My apologies for taking so long to post this.
Teresa had asked me to wait a few days so we could see if she would have any side effects from this double round, and then my own health issues restricted my typing this up.
The treatment went well (November 7).
After getting the CBC back for this day, we noticed that her glucose was high, despite that she hadn’t eaten. Then we looked at past labs and noticed it was low on both Day 1s and high on both Day 8s. We suspect the extra steroid she is taking. This Tuesday is Day 1 of Cycle 3 and we’re going to test that by her fasting again (appointment starts at 8am so fasting isn’t so awful) before the labs are drawn, and see if her glucose is normal again.
Although she gets dexamethasone as a pre-chemo drip for each treatment, it’s only for Day 8 that she has to take 2 twice daily the day before, of, and after treatment.
She is having some nausea now, but we are pretty sure it is the ferrous sulfate (iron supplement), not a delayed reaction to chemo. I read a post about the unpredictable nausea caused by taking iron, and that even the brand you get can make a difference. It’s not prescription, so we can investigate other brands and see if that makes a difference. On a scale of 0-10, she considers this nausea about a 1-2. The zofran she was prescribed for chemo nausea works for iron-nausea, even if she doesn’t take it until she feels it.
Depending on her hemoglobin levels, looking for a new brand may be a moot point. If they’re still low, she may get IV iron instead, either tomorrow or next week.
So far, she still has not needed the zofran or the compazine for the actual chemo.
She did have the bone pain following the neulasta shot. That one’s sort of a catch-22. The pain is pretty bad, but when she feels it, she knows it’s doing what it’s supposed to — stimulating fast production of white blood cells, which is what she needs, especially following Day 8!
I’ve seen some people say it hits them everywhere all at once, but T’s experience is that it moves around. Her ankles may hurt, but then later, it’s her knees, or her eye sockets, or her thigh. It comes on within about 24 hours of the neulasta injection and slowly eases off a few days or so later.
We have the wig now and it looks lovely on her. Very cute! It really looks like her regular hair. She’s worn it out once, and although her own hair was still visible in the back, if you didn’t know it, you’d never be able to tell what was her own hair and what was the wig. It’s really awesome.
Health & Spirits:
Except for needing to nap more, she’s still feeling pretty good, all things considered, and is still definitely interested in having visitors. Really cheers her up. Drop me an e-mail at if you want to arrange a visit.
If you’re wanting to visit but aren’t sure what to say to her when you come, or anything like that, let me know! Don’t let a worry that there may be awkward silences, or that you might say the wrong thing (or something you think may be the wrong thing) keep you away.
If traveling to T isn’t possible right now (I know it’s getting into snow season for some of you!), but you’d like to talk on the phone with T, send me an e-mail so I can give you the best number to use.
Cycle 3, Day 1 starts at 8am on Tuesday, 11/21. We’re still not morning people, but are hoping we’ll be able to be back on the road by early/mid afternoon and avoid any early holiday traffic. So we took the early spot. 🙂 I will try to get a follow-up post to that appointment MUCH sooner!
Science & Medical Friends & Family:
I’ve been reading research that scientists/researchers (ex: CalTech is one I believe) have been working on a portable device for checking WBC at home, similar to a glucose monitor for diabetics. Have any of you come across anything like that? Already on the market or available in trial? Would love to have a way for her to keep up with what her WBC is, especially after Day 8 where we have to wait 2 weeks before she has more labs done.