Thursday, October 6, 2011

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Chemo infusions are like airplane flights – they all should be uneventful. After reading scary stories from other patients on the WM e-mail talk-list of their complications which crop up as their protocol progresses, I'm always relieved to have one more down without any drama. Once the hospital registration staff found my doctor’s orders they claimed twice not to have (happens almost every time), yesterday's treatment, the fourth of six, went especially smoothly. No missed veins, no blood pressure drops.

The good stories out of these lab numbers are the lymphoma marker continued to go down and platelets and hemoglobin continued to go up. White cells may never recover; they are what they are. But my kidneys and liver have stopped issuing complaints. My glucose level is normal. . . given the carbs and sweets I've given up, it darn well better be! I admit I was hoping that the IgM would have fallen again on the scale of the past couple of really huge drops. But I don’t want to be ungrateful, and any decrease is good. All in all, definitely things to cheer.

The irony is that I generally feel achy and crummy. Tylenol – and sleep and exercise – are my friends. My trademark energy level still operates on a very thin margin. Going into this treatment, I confess I was worried about what these numbers would be; maybe things had regressed. I’m glad so many numbers are back in healthy ranges, but how come I don’t feel that good?

One theory, offered more than once, is that my body is fighting hard. It’s getting the results we want, but there’s still a cost to the battle, and I still need to give my body a chance to get better footing on the higher ground. Who knows? My doctor shrugs empathetically, says she’s happy, we keep an eye on things, and we keep going.

So I'm laying low and staying away from crowds through the weekend. I have provisions in the frig, incoming meals, and a couple of good books, so I have no excuse not to be good and rest. This morning my gourmet chef neighbor Greg brought over the results of a new Italian pistachio lemon cookie recipe. In celebration, I will eat every one.

My hair, cut again on Tuesday, is still curly, and does its own thing every day. What my hair is doing as each day progresses has become its own small form of entertainment to me. If my hair has become the most eventful part of chemo, then I really can’t complain.

P.S. Treasures unearthed as the new onion sets are planted.

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