Halfway done with chemotherapy.
I saw an improvement in my numbers this session, compared to three weeks ago. For one, i only lost 1.5 pounds this time around, compared to almost 8 the last time. More importantly, my neutrophils were higher: 1.8, compared to 1.2 before. I was really stressing out about this. If my neutrophils go below 1.0, my oncologist will put a pause on my chemotherapy until i can get them back up, and research shows that cancer patients are LESS likely to make it if their treatment gets interrupted. Apparently, there is a plethora of ways that an oncologist will schedule chemo treatments (different drugs [types and dosages], different numbers of days per week, different ways to administer the drugs, and different lengths of time in between each session); it all just depends on what type and what stage of cancer an individual has. Since my chemo treatment was based on my individual needs, it’s important for me to stay on schedule … and i was worried that it was going to get interrupted this time, for two reasons: (1) my neutrophils were already flagged as “low” last session, and (2) i got a UTI *and* bronchitis during the last three weeks. I’ve been trying to buffer against this by taking astragalus, echinacea, and zinc – all supplements to boost immunity – every single day. In fact, right before i had my blood drawn on Wednesday, i triple dosed on those – and then promptly threw up right outside of LabCorp immediately after leaving the building, while a stranger watched. Fun times.
Still no word on whether the head honchos at ADJC will let me return to work on February 8. That’s the current thing i’m stressing about. People (medical professionals, volunteers at the Cancer Support Community of Arizona, and friends) keep saying things like, “If you can get away with not working during your treatment, don’t work.” Um, that’s a nice fantasy thought, but my bank account is NOT equipped to allow me to spend the next six months without earning an income. I could probably get away with working less than 40 hours a week, but ZERO hours? I might end up being cancer-free, but i’ll be celebrating from a cardboard box out on a street corner somewhere … and then where am i going to store my tequila and four cats???
(1) I tried something different with fasting this time around. I’m trying to see if it’s more beneficial to fast multiple days PRIOR to treatment or multiple days AFTER treatment. Fasting sucks. It’s been 46 hours and 38 minutes. I salivated when i smelled pizza cooking in the kitchen this morning, and i had an irrational urge to slap Jenna upside the head when she started rambling about how she was “starving” because she hadn’t had anything but coffee today. My goal is to make it to Saturday evening at 6:00. Last time, i only made it to 56 hours before i went to town on some jello, homemade soup from Amy, and a lactose-free milkshake.
(2) I haven’t hit the worst of the symptoms yet – just tired, lethargic, some achy bones from the shot today, and a LOT of irritability from food deprivation.
(3) I know i had more updates, but all i can think about is food.