Friday, October 31, 2008

Chemo 2, Day 9

Things are a-okay here!

Looking back at my notebook for where I was on Chemo 1, Day 9 - I am so blessed to be doing so well. That was the night of the shaking chills and fever . . . and the beginning of my stubbornness of NOT going to the hospital. Who me? Stubborn? Say it isn't so!

I continue to have "issues" in certain areas but all are manageable. Due to these issues, I haven't worked a full 8 hours a day this week. It just gets frustrating at times to "have" to deal with them. I refuse to get into the "why me" because it serves no purpose. It is what it is - deal with it. I can say that now, but there were a few times right after diagnosis and surgery that I thought I would not stop crying.

Tonight has been an emotional night for me. Yes, there was/is crying. Imagine! One of the members of my on-line support group was just diagnosed with cancer cells in her cerebral spinal fluid. She has the same subset of cancer as I, and four years after her treatment was finished, they found the cancer in her lungs. Now this. Please pray for Caryn. She is a tough fighter and her faith will get her through this to NED (No Evidence of Disease).

I heard from a high school friend tonight. It was the opportune time that I received his email. If you know me, but haven't made a blog posting or emailed me, please do.

Hugs and peace,


Thursday, October 30, 2008

Chemo 2, Day 8

Got to work at 8 am Yeah!!! But, booo, the nausea and intestinal distress hit at 10 am. I hung out as long as I could by using the "break through" nausea meds. I finally gave up at 11:30 am and went home for 3 hours. Needed to get the big gun meds out and calm the stomach down.

At one point, I was contemplating sitting out in the lobby asking someone to get my supervisor, to get my items and walk me to my car. Luckily, I was able to muster up the energy to gather my own things and get home. After the 3 hours, I was able to go back to work in the afternoon.

Today was one of those days where I just hate this blasted cancer and it's treatment . . . and all the crap I have to go through just to work and work with a clear brain! I know I'd be bored to death, but sometimes it's easier to deal with cancer and not have to work or go out in public. Think I can win the Lotto this weekend?

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Chemo 2, Day 7

Comparing this chemo to the first one is like night and day. I do still have nausea but no where near the level of Chemo 1. I did get behind on the 8-ball yesterday for anti-nausea meds so I could go to work AND think. Big mistake on my part.

Today, I took my time waking and getting ready as I really wanted to go to work without nausea. Eating, take pills, drinking, eating, taking pills and drinking. Taste buds are still kaput so I eat for texture. I can taste sweet and salt still. I ran by McDonald's on the way to work for a cheeseburger. The only thing I could taste was the pickle and ketchup.

Neuropathy is seriously burning my toes and feet. I feel like I'm at a luau and walking on the hot coals. Eeow, eeow, eeow.

Onc nurse said to take 10 grams of glutamine powder - which is 5 teaspoons (I think. I had it measured out but now have forgotten). I can add it any drink and gulp it down - just have to spread it out during the day. Onc nurse said to watch for cracking skin I guess it can be pretty serious - haven't had time to read up on it. I know the Onc nurse told me something, but I don't remember exactly what she said! This sucks.

The two newest side effects may be just one and something else. I am having nosebleeds. Oh yippee skippy. Since I'm heading into my NADIR, it is something to keep an eye on as it could be low platelets. Not claiming it per se, but just have to be aware of every little twitch in the body.

The second thing started today - severe back ache. Not sure if it came on because I was using a different chair at work, or if it is something else. Remember that every little twitch in the body means something to a cancer patient and their Oncologist. Tonight, the back has just been burning way too much.

Help! I'm on fire! My toes, hands and back are burning. This sucks.

Note to people I come in contact: Beginning tomorrow, I am beginning NADIR. No, it's not a religious holiday. It is when my blood counts go down and I need to be super cautious on what I touch . . .and need to keep my darn fingers away from my nose and mouth! Clorox wipes, here we come! I have no plans to go to the hospital this time around - and the Neulasta should have the White Blood Counts covered.

Oh well. I'm thankful that this 2nd Chemo is better than the 1st. Got to hang onto something! Me and my fired parts are going to bed. Love you all!!

Pass the Word

Note from Triple Negative Breast Cancer Foundation. I received one of the It's A Wrap headcoverings and have included the pics below.

My name is Laurie Erickson and I am the CEO of a fashion accessory company located in Washington State. A few years ago I launched a program called Good Wishes scarves - a program where my company makes one, free of charge, silk scarf or headwrap for women experiencing hair loss. This program was borne as a result of an email I received from a loyal customer, Hillary, who bought hair accessories from my company. She wrote to our customer care address and asked if we had any products for women who are losing or have lost their hair. I replied no at the time, but offered to make her a scarf at no charge, in a color of her choosing. When her scarf was completed, we had a staff meeting and had a moment for this terrific woman, silently sending her Good Wishes.

After receiving her scarf, we communicated from time to time and I told Hillary that should she meet anyone along her journey, who might enjoy a Good Wishes scarf to please let me know and I would happily have our factory make one for her - she told me that her Good Wishes scarf had brought her comfort during her chemo sessions. At a subsequent Chemotherapy session, Hillary met a woman who learned of our flegling program and requested a scarf - we were so happy to know that our desire to give was becoming a reality.

I have really struggled to connect, to give, to share our scarves with women. It seems so odd to have the ability to give and KNOW the need is out there, but struggle to find the bridge to get that done. Fortunately, I spoke with Malaak Compton Rock earlier this week and she told me about TNBC - I was so happy when we spoke and I said "you're my Bridge!" - she was as always just lovely and helpful and I am absolutely optimistic. My head has been spinning with ideas and so I write to you here to help me spread the word. Its very simple. My company works with hundreds of different silks and cottons. I will give as much as I possibly can to the community of women who are undergoing or experiencing an event where she is losing her hair.

I have two options at this time; a scarf (which can be a bit cumbersome for some) or a headwrap called "It's a Wrap". I will send you one at no charge. We don't have these all up on our website yet at, but I can send you swatches or a scan of the available fabrics at this time. My Dad actually went to our factory today to pick up hundreds of yards of fabric so we have tons of options to share.

If you or someone you know would enjoy either a scarf or an It's a Wrap - please email me at and me and my staff will work to get it done for you.

Thank you and I look forward to working together with you to perhaps send some comfort to women from women

Email Laurie, letting her know that you heard about the scarf from me or TNBCF. You can also call Laurie 888-884-3653. Here's the link to the It's A Wrap - you'll need to click on the Code # to view the fabrics.

Spread the word!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Chemo 2, Day 6

I decided to tough it up and suck it up to go to work today. While I didn't feel 100%, I wasn't a 0% either as I was during Chemo 1. I felt "slower" in thinking, speaking and moving. Several times I had to read the same thing to figure out what I was doing.

The nausea would not leave, tho. It's still here tonight and I'm trying to get it under control. At work, I spent alot of time keeping something in my stomach and doing my best not to get sick. I didn't bring enough food - why should I since nothing tastes good?

I have a choice of staying on top of the nausea with meds and not go to work; or, go to work with nausea. Both are uncomfortable. And like pain pills, getting behind the nausea meds is a big no-no. . ..can't get caught up on it. But I am definitely going to try tonight.

Hair is still thinning - Vic does his nightly check and the shower/bath doesn't lie. I don't want to shave it all the way, so I guess I'll let it fall out as it is. The "strands" are less than a 1/2 inch.

Comparing this time to last time in chemo, we are doing much, much better.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Chemo 2, Day 5

5:30 am and Vic has gone to work. I have decided that I hate Day 5. Here comes a little whining, plug your ears.

