Thursday, March 13, 2008

Chemo Delayed Again

Strike Two! My blood counts were too low for chemo again.

The white blood cell count was way up, thanks to the injection I got two days ago, but my platelet count was the lowest it's ever been. Platelets are necessary for blood clotting - too low means your blood doesn't clot and you can bleed to death. Too high means your blood clots too much and obstructs blood flow (e.g. Deep Vein Thrombosis).

The normal range is 150 - 400 and mine was 82. That's an F. On the other hand, my white blood count comes out to an A++.

My doctor has concluded that I can't stay on this chemo schedule: weekly for 3 weeks, rest 1 week, then repeat. Now we're going to try weekly for 2 weeks, rest 1 week, repeat. I'll still be getting the same total amount of the chemo drugs (Gemcitabine + Cisplatin + Tykerb) over the 12-week period, but the dosage will be divided up differently.

So I go back next Monday to try again.

The good news is, my doctor says all of the symptoms I've been experiencing in the past week are side effects of the chemo, rather than indications that the cancer is spreading. These symptoms include headaches, ear aches, high-pitched sound in my ear, nausea, pain in chest, tightness on my right side.

Again, I should be worried, but I'm not. In fact, it was kind of nice. Instead of spending two and a half hours hooked up to an IV, I got to go out for lunch with my chemo buddy du jour. Not a bad deal.


leighbee said...

MY SPECIAL DAY.............

I have had the most special day today and would so love to share some of it with those of you who are reading this Blog.

I was extremely fortunate to be able to "partner" Shin today at her Chemo session - I am sure she herself will update you all further as to what happened today so I shant go down that route....

Through life there are different days that we remember for a mutitude of reasons and today will be one of mine - also for a multitude of reasons.....

I could write so much to support that statement and have sat here for the last few minutes trying to decide what to write and what not to with little effect!

I then decided to make a decision on what stood out the most about the day......that too is too difficult to decide on......bit of a win lose situation!?!

Obviously the main thing to stand out in my incredible day is the strength of such a wonderful woman. I have had an absolute ball of a time, learnt so much, cried, laughed, smiled and frowned - I did lots of frowning - Shins SO stubborn ;-)

I know how important it is for Shins blog to give strength and advice to all those reading it so I have something to add for any fellow cancer patients........

PLEASE listen when you are told to slow down.........OK, maybe the primary reason is that your "friend" has your welfare at heart and hates to see you struggling for breath for exerting too much energy, BUT have you ever considered your "friend" may have a blister on their foot and it hurts when they try to do an olympic style dash to keep up with you....?!?! ;-) Then of course there's the huffing and puffing - that isn't because we are trying to show sympathy, its because we are unfit and over weight due to desperately trying to encourage your appetite, so have trouble keeping up!!!!

All joking IS ok to slow down and from what I have learned today......IT IS IMPORTANT!

I experienced so many new situations today and most of them ended up with my trying desperately not to roll up in hysterics so encouraging Shin to become even more breathless....for instance....I noted that in the Chemotherapy waiting room EVERY other person there was Chinese....I wondered if this was significant so said to Shin "Why are there so many Chinese people here?" I was greated by a smiling face saying "Ummmm, because its a Chinese country?!" Then of course there were the hysterics of Shin suggesting she should go to the hairdresser and ask if they could "take off just a little bit" or "tidy up the split ends". I could go on and on - so many memories of such a special time with such a special friend but I am selfish and want to keep a few things to myself for now....special memories to share with Tony, Josie and Toby in the future.
I cherish this day. So very special. Thank you Shin for letting me have such wonderful memories.
Love you even more!
Leigh x
"Lost and Found" has so many possible reasonings in our lives

Anonymous said...

Our minds are knit together, you and mine
From whence they came, it does not matter, me or thine

Mylinh said...

You are eating steak these days Shin? Alright girl... now that I know.... Morton's at the Mandarin Oriental, any day of the week. You, me, HJ, Steffi, Teresa, and anyone who wants to go and eat steak sandwiches, lets go. Let's get the blood counts up. I'll drink your share of the martinis and you can have my lychees. Deal?That's a gift my friend. I love steak; call me if you wanna do steak. xxoo

Anonymous said...

Our minds are met together, yours and mine ....................

to be continued

Shin said...


What a nice offer, but I think I'll go easy on the red meat now. I've been trying to find scientific evidence that red meat helps platelet counts. I haven't been able to find any. I'm not even sure where I got this idea that red meat is good for platelet and red blood cell counts but everyone seems to believe that and I just went along. Until I find some solid medical/scientific evidence that this is true, I'm going to lay off the red meat. But I can come along and take vicarious pleasure in your pleasure! Maybe I can just sniff the fumes of your martinis...