Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Post-Neupogen update

Our son has the H1N1 flu, as diagnosed and tested by our family doctor last night. The doctor gave the whole family a prescription for Tamiflu, which should help our son feel better sooner, and keep the rest of us from getting it.

Sherrie has a sinus infection. The doctor gave her antibiotics. The antibiotics often don't help her sinus infections, but maybe this time will be different.

Sherrie's white count on Sunday at the end of a week of Neupogen shots was only 4.5 or so. That's normal, but it's not very high after a week of shots. We are going to get another CBC on Wednesday of this week. I expect it will be low, and she'll have to go on more Neupogen shots, but we shall see.

Sherrie is looking forward to getting back to school. She was planning to go back this Monday, but based on the prevalence of the flu and her probable low white count, she's likely going to wait a week. No sense rushing it and catching something from the germ cesspool in school.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Goodbye to chemotherapy

Sherrie received her last chemotherapy today!! The day started dreadfully when the nurse told us her white count was only 1.6 (it needs to be 2.5). Sherrie was very disappointed, and began to feel the gloom of having to take several more Neupogen shots and be delayed further. She asked the nurse to beg the doctor to let her have it anyway since it was her *last* one, and he said yes! Neither of us could believe it, as he has been a stickler for the blood count in the past. He made sure that she start on Neupogen (six shots) tomorrow.

The administration of the 5FU was straightforward, except that Sherrie started feeling quite nauseous as soon as the nurse started to hook her up. As happened last week, the nurse kept the drugs hidden "under wraps," (even though the 5FU and the others are clean), and after just a few minutes she was done.

I literally had to run to catch Sherrie as she bolted from the clinic. She likes the nurses and the doctor, but wanted to get out of there as soon as possible. We had a good chuckle over that on the way home.

We go again in about three weeks to see the oncologist, and around the same time to see the plastic surgeon again.

We are grateful to be able to receive such wonderful medical care from caring and competent people. It's a great blessing.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Chemo report

Cycle number six has finally begun. We saw the oncologist again today, and had the usual interview and exam. All appeared well, and he gave her the go-ahead on chemo, based on last Friday's white count of around 3.5.

Sherrie did quite well during the administration of the chemo. She didn't have any trouble with nausea (real or conjured in the mind). The nurse kept her busy talking about stuff so that she wouldn't focus on the drugs. The nurse also covered the syringes so Sherrie wouldn't see the "red poison."

After the treatment, she felt pretty well, and even went into a store with me on the way home. She also ate a small amount of dinner. She's sleeping in her laz-y-boy chair right now,  so I'm not sure how she'll feel when she wakes up.

She was very excited on the way home to be able to say, "I'm done with all the nasties!"

The doctor mentioned during the exam that he'll see her four weeks after the "easy chemo" next Monday. At that appointment, we'll start talking about hormone treatment (Tamoxiphen). The doctor also cleared her to get a flu shot 2-3 weeks after next Monday's treatment.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009


Sherrie finished her week of shots Sunday night. She had a CBC of nearly 60--which is way high. The nurser at the hospital was so concerned (and apparently unfamiliar with Neupogen) that she called Sherrie's oncologist. Sherrie talked to him while we were at the hospital. He told her to stop the Neupogen (she had already had the last shot) and asked her to call the office Tuesday to schedule another blood test for later in the week. We don't want the count to plummet to nothing by next Monday. If it gets too low, they'll probably give her a couple more shots over the weekend.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Cycle number five complete

Sherrie completed cycle number five on Monday. Her blood count was quite high (47.3), and so it was a go.

As soon as the nurse started to infuse her with the preparatory items, Sherrie turned white and asked for a barf bag. Lucky for us and the nurse, there was one right at hand, which was a good thing, because within seconds she lost her lunch (and probably breakfast too). She threw up twice, in rather copious amounts.

The funny but not-so-funny thing is that (a) she didn't have any chemo drugs in her yet, and (b) the 5-FU they were going to give her has never made her sick. It was all mental; she associates the time she does get ill with the place, the nurse, and the process.

I can relate. When I was around 12 years old, I got sick once after eating apple crisp. Every time I even thought about eating apple crisp, I would get physically ill. I didn't eat apple crisp for probably 10 or 15 years because of it. A friend of mine at work had a similar issue with Ding Dongs; he couldn't eat them for many years.

The brain is a very powerful force.

In two weeks, and we start cycle number six. I sincerely hope she can get through it without getting too "mental."