I'm on my own here, but not steady on my own. The neuropathy is bad and my thinking is cloudy. I can still smell the food that was cooked last night, even tho dishes have been washed and put away. Nausea isn't bad, but the smells are bothering me.

My finger tips hurt and I can't feel things. I didn't know the water was too hot until the water splashed up on my wrist. Ooops! It is hard to hold the coffee/tea cup handle unless I get both hands on the cup. But then the hand burns. Guess I'll get my gloves on. This is going to require some creative thinking to solve issues we take for granted. Think? Hmmm, not sure if that's going to work. Well, that's an exaggeration. I can think, but it is so slow and I forget what I was doing. It feels like a comedy routine around here.

I'm glad that we came up with a chart so I can stare at it for several minutes and several times while trying to decide if there is a pill I'm suppose to take. I grab my supplement and vitamin sorter to start the process of taking them, but then can't remember what day it is. Oh, that's, right. It's Monday. Laa laa laaa, sip some tea. What am I suppose to be doing? Oh, that's right. Take some vitamins and supplements.

And now it's 5:50 am. This day is going to be long, I can tell. I want a mommy here with me today. Well, maybe not all day, but to help with food and liquids. I'm such a whiner.

Keeping an eye on my eye. Get it? I crack myself up. My eyes are blurry and dry, despite frequent OTC eye drops. The one that became swollen after the first chemo is acting up. I have a few more cortisone drops that I am going to use. Don't need that freak again.

More later.

It's later . . . but not more later. At 7 am, the nausea hit. I can smell the food that was cooked last night and it is making me sick. But there isn't any food. Dishes are done, I just put them away. Removed all dish cloths and ran hot water in the sinks. Time for the sleepy-time meds. Nighty night

Evening time . . . . two naps today, one in the morning and one that was a huge crash in the afternoon. No way were those eyes staying open this afternoon. The anti-nausea meds cause this, so it's a trade-off. Being awake and semi-alert and having nausea in the pit of my stomach . . . or seeing double while trying to stay awake.

Neuropathy and cognitive still stink. Vic has caught me in a few blunders when talking to him tonight. I wonder if he is writing them down in the the "Renee's Mess Ups" that the girls started. I think it's funny, personally.

I am so hoping to go to work tomorrow, if not 8 hours, some hours. Just need to be cognizant of what my in/out does to the office routine.'

Two down and two to go! Wait, I can't think of that right now. I have to get through the next few days. Once I hit Week 3, then I can get excited about the positives.

Please continue to pray that the negative thoughts of Triple Negative Breast Cancer recurring/metastasizing leave my brain. The reality of this happening is there and I do spend energy speaking to this negativity. I can't allow myself to go there and fall into that hole of despair and fear. Research is still needed in this sub-speciality of breast cancer.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Chemo 2, Day 4

Woke up at 3:30 am with bone pain from Neulasta. Decided to stay up and start the liquids. I'm not drinking enough - if I don't, the side effects may come.

Still fatigued, moving slowly like an 95 year old woman with arthritis in all her joints/bones. But no nausea! Cognitive skills stink . . . .having challenges putting words together. Put the recycles into the towel bin. Luckily Vic found it this morning before adding towels.

Going back to bed (7:30 am) and going for a massage at 12 noon! Can't wait!

Got a massage and it felt heavenly. I got to sit out in the sunshine for a few minutes. The white balding head needs some color.

Don't think I'll make it to work tomorrow. Moving to sluggish and mind just isnt here. Nausea starting a little to smells. Oh, boy! And Vic is cooking tonight.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Chemo 2, Day 3

Hair is falling out fast. Vic took picture this morning and again this afternoon. Big difference. Now I know why my hairs have been hurting. Not sure if I want to shave it or let it come out on it’s own. Wonder where it’s going – hopefully staying in my cap.

Vic has been wonderful in helping. On Wednesday, he went to a little shop near his work (Harborview Hospital) and took pictures of hats and turbans and sent them via cell phone to me. He came home with a hat and a turban/scarf that are cute. I wish this place was open on the weekends so I can go shop and try on. I have a large head so it is hard to just buy from the Internet. Today, Vic is taking things back to the post office that I had ordered from the Internet, but don’t fit. Bless his heart.

I’m trying Vic’s patience in talking and thinking. Don’t know if it is the chemo or the absolute worse fatigue ever not allowing my brain and mouth to work correctly. Possibly both. But words are coming out very slowly and it is a struggle to talk for long. Sorry, no phone calls today!

I asked him yesterday how HE was feeling given his surgery a little over 2 months ago. He says that his stomach is still tender and that he doesn’t feel 100% back at stamina. But he is sure doing very well in helping me. Because of this, I have put up a link over on the right of Local Areas of Help We Can Use. We will update it as things come up. If you can help, that would be awesome!

Thankfully, knock on wood, no big nausea. Just a little that is managed with anti-nausea meds. Looking at our chart from Chemo #1, the nausea from smells came on the 4th day, which is tomorrow. Hoping it doesn’t!

I've lost a total of 17 pounds in 3 weeks. Told again that I shouldn't be losing weight while on chemo. It's not because I'm trying to diet! It's this new diet trend - called chemo diet.

I need to increase my calories, fluids and protein to help with the blasted fatigue. Taste buds are leaving me again, so I am eating to be eating. But nothing is prepared here at home for me to toss in the microwave. I didn’t do as well this time in that prep area.

Vic has been chasing me out of the kitchen as I was preparing some lentils/barley to do something with. Don’t know what I’ll make with them tho. During his running around this afternoon, I finally called him and asked him to bring home a Big Mac. Now there’s some calories. Not so sure about the protein, but at least it’s something in the tummy other than protein shakes. Which are getting so boring.

Here’s what happened during the Neutropenic Week 2 from Chemo #1.

My Red Blood Counts were a little low – not too bad. Platelets were okay. Normal White Blood Counts are 4-11. Mine were 1.5. Given this, my risk of infection based on Absolute Neutrophil Count was less than 100 – Extremely high risk of infection. That’s why I was so sick with all the side effects and why I couldn’t be out in public or go to work. My body bounced back pretty quickly so I could get the 2nd chemo Week 3.

The Onc felt the need to see how low I would go in order to give the booster shot, Neulasta, the day after my 2nd and subsequent chemo. The thought is that my body will over-produce the white blood cells from the bone marrow – so that when I get into the NADIR, I will have sufficient to offset the loss. But the bones that are producing the white blood cells hurt like a big dog. It hurts to burp or cough today. But the pain for a few days versus the Week 2 Neutropenic crash doesn’t compare. Not sure why others have automatically received the Neulasta after the 1st chemo and my Onc didn’t. By the way, one shot of Neulasta costs $4,000. Don’t know what insurance will pay, but believing it will be a good portion.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Chemo 2, Day 2

Quiet day at home, feeling okay. Little heartburn but nothing that got me down. If I feel this good next time, I may be able to go to work the day after.

Except, extreme fatigue hit about 4:30 pm. I mean extreme. Couldn't keep my eyes opened, zero strength to lift the computer to my lap to tell you all what is going on. Despite this, I feel good.

Got my Nuelasta shot this afternoon, then took a quick run through Costco looking for some specifics . . . out within 10 minutes. Did that contribute to the fatigue? Vic ran into the grocery store to pick up some things and I fell asleep outside in the car.

Hoping that this fatigue lifts some as I would love a massage this weekend. Wonder if my therapist is still doing them? It's been sooooooo long.

I have news about the WBC (white blood count) from the neturopenia, but my mind can't function right now to tell you. I'll get the info out later.

