Tuesday, December 23, 2003

Quick "Executive" Summary?: No more Chemo! Lots of monitoring and shots to rebuild red blood cells.

More detailed:
Sara and I went to South Bay Oncology this morning hoping for good news. And we got some.

The CT Scan shows my largest lymph node at 1mm. Which is the top end of the normal range. They do not really worry about the nodes unless they are 3mm. And my blood markers are all normal. As a backup exam, I am scheduled for a PET Scan. PET measures how the lymph nodes process sugars. What's the difference and why TWO scans? CT measures the physical size of the lymph nodes, PET measures how the Lymph node is functioning. My understanding is the PET is sort of a 'second insurance' to make doubly SURE. This will be scheduled in January.

My red blood count is still low from the chemo, so I will be going back to the clinic every 2 weeks for a quick shot that will help build red blood cells. I got one this morning, and it has made me feel weird and sickly, but nothing like chemo. So shot every 2 weeks till my red counts come up.

I have an appointment to revisit the doctor in 4 weeks, to monitor red count, and a physical checkup. He says I should be checked out and fine to travel in February! YAY!

My checklist of issues seem to all be related to the Cisplatin, and will diminish with time. Ringing ears, numb palms, will go away. Swollen, tender veins is basically scar tissue from all the IV's, and will go away, but it takes longer. And I have some skanky toenail fungus, but cannot take the drugs for it till I build more red blood cells.

As my energy comes back, Steve recommended walking and a high protein, but not low carb diet. YAY More Steak!

So, what did we learn? NO MORE CHEMO. But, just as you do not "beat" cancer, you survive it, the same goes for being done. I am not done, just done with chemo. I'm supposed to CT scan every 4 months, I'll have frequent doctor's appointments to check up, and I have a lot of monitoring to do.

But really? No more Chemo? I am pretty dang happy. I got TWO great presents this week. Still work for Keith, and NO more Chemo!

oh, and my sister sent me a channukah bush. I'll try to post photos later today.

but for right now, I need a nap.

Woo HOO!

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