at the averages. Each case is different, each person is unique, and their responses to the therapies are different. The advice given to me by my doctors and a close friend is that for me it is a zero/one outcome and not an average. That is how I view myself relative to this disease.

One last note before signing off for the day. A group that I neglected to single out and thank earlier are the rehabilitation therapists that have helped me during these last two years. These have included physical (30+ sessions), speech/swallowing (10 sessions), and nutritional therapies. I credit them with getting me as close as I can be back to my new normal self as quickly as possible.

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