Love you all and thank you for your support and prayers!!!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Chemo 2, Day 1

Chemo went very fast today - only 1.5 hours. Because I had no allergic reactions last time with the one drug that they dripped very slowly, they were able to speed it up.

So far I only have a sore throat - not sure where that came from - and a slight headache. I'm doing my best to stay awake after the anti-nausea and anti-allergic meds they give.

Praying and believing for an easy, breezy, non-existant side effect days to follow!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Almost Chemo #2

Tomorrow is Day 21 and chemo #2 is on Thursday, October 23 at 11 am. IF, my blood counts are up to normal. Which I think they are because I am feeling pretty good.

I've found that if I take 30 minutes of my lunch to have a rest/nap, I can make it through the entire afternoon without yawning every 2 minutes. Today I didn't get the rest and I started yawning precisely at 3 pm. Too funny.

Please pray for no nausea after Chemo #2. While I'm not scared or concerned about the actual chemo treatment (and the needle), my anxiety is elevated for the "afterwards". It was so bad after the first chemo, I can't go through that again. Trying to keep positive and believe for the best ever chemo session!

I will receive a booster shot on Friday. This should help with the 15 out of 18 side effects of neutropenia that I had. I am believing that with this shot, week #2 will be a breeze.

For those who have breast cancer and have stumbled across my blog - please know that what happened to me after Chemo #1 isn't what everyone experiences. Some have their chemo on Fridays and go back to work on Mondays. They may be a little tired, but do not have the 32 side effects or neutropenic fever that I had. Everyone is unique (and some of us are tooooo unique!).

Saturday, October 18, 2008


What a difference a week can make

Friday, October 17, 2008

Chemo 1, Day 15

Okay, somebody lied. My hair hasn't completely fallen out on Day 15 and Day 16 as I was told. Today is Day 15 and I still have my little buzz cut. Only one small patch of missing hair. I thought maybe I had cut it too soon, but I am happy that we did it last Saturday. I am so comfortable going without a wig, hat or scarf at work. I just wish it was summer so I could be au natural 100% of the time.

I also have phantom hair. I was shopping for scarves and hats on my lunch today at Marshall's and saw a bin of blow-dry brushes. I always "need" another size brush or another gizmo for my hair. As I started walking towards the bin to look, it was like "Duh! You don't need a hair brush because you don't have any hair, silly"! And when I caught someone really looking at me, my first thought was, "what the heck are they looking at!?" Then I remember I don't have hair. But maybe they are looking at how cute my hat is. That's it, I'm sure! :-)

My energy is very good, taste buds are still screwy. I was so sure that an egg salad sandwich would taste good today. Wrong-o! Zero taste and only texture. Despite increased energy, 3 pm seems to be the time of day I start to crash. Today was especially hard, I could barely keep my eyes open. It was so nice to have the quiet room to go to today. We'll bring a pillow, a blanket and other items to the room this weekend in preparation for the next treatment.

My mom and step-dad are arriving for a visit tomorrow from Post Falls. Hope mom does okay with my shaved head. If it was my baby, I'd be crying. But then we all know I cry easily. We saw them at the end of July before Vic's and my surgeries. Geesh, August seems so long ago, but really it wasn't. What a month that was. It's nice to reflect on how far we have come in the cancer journey and how much stronger we are emotionally and spiritually!

While it's sad, in one sense, that I get poisoned again in a few days after just getting my body back to "normal", we know what to expect and it is less scary. We will be ready for the nausea - no adding a new anti-nausea med each day cause I have the top-dog anti-nausea med here in the house. We will be ready and prepared for the side effects. And with this infusion, we are half way to being done!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Chemo 1, Day 14

Hi ho! Hi Ho! It’s home from work Renee goes!

I am sooooo tired, but such a good tired. I had the pleasure of going to work today and being among people. While I so enjoy my two cats, and definitely appreciate the big one’s body warmth as he lays curled up on my lap, it was time to come back among the living. Not that my cats are dead, mind you.

I even went topless at work. Get your mind outta the gutter! I bought a really cute camel-colored felt Nine West hat last night and wore it to work today with a short halo wig. Having just a little bit of hair really helps to alleviate the "cancer patient" look.

After lunch, the hat was too warm, so I took off the halo and added a matching headband to cover the bald sides. Didn’t think anyone would notice, but “DH” did (not a bad thing). I felt very comfortable just to take both off and go au natural and it was well received. Now, if the little bit of hair I do have would stay, I’d be very happy. Will have to wait to see what happens when it all falls out. I hope I am still comfortable to go bare, but it is a colder time of the year, so something has to go up there.

Taste buds are still off kilter, but getting better. I can now identify sweet and salty. Throw in some starch, though, and it kills them. This body stuff fascinates me. My energy level is up (tho tired after a full work day) and most of the side effects from the neutropenia are gone. Ahhhh, the 3rd week of chemo is suppose to be good and it is. The day after the next treatment, which is Oct 23, I will receive Neulasta. This should give me a good 2nd week.

Last week, I put in a request for a privacy screen for one of the sofas in the employee break room. My hope was that when I needed a rest, I could take a 15 minute nap, thus avoiding having to go home early because of fatigue. I was surprised to see that it was approved and our facilities department actually created one out of PVC pipe and a shower curtain! Pretty ingenious of them. And it didn't require a note from the doctor or completing a form in triplicate. They just did it (at least I think that's what happened behind the scenes).

As my supervisor, DH, pointed out, tho, most people were wondering what it was and peeking behind it. Hmmm, maybe it wouldn’t be so private. I knew the noise would still be there in the break room, but I had planned on taking ear plugs or using my iPod to drown it out. Whatever it would take to get through this and maintain my job. I was so pleased to have it!

Among many great supporters at work, I am fortunate to have another breast cancer survivor, “TB”. From day one when she learned that I had breast cancer, she has been a wealth of information and a super encourager. Poor thing, every time I’m around her, I leave crying. Not because she makes me sad, but because I am blown away at her continued support. Well, she topped it today. She found an unused office in her department, moved in some padded cushioned benches and handed me the key – saying “this is your area while you are going through chemo – decorate it, bring in whatever you need to have a quiet rest area. It’s yours”. Do I need to say what I did next? Nope. You know I cried.

Also, as I was walking back to my office, another employee that I don’t know all that well stopped me to say that she has been praying for me. I am so amazed at the support of my colleagues. I am so blessed!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Neutropenia, Vitamin D, and Taste Buds

Update on the nurse:

I called and talked directly to her yesterday. She didn't recall say "ugly cancer patient". She did say, tho, that it was a busy and choatic day. I should have called her on it when it happened so that it was fresh in her mind and the doctor's mind that she DID say something so very inappropriate. Thank goodness she isn't the one who puts in the needles!!

Here’s some information I found about neutropenia. . . . what I’ve been “in” since last Friday.

If someone is neutropenic—they may not show the "typical" signs of infection that medical staff are used to looking for. This is because the body is not producing WBC’s. Normally, when we have an infection—the WBC’s increase and this is what causes the redness, pus, and swelling that we are all so familiar with. The most reliable sign (and many times the only sign) will be a fever > 100.5 F.

Other symptoms include the following. I had 15 of the 18 from Day 9 through today, Day 14. This is sooooo old.

Increased skin temperature, Feeling tired, Headache, Body aches, Feeling dizzy or weak, Feeling warm or cold, Shaking chills, Sore throat, Cough, Stuffy nose, Burning with urination, Redness and swelling at the port site, Swallowing problems, Mouth sores, Sinus tenderness, Pain in the abdomen, Diarrhea, Rectal discomfort with bowel movement (left it on a good note, eh?)

