Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Good news & not so good news (as usual)

So, the not so good first - my red counts are really low again.  White counts are low too but the neutrophylls (the part of the white blood cells that matter for chemo) are fine.  So, treatment for this week is still uncertain.

The plan is to go in the morning for more labs & to get a transfusion.  The transfusion will make the hematocrit (or red blood cells) good enough for treatment.  The labs will tell us if my platelets have jumped up enough to do treatment this week or not.  If not we will do it Monday & Tuesday next week.  So more to come tomorrow on that.  I feel very tired - every time I walk it feels like I'm climbing stairs - but honestly I've kind of gotten used to that feeling so it doesn't feel unusual to me.

The good/great/stupendous/awesome/amazing news is that Dr Keedy feels completing the 6 cycles will be sufficient and that the 7th is not necessary.  That means I get 7 more chemo treatments and I'm done.  She feels the research doesn't overwhelmingly prove that the 7th will give a tremendous benefit - in fact the research doesn't really address number of treatments at all - it focuses on which drugs to use and time between treatments.  So while it is a bit of a gamble to eliminate the 7th treatment and not follow the tested protocol exactly, Kendall, Dr Keedy & I all feel that risk is acceptable in exchange for being finished with this and moving on with life.

So, that means if treatment proceeds this week, I will finish most likely on September 7th.  If it doesn't proceed this week (I'm betting it doesn't), then I should finish on September 14th.  We went ahead & decided to put an extra week in between this treatment & the next assuming I will need another transfusion.  The end is in sight, the goal is within reach.  A month from today I will be finished with this phase.

After that I will get the port removed and start the every 3 month checkups.  And we will be planning a BIG ASS PARTY for the end of September.  We will provide a date soon but I'm thinking a Saturday afternoon - all of you who have followed this journey, read my crazy rantings, supported us, worked in our garden, helped us, fed us, driven me, listened to me vent, sent cards, watched our kids, covered for me at work, etc. will come over & just hang out.  Think jumpy houses for the kids, a keg of beer, & lawn chairs.

I will let you all know tomorrow about this week's chemo & once I know that, I will know the dates for the next AND may I say, FINAL round so we can put some names on the calendar for that.

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