Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Don't Look Now But...

I have hesitated saying anything on this subject because I don’t want to jinx things. I just finished my 5th of 18 chemo infusions and well, I feel pretty good. Yea, I was scared to say it, but I feel real good! There, I hope stating it did not mess it all up. Not to say there are not side effects, some I did not quite expect. One they did not mention was this caustic stuff must come out of my body some way and unless heavily diluted with several liters of water it doesn't feel so good when it leaves. Need I say more. A big component they did tell me of was fatigue and since I am anemic that has already set in, but I think the body adapts to situations and even though my hemoglobin, hematocrit and white count are at their lowest since surgery, usually I can just take a little nap and then be ready to go again. I have a few of those days when I just cant get out of my woozy feeling, but those are very few. I asked Dr. Messing about my symptoms thus far and what I could expect moving forward. He thinks I will become even more fatigued as the chemo affects by bone marrow and my blood counts drop, but since I really have not had the bad nausea he thinks I will probably escape that symptom. Another dangerous symptom I luckily have not had is neuropathy of the hands and feet in which the fingers and toes lose feeling and that can actually be permanent. What he said that most surprised me was that some people actually feel good when on chemo. Whaaat? Of course one thing that helps is the steroids I get before infusions. But, Stanley and I have talked about how bad I actually felt the last three weeks before my surgery. He used to stare at me while I was laying on the couch and not because he thought I was pretty. Don't you hate it when people stare at you, especially when you don’t feel well? But, you know what? Now that I have that evil cancer out of me I do feel so much better! Have you ever been really sick? I mean really really sick. And it is only after you are well and able to function again that you think, Wow, I was really sick! Lol (if that made no sense then I apologize).

I am counting the weeks to my last chemo which is to be around the middle of April and I hope I never have to miss a chemo session. If my counts go too low I will have to get a blood transfusion or a shot to increase my marrow production of WBC's and platelets. Depending on how low they go I could possible not get my chemo and as weird as it may sound I want to get my chemo. I want to Kill Cancer! I get labs drawn every week and today they also drew blood for iron studies along with my usual CBC. They will send out the iron studies and based on the results possibly prescribed me something. I am not to just take any kind of iron on my own accord because this cancer loves iron so I have to take only what my Doc recommends. After my labs I went to in to get my chemo infusion. The infusion nurses have to wait on the CBC results. I always ask for a print out of my results and the nurse today was telling me how great my results are. What? I thought they were terrrible and she said, No, considering you are on your fifth session and then when we compare your counts to the standards set in the infusion room, you are doing great! Another feel good moment!  So you can follow along with my progress, here are my Normal counts from last year before I felt sick, my counts from today and the norms. I do not know all the low standards for transfusion and shots, the nurse only said that if my hemoglobin goes below 8 then I get one.

                          My Normal from 5/31/13       Today 1/15/14           Normal Range

WBC                                     7.7                                              3.7                             4.8-10.8

RBC                                      4.7                                              3.8                             4.2-5.4

Hemoglobin-HGB            13.8                                            10.6                             12-16

Hematocrit-HCT              43.1                                            32.7                             37-47

Platelets                              420                                            227                            130-400

Here is hoping my counts stay up and I get every treatment because so many people can't make it all the way through. I am aware that the effects of chemotherapy are cumulative and other problems could rear their ugly head. But, every good day I have is one day closer to being done. And so far the good outweighs the bad. You know we all have a bit of morbid curiosity, like staring at the wreck as we drive by, but if you came here out of morbid curiosity, looking for a wreck, then don’t waste your time looking cause that is not me! At least not yet. ha

Thank you for all your prayers and support. I have been beyond overwhelmed at the amount love I receive on a daily basis. You guys keep my spirits high! Love, Patti


  1. I love that you are KILLING CANCER!!!!!!! You go get 'em Patti! I know the Yellowjackets are with you every step of the way!

  2. Oh, Wammy is Tammy Abramovitz...HA!

  3. Go, Patti, go! Remember to eat healthy to replace lost nutrients. The dr's don't stress that. Your attitude is great and will get you thru. You are in my heart!

  4. Patti, I cannot even pretend to say that I understand your blood count numbers but will trust the nurse when she said they were great. Soooooo happy and pleased that you have not had bad side effects. You are too tough. Cancer does not have a chance!! Remember to think of each drop of chemo as a little Christian soldier going off to war against the cancer that might be lurking around. You are in my prayers and thoughts every day. Love you, Mom

  5. Patti Bennett.....course you will always be that to me :) March on a are a true inspiration to us all....fight...fight....fight...take Cancer to the mat! (Godfather) Big love to you!

  6. Interesting to compare our "blood numbers," since we are neck and neck in treatment and both in dose-dense. My numbers for 1/21 were WBC-6.1; RBC-3.28; HGB-10.1; NCT-32.4; and PLT-285. So my WBC is better than yours, but your red blood stuff is better than mine. Weird. Tuesday is "double-whammy" day for me -- Carbo+Taxol. I hate the double days, but at least I'm not having nausea issues -- just a bad fatigue crash about 3 days after the double dose. Of course, with the snow and ice anticipated for South Louisiana on Tuesday, I'm just hoping that I can *get* to the oncologist's! I have my appointment set at MD Anderson for February 17/18 for my mid-chemo scans. Are you going to have to do that, too? Hugs, Teal Sister! ~Sara