I can finally call my self “A 10”. Are you jealous???

Per the Vitamin D Council and all the recent news stories, adults should be between 50 and 80. I’m a 10. Toddlers and older children, who do not go into the sun, should take 1000 – 2000 IU/day, depending on body weight per the Vitamin D Council.

Have you had your Vitamin D levels checked? Even those who live in sunny California?

Taste Buds
Since October 2nd, I believe I’ve had 2 or 3 days of taste buds, wonderful glorious taste buds. They have left me again with the Neutropenia.

I prepared a grocery list for Vic for everything that would slide down the semi-swollen throat, sounded good and might be a forbidden diet food. The list included frozen pizza rolls, egg rolls and tater-tots. I was in heaven heating all three items last night.

Anticipation, anticipation is making me late; Is keeping me waiting.

But alas, the three items tasted like packing-peanut material, but soft. Sigh. I did find one thing that was yummy – Jack in The Box’s Orange Sunrise. They are advertised as Real Fruit Smoothies. Sounds pretty darn healthy.

Wrong-o, buck-o. Second ingredient is High Fructose Corn Syrup, with 3rd ingredient, Corn Syrup. Oh, let’s talk about the calories and sugar. 431 calories (but if you aren’t eating anything, like me, this would be okay) and 86 grams of sugar (not okay under any circumstances). And here I was, planning to talk the manager into selling this sad looking. bald cancer patient a box or two of the mixture. I was going to add my protein powder and make my own Orange Sunrise at home. Guess again.

I am returning to work tomorrow, full time until the next treatment. The next treatment is scheduled for October 23. This could be delayed if my blood counts haven't come up by October 22's lab work. Pray that my body will build back up quickly!

I see the sun so I'm running outside for some Vitamin D. Can't wait to see me tall, tanned and skinny by Christmas!!!! Don't choke on that, okay? I don't recommend this diet to anyway, tho I've have great success with it in losing 13 pounds as of yesterday.

Blessings of peace to you and your family,


Monday, October 13, 2008

Chemo 1, Day 12

10 pm 99.9
2 am 100.6
6 am 100.2
2 pm 99.5

7 pm 100.6

It is official. I am stubborn. I should have gone to the hospital. There, I said it and it is in print. I promised Vic that if this fever stuff ever comes up again, I am at the hospital door. Probably would have felt better by now if I had gone in on Saturday.

Can't brush my teeth - gums are too sore and inflamed. Thank goodness for cotton facial pads to finger-brush the teeth. Taste buds are gone again because of the mouth issues. Other TMI side effects would probably be cleared up as well.

A huge Push Up to my husband, Vic. He has the patience of Job. Vic hasn't once complained about what he has had to do or give up for this cancer journey, despite his own cancer and surgery.

Time to go find some cardboard, um, I mean food. What a crappy way to lose 13 pounds in two weeks, eh? Then off to the laboratory and a visit to the onc nurses.

Afternoon Update
My NADIR is down and I've been ordered to stay at home, avoid crowds, not eat any raw foods unless they can be cooked or washed (i.e., apple), and frequent hand washing. If I washed my hands anymore, I wouldn't have skin.

All of the above body complaints are a sign of low NADIR. Isn't that interesting?! If I'd known that, . . ...grrrr.

Dr. P said if my temperature got to 100.5 that I was to go to the ER in Seattle where she is. So, we are on our way and expect to be there within a couple of hours!

Stay tuned to the As The Cancerville Turns saga. It is such an old story, I'm so sick of it.

Evening Update
We are so frustrated. We have no idea why the request for us to go to the ER - other than the damn "standard protocol". What we wanted to achieve by going to the hospital wasn't met - no fever, my taste buds back, no mouth sores or inflamed gums and the other TMI issues resolved.

Oh wait, I got the opportunity to have 5 - five - needles! Thank goodness that the first and fourth ones were Lidocaine. The others were the port needles, in 3/4" and 1" length. They were having challenges getting a good flush on the port. I had two x-rays and got a lovely grey pair of non-slip slippers. They match the previous two pairs I received.

It was like the ER doctor was talking to the Oncologist but the ER doctor wasn't agreeing???? Such as - oncology protocol is any fever over 100.5 you go to the ER and be admitted. I was higher than 100.5 many times this weekend and even today. This is what I was fighting over the weekend. ER doctor says oh, no, it's 102 degrees. He goes on to say that the blood work in the morning shows that my blood counts are low, but not "that bad". Okay, so why am I told to stay home, avoid crowds, no gardening (as if I have the stamina to do it right now), drink lots of fluids and wash your hands. Umm, been doing that for 3 days now!

Then! Okay, yes, this is a rant. I shared my frustration with the ER doctor and discharge nurse of just spending an hour trying to get access to my port. The nurse replied, "We are just the messengers. Don't be an ugly cancer patient". Yes, that's right. That is what she said. You bet your sweet bippy a letter to the administration is going out tomorrow as soon as I cool off. This one just rises above the "oh well" attitude.

Many of the ER discharge instructions contridicted Oncology instructions. Such as the temperature and taking Motrin/Advil or Tylenol.

On our way home, I called the temporary onc nurse to let her know what happened. I also wanted to confirm that I should call or come back to the ER if I have a 102 degree temperature and that I could take Advil/Motrin. After the onc nurse talked with Dr. P, she comes back on the line and says, "No, follow the oncology protocol. Call us if you have a fever of 100.5 and do not take Advil/Motrin".

At 7 pm, my temperature was 100.6 and I am not calling. I will call my usual onc nurses tomorrow (they don't work on Mondays) to obtain the preliminary results of the blood culture. And next steps. Geesh! I just want to go to work and be normal!

Oh wait. I have cancer. I'll have a "new normal". Who coined that crappy phrase?

Rant over and I am out.

Love and peace to you all!


Sunday, October 12, 2008

Chemo 1, Day 11

What a day it has been! 99.9 to 100.8 degrees. I made a deal with Vic that if it hit 101, then I would go to the ER.

The on-call Oncologist (a Resident?) stated that my blood counts are definitely down - that's a given - standard protocol is to admit to the hospital. If you are reading this and really know me, you then know that I generally question "standard protocol". Not that I think I know everything, but tell me why it's standard. He wasn't able to give a real reason why admit is standard, other than I would receive IV fluids and IV antibiotics and could be in the hospital up to 5 days. True, the IV antibiotics probably would work faster than oral antibiotics.

Because he felt this could all be handled out-patient with a 2nd antibiotic, I concurrred. Tomorrow I do have blood work to check my NADIR and I expect to receive a lecture from the oncology nurses. We'll see what the blood counts show. I guess I just didn't want to be admitted unless it was my Oncologist who said "Go!".

I called my boss and told her what was going on. I mentioned that I was going to get a gun if another side effect or issue came up. Her reply, "No, you don't get off that easy". lol

Thank you all for your support with the hair issue. I feel a little bit better about it and will continue to work on the "I am not my hair". I did the main wig again today and only after 30 minutes, I had a headache. Popped it off and I had a red line across my head. It's just too tight. If it was summer, I am about 95% confident that I would just go bare naked.

Despite the fever, I wanted out of the house for food and to test-drive a scarf/hat. Instead of trying to blend into the woodwork, I looked at everyone who looked at me. I felt that there might have been 2 people who did a longer stare than is usual. And I was okay with that. Remember my motto, "Oh well". Yeah, that's it.

As much as I have tried to be prepared for this journey, it just seems that what I have done isn't working. I thought I had the wig thing all worked out. Ha!

