Cycle 2, Day 1: Houston, we have lift-off!

So, round 2 of Cycle 2, Day 1, was a success!

Teresa got her labs done quickly. We were initially told that we wouldn’t see Dr. Musgrave today, because she’d called in with a possibly fractured rib. 🙁 

But later, while we were waiting to see if T’s numbers were good enough for chemo, Dr. Musgrave’s nurse Cathy came and sat with us, and told us that Dr. Musgrave was going to try to come in, and she’d come talk to us while we were in the infusion cubicle. (Which is what happened. This resulted in us finishing chemo approximately 40 minutes early!)

A FNP went over T’s blood work and cleared her for chemo. For the most part, it was a fairly boring day for me, because T was sound asleep pretty soon after she got the Benadryl! And then slept for several hours after we got home. I caught up on my reading. 🙂

Many of you on Facebook already know that her numbers had significant improvement. For those of you who haven’t seen my post, here is the info:

Her WBC is up to 7.5 (from 3.1) and her neutrophils are up to 5.2 (from 1.3, with ABS neutrophils at 69.3 from 42.5)! They are all in normal range.

Her RBC is at 3.62 (from 3.61) and her hemoglobin is 10.4 (from 10.2). Both are still low, but they are still increasing on their own! (The low number for RBC is 3.79 and for hemoglobin, 11.7, so she isn’t too far out of normal range for either.)

Her platelets are high  at 555 (they were high last week too, 525). Normal range is 150-400. Hers have gone up and down throughout treatment. When asked, Dr. Musgrave said it is most likely reactive and may be due to an ongoing iron deficiency. So she ordered an iron panel for Teresa – which we’ll probably see the results of over the next week as they trickle into the app. 

The first time she took an iron supplement, it was short-lived as it made her sick. I’ve found another OTC type at Food City, which has Vitamin C added in to help with iron absorption. If Dr. Musgrave says she needs to try iron again, we may try that one. (You can get IV iron too if you can’t tolerate it as a supplement, but last time it was in question, T’s numbers were just a little too high for IV iron.)

Teresa was approved to have the Neulasta On-Pro Body patch again, which is applied after chemo is complete. It should activate (i.e. start dispensing) around 5:30pm tomorrow. If she reacts like she did when she took Neulasta for gem/tax, she can expect about 3 days of bone pain. (But this is much better than being at increased risk of infection!)

On Tuesday, we will head up to Buffalo, NY. Her appointment is on Friday (2/23). Hopefully we will have good weather (or, at least, no snow) for our trip! Then barring any changes in our schedule (i.e. Roswell wants to meet with her more, or, it snows), we will return to our Cancer Center* for Cycle 2, Day 8 (olaratumab only) on February 27th.

Teresa and I both want to extend our deepest gratitude to those of you who have donated, and / or shared her fundraiser information. We’ve even started receiving donations from people we don’t know at all, but who are friends/family of yours, and we are overwhelmed by the kindness and generosity. 

We know that some of you prefer sending checks rather than donating online, and we respect that. The “Help Me” page of Teresa’s site has been updated to include some information about what to do if you want to send a check in the mail, including who it needs to be made out to.

For those of you who have Facebook, I’ve set-up Teresa’s site to allow commenting via your Facebook account. For those that don’t, there is a commenting system called Disqus (free to sign-up), which is pretty user-friendly in my experience. 

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*In the past, I’ve sometimes referred to it by name – Wellmont. Our hospital system merged with Mountain States, unfortunately, so they are now Ballad Health. So if I call the Cancer Center, or Hospital, Ballad something — same place, different name.

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