I realized as I went to write about the start of Cycle 5, that I’d never posted about Cycle 4, Day 8. Wrote it. Never published it. Instead of doing 2 posts back-to-back, I decided to combine them.
Cycle 4, Day 8 (April 12):
Chemo itself was pretty uneventful. Her numbers had gone down some, but considering she’d received doxorubicin and olaratumab on Day 1, this wasn’t very surprising. They were still within range enough to receive Day 8’s treatment. She did not get Neulasta on Day 1. It hadn’t done much the previous cycle, so Dr. Musgrave said she’d get it on Day 8 instead, which she did.
We had asked for her to get the pre-med Aloxi+Emend (potent anti-nausea). She had received it on previous Day 8s, but I think it may have been before her insurance plan changed slightly, because on this request, even with doctor approval, it was denied on the basis that olaratumab alone doesn’t make most people nauseated.
But it made T sick when she got it alone and no anti-nausea. But she’s in the minority for that reaction, so the only thing they could give her was zofran. She has pills of that to take at home, and it does work, but it’s neither as powerful nor as long-lasting. So that was disappointing.
Otherwise everything went well. She slept through much of it (as is usual) and did well afterwards. She did have some pain we’re pretty sure we can attribute to Neulasta, so hopefully it really did something this time!
(We went to Roanoke’s Pride in the Park on April 14th, and according to my phone’s health app, walked nearly a mile, which for us these days is a lot. She thought maybe she was achy from that, but I pointed out that we’re in equally bad shape for doing a lot of walking, and I wasn’t having any pains from walking, so, most likely it’s her body being forced to produce white blood cells super fast.)
Cycle 5, Day 1 (April 26):
Teresa’s labs were good. Her WBC count was at 18.0 (range is 3.5 – 11), so we know that the Neulasta DID work when administered on Day 8 instead of Day 1, which is a relief! Her hemoglobin dropped a little, but is still above 10. Her platelets are elevated again, but the FNP we saw for this appointment told us that it’s reactive with what the WBC, RBC, and hemoglobin are doing, which is why it’s been going up and down. There’s nothing to worry about.
In her metabolic panel, her total protein is still a little low, but higher than it was 2 weeks ago. Her bilirubin is back in range. Everything else on her metabolic panel (these are things like sodium, potassium, glucose, calcium, liver panels, etc) are all great! So there were no problems in starting Cycle 5!
Like Cycle 4, it was pretty uneventful as far as the actual treatment went. We did narrow down the restless legs and slightly blurred speech (temporary on both counts) to the benadryl. So after they administer that, but before it makes her too sleepy, she gets up, IV pole in hand, and does a few laps around the infusion center. Not only does this help with the restless legs, it can help her prognosis. We’ve figured that whenever it was possible for her to get some kind of exercise, she should — always within reason depending on current treatments and hemoglobin levels. And then yesterday, I read this article which was shared by the Sarcoma Alliance, but is good information for cancer patients in general:
“Physical Activity Significantly Boosts Survival in Cancer Patients”
So what made this past Thursday’s appointment eventful? Well, we got Teresa a new wig at Pride in the Park, and she wore it to the Cancer Center. Everybody loved it. She got so many comments and compliments from people of all ages. We’ve since shared the photo in two cancer groups on FB, one of them is the LMS Direct Research Foundation, and so many people loved it so much. Several said it inspired them to go get the fun wig or (safe) hair dye they’d wanted to do. They appreciated seeing one way she is able to keep up her spirits throughout these trying times.
Many of you got to see it on Facebook, but I know not everyone is on there, so I’m including it in this post too. Enjoy!
Also, Teresa wrote a blog post about our trip to Dallas to attend the 40th anniversary reunion event of the Dallas TV show. We got to meet 4 cast members. It was an amazing time! It was March 30 and 31 (though March 30 was certainly the better of the 2 days!). I put together a video of our experience on March 30 (if you’re a fan of Dallas, or if you’ve ever seen the intro, you’ll understand why I put the video together the way
You can read her post here: http://teresa.grableronline.com/dallas-40th-reunion-and-more/
And you can see my video here (be sure your sound is on!): https://youtu.be/jq85ASpQc6s