The best-laid plans of mice and men
Go oft awry

Chem 1, Day 10

Today was THE day -- we shaved my head. Talk about an emotional roller coaster! I closed my eyes as I couldn't look when the first buzzes started and tears rolled down my cheeks. They still do as I type this 12 hours later!

Daughters and granddaughters plus a wonderful hairstylist, Rebecca, at The Mane Team Salon, were there to support and do the deed. Rebecca is a dear. She accepted no payment for her work. On top of that, she gave me two wig heads, eye lashes, special shampoo and berets for me. We will meet up again so she can show me how to put on the lashes and further tailor the main wig. The wig will take some time to get used to; I found it to be tight and caused a headache.

Rebecca also came up with an idea that we had previously visited on this blog . . . adding hair to a hat. Cousin Valerie shared how a wig was made as well. We just might do it!

See, I had purchased a rather large and long partial wig that I was going to throw a hat or scarf over when I didn't feel like wearing the main wig. It was triple the cost of my Courage wig (isn't that a neat name for my wig?). For Rebecca to cut the long wig to suit my style - I'm not one for long hair - would have skewed things so bad that if a stiff wind came, you'd be seeing my little bald head.

I will have some pictures on the blog of this monumental day very soon. I am challenged on exporting pics from my camera to the computer. Not as easy as our previous camera, that's for sure. And for those who know me and want to see the "real" pictures, email me. lol Hey! I'm not putting the bad and the ugly out there for the world to see! Without my hair, I can differentiate my mother's and father's facial features in me. In fact, I look more like my mom than I ever thought.

On another note, I am fighting an infection or my blood counts had zeroed out. I have mouth sores once again, with a lump in the throat. I'm thinking it must be a sore in the esophagus. There are other physical ailments going on which would fall under TMI.

With the sleepiness on Friday, a start of a temperature that night, and an angry looking red mark on my port incision where the needle had gone in - I assumed it was an infection. The Oncologist prescribed some antibiotics Saturday morning. Poor Victor - when he walks into Bartell's the clerk immediately gets my drugs. They don't even ask who it's for.

After the hair cut, I had the shaking chills and was spiking a temperature up to 100.6 - which either item means an immediate call to the doctor. Do not pass Go, do not collect $200.

It could be a sign of low blood counts. The Oncologist said that I could come into the ER, have them run the blood tests, or I could give the antibiotics another 12 hours and see where we were. He mentioned the possibility of being admitted to the hospital. Umm, okay; let's do everything possible NOT to have that happen.

I woke up on Sunday morning, Day 11, at 1 am with shaking chills and a 100.5 temperature. Guess we are going to the ER as soon as it is light out and Vic wakes up. . . . and I get the laundry done, eat some breakfast, pick up the clutter, etc. :-) I'm such an excuse-maker aren't I?

Peace to you and your family,


P.S. At 6 am, my temp was down to 99.4, so we aren't going to the hospital right now.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Chemo 1, Day 9

I was able to work 5 hours today before I pooped out. I slept through to 5 pm when I was suppose to pick Vic up from the train station.

I am so blessed to have such a great supervisor and colleagues throughout City Hall. God's hands were definitely in the heart of the City hiring me.

I bought three hats yesterday. I wore one last night to dinner with Vic and actually wore one to work today. I needed people to see me in a hat while I felt good about myself and had my own hair. The concern was that I show up one day. with a hat, and there is a neon sign above my head, flashing "Cancer Girl" in bright pink letters.

The scarves came in from website, but pretty sure they are going back. I can't get my arms back up behind my head to do the pretty twisty things. Possibly my hairdresser can help, plus EC at work said she'd help too.

Nausea is down IF I keep food in my stomach almost constantly. I am still troubled, tho, with the esophageal tract. There is a big lump in my throat which makes swallowing difficult. No, I didn't call the oncology nurses today about it . . . . figured I had enough meds around here to knock it out. But it hasn't.

There is a new symptom - neuropathy - in my hands and feet. I noticed it last night when I was on the computer. I thought it was because of a pinched nerve in my neck or I had a kink in my shoulder. But the tingling and numbness are definitely there. It was weird to walk around last night cause it felt like I was stepping on a cat's tail.

Found an interesting item that I may check out at Nordstrom's. It's an eyebrow stencil by Anastasia. I already have the palest of pale eyebrows, that when I do add color to them, I feel like I'm wearing Joan Crawford's eyebrows.

Feel free to leave a comment or message or a joke as I DO enjoy reading them.

Should have some interesting pictures on the blog tomorrow night. Stay tuned!

Blessings to you and your family,


Thursday, October 9, 2008

Around the Bend

Chem 1, Day 8


EVENING UPDATE: Life is beautiful and I have tastebuds. I got to work 4 hours today, whoo hooo!!!! Met with Oncologist who reviewed the side effects and came up with new treatment plan during the infustion on Oct 23. More drugs. Nurses were so apologetic that I have had a rough time. Very tired tonight after work, doctor visit and dinner. . . .but more energy than last weekend!!

Oh, I think things have changed for the better! I actually tasted blueberry yogurt this morning. What a wonderful taste!

But, alas, let you think I am perfect . . . I didn't call the Oncologist or onc nurse yesterday since I didn't want to be a "bother". How female of me. About 7 pm, I couldn't take it any longer and called the Onc, who prescribed a form of marijuana. This isn't something that the local Bartell's carries so we came away with a transderm scop. Between increased dosage of Ativan and the transderm patch, I feel so much better this morning. Taking things slowly in movement, eating, and getting dressed, I am going to make it to work today. Oh joy!

I came across one pamphlet - out of about 30 they give you at your first diagnosis - that addresses CINV; Chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting. Imagine, they have an acronym for it. I've had a few other acronyms but since mom may be reading this, I won't list them here.

It states:
You may be more likely to become nauseous from chemotherapy if you:

  • Are younger (less than 50 years old). Well, does 53 at diagnosis count?
  • Are female. Yep!
  • Are prone to motion sickness or anxiety. Double yep!
  • Became sick from earlier cancer treatments. Nope!
  • Are a light drinker (people who drink more alcohol are less likely to become nauseous). Give me back my younger days where this would have been a "nope".
  • Had morning sickness when you were pregnant. Had afternoon sickness, does that count?

Given this, I'm heading straight for the marijuana after the next infusion - real or medicinal kind, I don't really care. Now THAT is my younger days!

Peace be unto you and your household.

Joke for Today Courtesy of Sandy

'WHERE IS MY SUNDAY PAPER?' The irate customer calling the newspaper office loudly demanded, wanting to know where her Sunday edition was.

"Ma'am," said the newspaper employee, today is Saturday. The Sunday paper is not delivered until tomorrow, on Sunday.

There was quite a long pause on the other end of the phone, followed by a ray of recognition.... As she was hanging up the phone she was heard to mutter, "Well sh**t ... so that's why no one was at church today."

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Chemo 1, Day 7

Oh well. That's all I can say.

This "bout" of cancer has really changed my way of dealing with life. Which is a good thing, I do believe. Having been the one to plan and organize things, projects, people, moves, etc., this cannot be done with cancer.

No need to get worked up because I can't beat the nausea and get out of the house. Oh well. What good would it do to get worked up? Maybe the new Renee will stick after this is all over?

Nausea is too much to get to work today. I'll try again tomorrow. I have an appointment with the Oncologist in the afternoon so we will talk about more or different anti-nausea meds. One thing I've found - besides the suggestions you all have given - is to use B6 and Unisom. This is used for pregnant women.

