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.


  1. Dear Renee - I'm so proud of you for going through all of this and still remaining YOU. We are praying for you and wish you the best and hope that you recover from this infusion quickly.

    Much Love - Sandy

  2. Renee,

    I know I've mentioned this to you before, but maybe I just need to call Christy, but I am willing to come over and help out with the cooking and getting some meals in your freezer for you. I keep telling Christy that I'm going to come over and help her out with doing this and at the same time, I can just do more for you and Vic. Let me know!

    Hang in there, and don't be afraid to hollar for help, it's here!

    Take care of your self, with love!


  3. Hey Laura,

    If you and Christy want to work out something to get together on this side of the state, that would be good. I know I haven't taken you up on your offer because of you living on the other side of the state and the stoopid price of gas!

  4. Leave the gas prices to me. This is all about you right now. I'm waiting for Christy to get online to work out a time, she couldn't talk on the phone with no voice. But we'll keep you in the loop and I'll need to have some menu suggestions from you too, and NO it's not including Taco Bell items... :)