February 24, 2010

11 down, 1 to go!

i've nearly done it...only ONE treatment to go! it's unbelievable, i never, ever thought i'd make it to this point. another hodge warrior once told me this is like a marathon, and the only way to get through it is to put one foot in front of the other, and not think of how many miles you have left to go. it was one of the most fantastic pieces of advice i've recieved...and, now that i'm in the last miles, i just have to make that last push to the finish!

treatment was quite an ordeal yesterday.... i went to the hospital for a pulmonary function test bright and early to continue to monitor any possibility of bleo toxicity. my dad came, and he likes to watch the monitor and cheer me on...he's the best. the results were fine, exactly the same as the last one. so, it's dropped a bit since we first started, but remained consistent in the last couple months...so, i just hope once i'm out of treatment i get back to where i was. my actual lung capacity is better, though...which i imagine is because i no longer have a grapefruit size tumor pressing on my lung. my cough and respiratory symptoms are gone now, too, so my oncologist isn't concerned that we've created bleo toxicity. so, we finish it all out with the bleo. what a saga that was. although, i'm very confident that making it into such a big deal (with the growth factors/bleo toxicity) was what i needed to do. i sincerely thanked my oncologist for treating me without growth factors yesterday, and he told me that he thinks we did the right thing. i know if i hadn't brought it up, i'd have been treated with them, and so, it just reinforced how critical it is to be involved in every decision that's made about your own care, and to be an advocate for yourself. that said, being an advocate takes work. you should never just demand something because you 'feel' like it's the right thing to do...being a good advocate means reading academic research, asking your doctors lots of questions, calling in other opinions/experts when needed, and evaluating your own situation apart from the statistics. it's a big job, and it's so important.

anyways...my counts were really low this week. my red blood cells and platelets are still fine, but my total white blood count and neutrophils were real low. my oncologist decided to just push forward though, as they've been pretty good up until this week and our agreement was to treat on time, regardless of counts...and, i'm almost at the end, in a couple weeks my count will be on the mend. of course, when i walked out back, the nurse starting my treatment (my nurse was at lunch) was really concerned and asked me if they had talked to me about my counts. as a side note, it always makes me feel really, really good when they do this...just shows how many checks there are in place so nothing gets missed.

so treatment began, and all my drugs came out except the really big bag (DTIC, for all you hodgers). when my nurse came back from lunch she went to investigate where it was. turns out, when they went to mix the drug they 'weren't happy' with how it looked, so they discarded it. however, they didn't have any more on hand. so, they had to call the hospital for a rush delivery. turns out, when DTIC is exposed to sunlight it becomes inactive, and turns pink. well, it mixed and looked pink...they don't know how or why it got exposed, but they didn't want to use it. so, i had to wait almost an hour for the delivery, and then we were on the way.

and, thank goodness for nurses. i've become pretty close with a few of them, and they never fail to be the most amazing, supportive, fun group of people in the world. and, yesterday, they must have been the most entertaining they have ever been. one of my favorite nurses, who doesn't usually work tuesdays, was covering for someone, so she was added to the mix, which made it even more wonderful. i can't say enough good things about them...they are my heroes.

so that's all i've got this time around. no nausea yet...took ativan again, which seems to be doing wonders (thanks, jenny), and i plan to just try and stay ahead of the nausea and see if i can make it through as easy as the last one. next week i head to boston for a consult with the radiation oncologist who's an expert in radiation for the hodge. then later in the week i have a consult with the radiation oncologist up here. hopefully i'll be able to have radiation done here, but if the expert tells me that it needs to be done in boston with his team, then i'll probably end up in boston. radiation isn't anything i want to take chances with. but, we'll see. so, another busy week, then it'll be the day of my last treatment before i know it! SO excited!

1 comment:

  1. In all honesty - you are DONE...the last one will be cake - I am SO HAPPY for you!!!!!!! I am so proud of how you've handled all of this. Hoping those counts recover, and hoping you're feeling good today. Rest up, and prepare to do cartwheels out of your last chemo...HA!

    Sending love!