The sun is shining, I am grateful for health insurance, grateful for a house, grateful for the love of my family and friends, and grateful for good job. There. That's 5 grateful items.

Time for a nap with relaxation tapes. It should also help release the tension in the stomach.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Chemo 1, Day 6

Throat a little sore and swollen this morning, but otherwise, things are okay. About 45 minutes after taking the new meds, my left eye became very dry, lots of pressure and "weird". In looking in the mirror, I could see that it was a little misshapen and the "white" was grey/pink. Just weirdo looking. Not sure if that's a medical terminology.

Onc nurse says to go to the eye doctor, but Vic is at work. I made an appointment anyway and will drive myself, very slowly :-), to the eye doc. This is the same eye that has a hole in the vitreous lining, so hoping nothing is serious. But it does look weird.

Vic came home and took me to the eye doctor. The eye was definitely bulging and vision was at a minimum in this eye. All I can say, weird looking! Eewwwy! Eye doc "thinks" it's allgergic conjunctivitis that was causing the swelling and prescribed some drops. Onc nurse wants me to see me the Oncologist this Thursday since I've been having a few problems with chemo.

I think I am past the severe nausea to smells period. I'm glad that this doesn't last the entire chemo session! What has, tho, come on is the feasting after sterioids. Everything looks good. I want to eat everything, but once it gets into the mouth, there is very little taste. Fritos with cheese, steak, steak, steak with blue cheese, pasta alfredo with some gorgonzola. Okay, I didn't really eat all that, nor even had a nibble, but it is what I am craving.

We went to a small grocery store to pick up some things that I thought I could eat. After walking around the store about 20 minutes, I had to go sit outside in the car. I was shocked how tired I was. But at least we have food that I think I can eat. Now tasting it is something totally different.

Tomorrow, I will be off the new meds that make me sleepy, so I plan to go to work. At least for a few hours or as long as I can last. It will be nice to get to some type of new normal.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Chemo 1, Day 5

Out of bed at 2 am due to mouth sores and swollen-feeling tongue/throat. Made some rose hips tea that is to help mouth sores - seems it worked some. Took Zofran and feeling good. Eating, active, cleaning up, finding some recipes for Vic or I to cook that won't trigger nausea smells.

Then wham! Again! Down for the count this morning with nausea. . . and 2 break-through pills. Hope sleep comes back soon.

Talk to you later . . . .

8 am - dry heaves. Not good for chemo. Called doctor who had us come in so onc nurse could assess. No IVs, thank goodness. Just more drugs and advice. Waiting now (12 noon) for meds to be prepared.

Guess it's going to be a bad few days.

8 pm - Thanks to all you wrote in giving advice. The chemo just fouled up my gastroesophageal area. It's a weird feeling to be nauseous but also have a swollen throat and what feels like a killer heartburn from your belly button to your throat (and beyond), but none that you've ever known or wish to ever know.

The new meds are helping some and I will be on them for the next 2 days. One of the meds is lidocaine, benadryl and Maalox or some combination of that. But it's also like opening your bottle of Dove dishwashing soap and being asked to swish it around. It does the trick of numbing, that's for sure! Oh, and if you want to swallow a little, you can.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Chemo 1, Day 4

Vic woke me up early to give a Compazine pill before I got out of bed. I was able to doze a bit more, but when I got up and started making my breakfast, I got whammed again. I guess the trick is to not get up so fast and start moving right away. Ease on down the road a bit. Or maybe poached eggs just aren't my cup of tea.

Finally called the doctor for something beside Compazine. It has been keeping me agitated to the extreme. Like being on speed. Well, if you ever tried speed, not that I have. She prescribed Zofran which has seemed to help release the tightness in the stomach and the nausea. I've had to take Ativan, which is used for the "breakthrough nausea". Seems Zofran or Compazine should help all day, but neither have 100%. So the little "break through" meds are needed.

I'm not allowed near the stove or knives; now the microwave has been taken away. I was mixing some peanut butter and Nutella together for a banana. I need to eat a banana a day but dislike their taste. Well, the Nutella and peanut butter weren't coming off the spoons - 2 spoons. So I put them in the cup with the pb/Nutella and nuked them. The spoons touched and a big fire started in the micro. I don't know why he looks at me the way he does sometimes! Is this chemo brain already? lol Okay, I'll blame it on that!

Vic did a huge bad thing today! I've been nauseous off and on all day. Can't get it under control or find what I can eat or the timing of what I can eat or drink to keep it at bay. My Mr. Wonderful starts cooking dinner, without thinking or me asking what he was cooking. All of a sudden these barf-making odors were wafting through the house. He was frying up some bacon and onions with some other herbs and I almost lost it. I barricaded myself in the bedroom with the windows and fans open.

Finally all was quiet. I tip toed out to see where or what he had done. Here's what I found:

He's sitting on the back porch eating his dinner out in the cold. What a guy!!!

Chemo 1, Day 3

Yesterday evening was extremely hard. Couldn't get the nausea to stop, but the Compazine was causing the crazies. I was itching to get out of my skin, like being on a high energy that even sitting or laying caused me to do the hibby-jibby dance.

Today, I took Compazine at 4:30 am, yes, 4:30 am. Got out of bed about 5:30 am and felt okay, but then started fixing my breakfast. And it hit again. The wam! I felt the same way as I did last night, so no more Comp for me!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Chemo 1, Day 2

This morning started off well. Got to have some snuggle time with Vic. Seems so long since we've had that given the ta-tas and his stomach hurting. I sure miss it!

Got out of bed to start picking up the clutter from last night and, then, wham! I am down for the count. Nausea and so much fatigue. Not tired, but fatigue. It felt like I could barely put a foot in front to get to the couch. My vision is blurry as well, so it's hard to see tv, read or be on the computer. A little scary.

I've been trying to create a cheat sheet from all the computer print outs, handouts from the doctors and magazines so it's all in one place. To show when to call the doctor and when to do something for the symptom. It's too hard :-)

Thank you Mike & Steph for the balloon bouquet! It sure brightened my day and will for quite a few. They are in the living room where I hang out.

I heard about creating a "woman cave" with a bed, recliner and soft music just for those quiet times needed during the chemo. I was going to make one before I started chemo, but Vic didn't feel that well to move furniture, so I didn't ask. That would have been a lovely place to go to today when the above fatigue and nausea hit. The sound of the dryer was amplified a zillion percent, or at least it felt that way. I was able to put on the iPod with guided imagary relaxtion to tune out the noise and gentle my system with breathing and relaxing.

Did you know that iTunes has more than music? I found some great relaxation tunes (water, rain, forest) and some guided imagery where someone is talking you through to a quiet place. Well worth the $.99!! One is Stress Relief with Dr. Siddharth Ashvin Shah, Five Minute Resuce by Splendor of Meditation (awesome for a little rest at work!)

Guess I should close as I just saw a bright light. It was Vic taking a picture of me sleeping with my fingers on the keyboard.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Chemo #1 Pictures

One of the funniest nurses, MaryAnn.
The prayer shawl was sent by my mother-in-law. A women's ministry at her Hope Lutheran Church in Fresno knit and say a prayer over the recipient while they are doing it. Isn't that great! It's beautiful and so soft.

Nurse Jill sterilizing the area of the port.
I'm not crying, it was cold!

Hurting a little after the 1" needle went alllllll the way in

Mario and Luigi are running in to stomp on the Goombas (cancer cells)

My view from the chair.

3 hours later we were done! We stopped for a quick bite to eat and a short trip to the health food store to return the yucky tasting lozenges and purchase some of the shakes that Toni recommended.

