Cycle 3, Day 8

Teresa had her gem/tax combo on November 28th.

The earliest we could get in was 1pm, because they’re solidly booked after holidays. We were told many people skip their appointment if it falls during the week of Thanksgiving. And they were closed the 23rd and 24th. (Teresa’s first appointment in this cycle did fall in the week of Thanksgiving, but she went to it.)

She didn’t start receiving the actual chemo until after 3pm, and we were the last ones to leave the building (besides the nurses), somewhere between 5:30pm – 6:00pm!

We knew it was going to be a late appointment (and we didn’t know if she was going to receive IV iron this time), so we’d already planned to leave Abingdon sometime on Wednesday. Due to various reasons, we ended up leaving (on Wednesday) a little after 5:00pm.

Kelley Mayden, the FNP we saw on Day 1 of this cycle, ordered another iron panel. Her numbers are definitely improved over the last iron panel*, although Teresa’s Vitamin B12 is still extremely high, and her hemoglobin is up from last week.

Before the blood transfusion (2 units) she was at 7.2. Tuesday, she was at 9.6. The lowest good number is 11.7, so she’s still low, but not considered critical. This may put her back in eligibility to receive IV iron. I’ve read numerous posts from people in various cancer forums saying that they (or their loved ones) experienced an immediate energy boost.

I’m going to call tomorrow/later today and find out if she would be able to receive the first round of IV iron next week.

*Improved to the best of my limited knowledge in reading iron panel blood results. Anyone want to help me out?

We’ll head back home sometime this coming Monday so that we won’t have a long drive Tuesday. She has her first mid-chemo CT scan on 12/5. Fingers (and toes) crossed that we’ll hear that the chemo is working.  We received the baseline CT results fast, but don’t know if we’ll have to wait until her appointment on 12/12 for these results (good or bad), when we can discuss them with Kelley Mayden.

But I will let you all know as soon as we know something.

The CT results will also give us a better idea about what the future holds. For example, will 6 cycles be all she needs? Does she need a new chemo regimen? Should she take a break to allow her immune system to come back and have the second surgery?

We are still looking at starting a YouCaring (similar to GoFundMe, except the person gets to keep more of the money raised than what they’d get via GFM), but decided it makes more sense to wait until we have more information to go on.

Late Wednesday evening, the sub-q Neulasta patch activated. This time, she started feeling some bone pain sooner than usual, but the worst of it didn’t really hit until yesterday (11/30) evening. 

While her fatigue is getting worse each time, thankfully, the Neulasta pain isn’t. Hopefully that will remain constant.

When we came up Tuesday night, we had plans to have garlic soup. We love it, and garlic is good for you, so it seemed like a good plan.

During the drive up, Teresa thought she might already be losing her sense of taste. She confirmed this while having the garlic soup. Mom and I loved it, but T thought it tasted bad. (Sweet foods are the most pleasant for her right now. While she is still generally trying to eat healthy foods, during the bad-taste week, we feel that eating something is better than eating nothing, even if nutritionally it leaves a lot to be desired.)

Unfortunately, the garlic soup didn’t just taste bad to her. It made her sick. 

While the chemo in and of itself is not making her nauseated, certain foods are. 

  • Potato chips
  • Fries
  • Garlic

We thought at first it was grease, but garlic isn’t greasy. Also, Buffalo wings? Not a problem. 

So, that was disappointing!

The next morning, however, she discovered that the wet cat food smelled delicious!

Don’t worry. She didn’t eat it. 😉

That’s all I can think of for now.

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