Month: February 2015

Break

Dearest Liver,

I was given a small break from my chemo last week. Despite my two neupogen shots, my blood counts were too low for chemo. I also suspect that the addition of the neuropathy helped my case for a break. I have been feeling like I never fully bounce back lately as well. The exhaustion is overwhelming. Granted I probably don’t sleep enough hours, but having to be at work at 7:30 am doesn’t make it easy.

Instead of chemo I had my 3 cycle CT and found out that the tumor in you was a little smaller again! Not the 50% decrease that I had the last time, but still, smaller is smaller! Now I’m waiting to see what my doc wants to do next time. I’m being tested for a new study and there are some other options on the table. I have a feeling I’ll be back on chemo for a little bit next week, but at least I got a tiny break. Read more

Winner, winner, chicken dinner! But only when it comes to side effects.

Dearest Liver,

Why is it that if there is a tiny chance that someone, somewhere will get a side effect from a drug it’s going to end up being me? Not only do I have zombie jaw that is supposed to be an uncommon side effect from Xgeva, but now I seem to be developing neuropathy from my current chemos.

Me as a zombie Halloween, 2014.
Me as a zombie Halloween, 2014.

According to the interwebs, which everyone knows is true, 2% of cancer patients treated with Xgeva developed jaw necrosis. And according to my NP, who I love and trust, neuropathy is possible, but has a much lower chance with the drug I’m on than one of the taxanes, like the Taxol I had the first time around that did cause neuropathy. Read more

Skele-gro or what my doctors call Neupogen

Dearest Liver,

You’ve probably noticed me complaining about my Neupogen shots (or Skele-gro as I like to think of it), but I don’t know if I’ve ever explained it. The chemotherapy treatments that I get have the known side effect of lowering white blood counts. White blood cells are what help fight off infections in your body, and neutrophils, a type of white blood cells, fight infection by destroying harmful bacteria in the body. When your neutrophils get too low, your chances of getting an infection become a lot higher. If they become too low you can even be at risk for an infection from eating fresh fruit or veggies or from even being around fresh cut flowers.

In order to try and avoid all of that mess and to make sure that my neutrophils are high enough for my next treatment, I get shots of Neupogen. Neupogen is used to stimulate the growth of bone marrow, the place where your white blood cells and neutrophils are made. This hurts like hell. Bones that I didn’t even know existed in me start to hurt. Hence my name for it: Skele-gro. Read more