Today has been one of dozing, slight nausea and sore throat. Vic worked all day from home. Tonight was a pizza! I heard that the steroids do give an appetite. Since tonight's dose was the last, we'll see what happens tomorrow.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Chemo 1, Day 1

Chemo was pretty darn easy. Easier than surgery!

I had my first infusion today, starting at 2 pm and finished at 5 pm. I had cytoxan and taxotere with absolutely no allergic reactions -- my biggest fear - or nausea. I received three different anti-nausea meds which always helps!

Just as we need to stay on top of pain meds after surgery, I will need to take the anti-nausea meds religiously. I am starting to feel a little icky now. Tomorrow I should feel okay but Day 3 is when the crash hits. Let's pray that it doesn't hit or that it is just a gentle shove.

I put the numbing creme on the port 2 hours ahead of time, tho I was suppose to do it @ 1. Literature that came with the creme said it could be put on @ 2 hours - figured more was better. The needle going into the skin didn't hurt and no pain. Until nurse got the needle in alllllll the way - about 1". Then that stung and was uncomfortable. Not the "get me a Percocet" pain, but a stinging. Next time, they suggested the 1 hour and they will use lidocaine also.

Whew! This is almost as good as breathing.
We'll upload pics that Vic took during the infusion tomorrow.

I just want you all to know how important it is for us to know that people are sending good wishes and praying for us. It truly helps!!

As the primary caregiver, Vic needs your support as well. My goal in this journey is to have an attitude. No, not the attitude that drives Vic crazy, because the Lord knows I need him and YOU. An attitude of calmness, positive-ness, and finding something to laugh about each day.

You can help! Send me a joke. Tell me the name of the funniest book you ever read. Rent a funny movie and come over and watch it with me after a chemo session. You get the picture. I am counting on you to help me have an attitude. The last thing I want to do is spend the next 3-4 months wallowing in self-pity and as a recluse.

If you feel like stopping by the house and can spend only 10 minutes, those 10 minutes will be the best time we’ve had! If you feel like giving us a call, don't worry that you are intruding. We have an answering machine and if I’m not up to conversation, or can’t find the darn phone, I’ll retrieve your message. Some of you know that I’ve tried answering the phone when I was on pain meds after the surgery and I think we might have had some interesting conversations. Hopefully you didn’t record them!

May there always be work for your hands to do.
May your purse always hold a coin or two.
May the sun always shine on your window pane.
May a rainbow be certain to follow each rain.
May the hand of a friend always be near you.
May God fill your heart with gladness to cheer you.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Climb Ev'ry Mountain

Oct 1

Happy Breast Cancer Awareness Month! If you are OVER-due for your mammogram or have never had a mammo, please schedule one asap.

Why is there an Administrative Professional Week but a month of being aware of Breast Cancer? Inquiring minds want to know.

If you haven't already, please sign up to receive email notices automatically when the blog is updated. It's over there ------->

This is so surreal. This being cancer and the treatment. I am pretty darn calm tonight about tomorrow's event. Tho my 11-year BC-survivor co-worker called me "ADHD person" today, that just might be more accurate (I'm glad I have good and fun co-workers!) I found that, just as it was before surgery, I felt the need or compulsion to get up and organize something or start 5 projects within 30 minutes and work on them a bit here, a bit there . But they all got done and within 8 hours!

We tried out the numbing creme tonight just to test-drive what will happen tomorrow. The more I can prepare and know what things feel like, the calmer I can make myself.

The numbing creme is rubbed onto the skin over the port about an hour before infusion starts. The idea is that when the nurses insert the port needle, I won't feel a thing. Ha! I put the cream on the opposite side of my chest, pretty thick per the instructions, and waited the required hour. Vic had earlier said he would use one of the cat's insulin needles to poke the numbed area. Ha! Big bugger comes walking towards me with the needle exactly an hour later and with gleam in his eye. I poked the area with my fingernail and pinched the skin . . . and could feel it. I will lay an extra thick layer on the port tomorrow and trust that it works. Other BC ladies said it did for them. If not, the Onc Nurse said she could use lidocaine injection. Injection? Needles? Oh, I'm so getting used to needles it's no big deal.

Someone suggested going to and checking the drug interactions for the chemo drugs. Here's what is listed for the Cytoxan. I'll read it, print it out for a short discussion tomorrow, and see how receptive Dr. P is to having me take supplements and herbs to treat the side effects. I don't want to take anything that will lessen the effectiveness of the chemo. On the other hand, some Oncologists say "no supplements or herbs, period". Maybe they don't want to take time to look up interactions?

Major Interactions
adalimumab, Arava, Attenuvax, BCG, certolizumab, Cimzia, Clopine, clozapine, Clozapine Synthon, Clozaril, Denzapine, Dryvax, Enbrel, Enbrel Prefilled Syringe, Enbrel SureClick, etanercept, FazaClo, FluMist, Humira, Humira Pen, Humira Pen Crohn's Disease Starter Package, infliximab, influenza virus vaccine, live, trivalent, leflunomide, measles virus vaccine, Meruvax II, mumps virus vaccine, Mumpsvax, nalidixic acid, natalizumab, Neggram, OPV, Orimune, poliovirus vaccine, live, trivalent, Quadramet, Remicade, Rotarix, RotaShield, RotaTeq, rotavirus vaccine, rubella virus vaccine, Sabin, samarium sm 153 lexidronam, smallpox vaccine, thalidomide, Thalomid, TheraCys, Thioplex, thiotepa, Tice BCG Vaccine, TOPV, typhoid vaccine, live, Tysabri, varicella virus vaccine, Varivax, Vivotif Berna, yellow fever vaccine, YF-Vax, Zaponex, Zostavax, zoster vaccine live

