Tuesday, August 28, 2007

8/28/07 - Blog Archives

I thought my Blog was "disappearing" but then I found the older posts on my end. Once again, I thought I had to do something special to host the old posts, but I just noticed that they were currently available. On the right side of your screen, you should see "Archives" (you may have to scroll down). If you click on various archives, you should see the old posts, if you want to see them.

I want to provide more information about medical procedures and the like, especially more media, and I will let you know when it is available.

08/28/07 - Update

My blood counts continued to drop the week after I had to cancel my Pittsburgh trip, although not quite low enough to receive another transfusion. The counts that were the worst were my neutrophils, which are a type of white blood cell, that aren't helped by transfusions anyhow. All I can do once they are low is take a daily antibiotic, which I have taken until today. I've been having my blood counts checked twice per week, usually Monday and Thursday, and they started to slowly come back up last week.

I had my 8-week doctor's appointment this morning, proceeded by an MRI and a blood draw (check of my counts). The MRI of my head was clear of any signs of the tumor, which is excellent. However, my blood counts weren't good enough to receive my next round of chemotherapy, which was the fifth cycle of eight, originally scheduled for next week around September fourth.

On the issue of my blood counts, they were worse this 8-week chemo cycle than any other. My doctors gave me the option of skipping this chemo cycle to see how fast they can recover, and that they (my bone marrow) were not permanently damaged. This being said, I was given the two options of a "drug holiday" - postponing chemo, or cancelling chemo altogether.

I'm going to try the "drug holiday" by postponing my chemo until about the end of October. I didn't want any changes from the regular chemo schedule, as I see this as being detrimental to my health. The doctors then said that this departure from the standard schedule of drugs is not unusual and may not be detrimental at all.

I have also been more tired, and I asked if this could be a problem. This doesn't appear to be a problem unless it negatively effects my quality of life. To resolve excess tiredness, they usually prescribe a stimulant which may be Ritalin or Provigil. I'm not going to take either unless my tiredness is very overwhelming.

In summary, I am going to stray a little from the "standard" treatment plan. I don't want to stray and I have yet to be adversely effected by my counts (other than the trip), but it is another doctor suggestion to go on a short holiday. The next time I receive chemo, they do plan on administering some drugs the next day to help my white blood cells (Neulasta) and Hemoglobin (Aranesp).

On the bright side, I should get a small break from chemotherapy.