Moderate Interactions
Abelcet, acetoHEXAMIDE, ActHIB, Acthib (obsolete), Afluria, Agenerase, alatrofloxacin, alefacept, alemtuzumab, allopurinol, Aloprim, Amaryl, AmBisome, Amevive, amiodarone, Amphocin, Amphotec, amphotericin B, amphotericin B cholesteryl sulfate, amphotericin B lipid complex, amphotericin B liposomal, amprenavir, anakinra, Anectine, Anectine Flo-Pack, anisindione, anthrax vaccine adsorbed, Aplisol, Aplitest, aprepitant, Aquacot, Aquatensen, Aquazide H, Arcalyst, ARI Gallium (Ga-67) Citrate, Avelox, Avelox I.V., Azasan, azathioprine, bendroflumethiazide, benzthiazide, BiCNU, Biothrax, Bristol-Myers Squibb Gallium (67Ga) Citrate, Budeprion SR, Budeprion XL, buPROPion, buPROPion 24 hour extended release, buPROPion extended release, Campath, candida albicans extract, Candida Skin Test, Candin, Cardizem, Cardizem CD, Cardizem LA, Cardizem Monovial, Cardizem SR, Cardoxin, carmustine, Carozide, Cartia XT, chlorothiazide, chlorproPAMIDE, chlorthalidone, cholera vaccine, Cinobac, cinoxacin, Cipro, Cipro Cystitis Pack, Cipro I.V., Cipro XR, ciprofloxacin, ciprofloxacin extended release, coccidioidin skin test, Cordarone, Cordarone I.V., Coumadin, Cytovene, dalfopristin, dasatinib, Di-Phen, DiaBeta, Diabinese, Diaqua, dicumarol, Digitek, digoxin, digoxin capsule, Dilacor XR, Dilantin, Dilantin Infatabs, Dilantin Kapseals, Dilantin-125, Diltia XT, diltiazem, diltiazem 24 hour extended release, diltiazem extended release, Diltiazem Hydrochloride CD, Diltiazem Hydrochloride SR, Diltiazem Hydrochloride XR, Diltiazem Hydrochloride XT, Diucardin, Diurese, Diuril, Diuril Sodium, Dymelor, efalizumab, efavirenz, Emend, Emend 3-Day, Emend for Injection, Enduron, Engerix-B, Engerix-B Pediatric, enoxacin, Esidrix, Exna, Ezide, Factive, filgrastim, FK506, Flagyl, Flagyl 375, Flagyl ER, Flagyl I.V., Flagyl I.V. RTU, Floxin, Floxin I.V., Fluarix, FluLaval, Fluogen, Flushield, FluShield (obsolete), Fluvirin, Fluvirin Preservative-Free, fluvoxamine, fluvoxamine extended release, Fluzone, Fluzone PFS, Fluzone Preservative-Free, Fluzone Preservative-Free Pediatric, Fluzone SV, Fluzone WV, Fortovase, fosamprenavir, fosaprepitant, Fungizone, Fungizone For Tissue Culture, G-CSF, gallium citrate Ga-67, ganciclovir, Gardasil, gatifloxacin, gemifloxacin, Gleevec, Gliadel, glimepiride, glipiZIDE, glipiZIDE extended release, GlipiZIDE XL, Glucotrol, Glucotrol XL, glyBURIDE, glyBURIDE micronized, Glynase PresTab, GM-CSF, grepafloxacin, haemophilus b conjugate (HbOC) vaccine, haemophilus b conjugate (PRP-OMP) vaccine, haemophilus b conjugate (PRP-T) vaccine, haemophilus b conjugate vaccine (obsolete), haemophilus b diphtheria conjugate vaccine, haemophilus b Neisseria conjugate vaccine, haemophilus b tetanus conjugate vaccine, Havrix, Havrix (obsolete), Havrix Pediatric, Havrix Pediatric (obsolete), HCTZ, hepatitis A adult vaccine, hepatitis A pediatric vaccine, hepatitis A vaccine (obsolete), hepatitis B vaccine, HibTITER, Hibtiter (obsolete), Histolyn-Cyl, histoplasmin, Histoplasmin Diluted, HPV, human papillomavirus vaccine, Hycamtin, Hydro Par, hydrochlorothiazide, HydroDIURIL, hydroflumethiazide, Hygroton, hypericum perforatum, imatinib, Imovax Rabies, Imovax Rabies (obsolete), Imovax Rabies I.D. (obsolete), Imuran, indapamide, influenza virus vaccine, inactivated, Invirase, Ipol, IPV, Jantoven, Japanese encephalitis virus vaccine, Je-Vax, Kepivance, Kineret, Lanoxicaps, Lanoxin, Leukine, Levaquin, Levaquin Leva-Pak, levofloxacin, Lexiva, Liquid PedvaxHIB, lomefloxacin, Lopurin, Loqua, Lozol, Luvox, Luvox CR, Lyme disease vaccine, LYMErix, Mallinckrodt Gallium (67Ga) Citrate, Maxaquin, Menactra, meningococcal conjugate vaccine, meningococcal polysaccharide vaccine, Menomune A/C/Y/W-135, Metahydrin, Metastron, methyclothiazide, metolazone, Metro I.V., metronidazole, metronidazole extended release, Metryl, mibefradil, Micronase, Microzide, Mifeprex, mifepristone, Miradon, mixed respiratory vaccine, Mono-Vacc Test (O.T.), moxifloxacin, MSTA Mumps Skin Test Antigen, Multitest CMI, mumps skin test antigen, Mykrox, Naqua, nateglinide, Naturetin-10, Naturetin-5, nefazodone, nelfinavir, Neulasta, Neupogen, norfloxacin, Noroxin, ofloxacin, Omnihib, Oretic, Orinase, oxcarbazepine, Pacerone, palifermin, Pedvax HIB, pegfilgrastim, Penetrex, Phenytek, phenytoin, phenytoin extended release, Phenytoin Sodium, Prompt, plague vaccine, pneumococcal 23-valent vaccine, pneumococcal 23-valent vaccine (obsolete), pneumococcal 7-valent vaccine, Pneumovax 23, Pneumovax 23 (obsolete), Pnu-Imune 23 (obsolete), poliovirus vaccine, inactivated, polythiazide, Posicor, Prandin, Prevnar, Prograf, Prohibit, Proquin XR, Protostat, Quelicin Chloride, RabAvert, RabAvert (obsolete), Rabies Vaccine (obsolete), rabies vaccine, human diploid cell, rabies vaccine, purified chick embryo cell, Rapamune, Raptiva, Raxar, Recombivax HB, Recombivax HB Adult, Recombivax HB Dialysis Formulation, Recombivax HB Pediatric/Adolescent, Renese, repaglinide, Rezulin, rilonacept, RU-486, Saluron, saquinavir, saquinavir mesylate, sargramostim, Sclavo Test-PPD, Serzone, sirolimus, skin test antigens, multiple, sodium phosphate p32, sparfloxacin, Spherulin, SPL, Sprycel, St. John's wort, Staphage Lysate (SPL), Starlix, strontium-89 chloride, succinylcholine, Succinylcholine Chloride, Sustiva, tacrolimus, Taztia XT, Telzir, Tequin, Tequin Teqpaq, Tetanus Toxoid, Tetanus Toxoid Adsorbed, Tetanus Toxoid For Booster Use Only, Thalitone, Tiazac, Tol-Tab, TOLAZamide, TOLBUTamide, Tolinase, topotecan, trichlormethiazide, Trichophyton Allergenic Extracts, trichophyton skin test, Trileptal, troglitazone, trovafloxacin, Trovan, tuberculin purified protein derivative, Tuberculin Tine Test, Tubersol, Typhim VI, typhoid vaccine, inactivated, Valcyte, valganciclovir, Vaqta, Vaqta (obsolete), Vaqta Pediatric, Vaqta Pediatric (obsolete), Viracept, warfarin, Wellbutrin, Wellbutrin SR, Wellbutrin XL, Zagam, Zagam Respipac, Zaroxolyn, Zyban, Zyban Advantage Pack, Zyloprim

Minor Interactions
Adriamycin, Adriamycin RDF, Alferon N, atracurium, Chloracol, chloramphenicol, Chloromycetin, Chloromycetin Sodium Succinate, cisatracurium, Doxil, DOXOrubicin, DOXOrubicin liposomal, Indocin, Indocin SR, indomethacin, indomethacin extended release, Infergen, interferon alfa-2a, interferon alfa-2b, interferon alfa-n1, interferon alfa-n3, interferon alfacon-1, Intron A, Luminal, Mivacron, mivacurium, modafinil, Nimbex, Norcuron, ondansetron, pancuronium, Pavulon, Pegasys, peginterferon alfa-2a, peginterferon alfa-2b, PegIntron, PegIntron Redipen, phenobarbital, Provigil, rocuronium, Roferon-A, Solfoton, Tracrium, vecuronium, Vecuronium Bromide, Zemuron, Zofran, Zofran ODT

Quite lengthy eh?

I will ask Vic to take the laptop with him tomorrow to update this blog as the infusion is happening. Can't guarantee if he will do it or if there is a wi-fi section in this satellite clinic of Virginia Mason.

Thank you for reading my blog. I don't know who you all are (little butts who haven't identified yourself or made a comment :-). But for those who have stumbled across my site from seaching the Internet for "Triple Negative Breast Cancer", there is hope for us to be as successful as those who have hormone-driven tumors.

God bless you all!!