Thursday, February 18, 2010

Chemo number...oh I can't remember

Is it a bad sign when you are sitting in the doctor's exam room and he walks in, takes one look at you and says, "You look a little tired?"

Is it worse if your doctor is an oncologist who sees a whole lot of tired and sick people?  And, if you put on full make-up for the visit?

I said, "I am really tired."

He said,  "Well, that's good then, you only look a little tired."

He cracks me up.

My whites were low  (0.7 for the number junkies) but I got my chemo so I'm still on track.  He said when he's on a curative path (as opposed to palliative) he doesn't like to skip any if at all possible.

I'm down with that.

But that means today I give myself that horrible, horrible leukine.  Think of me about 5:30 as I inject myself with something I know is going to give me three days of misery.

He was concerned about the breathlessness but it's mere anemia.  My blood oxygen levels are normal, my lungs sounded fine.  My reds haven't gone down any further so I'll order that iron supplement.

He told me I needed to take it easy and I might be doing too much.  (Yes, I have been walking from the bed to the computer and deciding what my husband should bring in for dinner - a grueling schedule). He also wondered why I was working and if it was too taxing for me - um, hello, you told me I could.  You wrote the note!

I did tell him I was going on a field trip to San Francisco with 300 thirteen year olds next week, and he looked at me and pulled out his pen and wrote "admonished patient to take it easy and rest."  Hah! He is a funny, funny man.  He did admonish me in fact; he said that if I overdid it I would likely find myself on the floor with a ring of faces staring down at me. 

Duly noted. 

Really, this is how bad I am.  After he said that I thought, "Oh, that might make an interesting blog post." 

We are going to a museum with lots of benches and taking a charter bus, and I will be with International Baccalaureate students (read: high achiever, gifted and well-behaved students) so I can handle  it.

I did get to sit with Jeannette and Burt this time. I learned more about their lives- Burt was in the military and traveled all over the world.  This made life hard on one of their kids, who hated to move.  When he got transferred to Labrador,  Jeannette didn't go - that's where she put her foot down, and who could blame her? Labrador?   Aside from cool dogs, that place has nothing to offer me either.  Burt told me a story about how he walked across the snow from his 2nd story barracks window to his neighbors 2nd story window for a visit.

I asked Burt what he was going to do with himself once all these appointments were done, and he said he was going to recite the "Senility Prayer"  in the hopes of forgetting it all.   I love that guy.

I said "I'll see you next week!" but as it turns out, I won't.  I am having chemo on Friday next week due to the field trip.  Then Thursday the following week to get back on track..  That leads me to March and I think Jeannette is done with her treatment in late February.

I may have seen them for the last time.

I hope not.

I'm going to make a trip out there and drop them a card, just in case.


  1. Wow, Anne! My mouth just dropped open when read the part about your plans to assist on your son's upcoming field trip! I KNOW that I didn't have an ounce of extra strength left over to do something like that while I was getting the chemo!

    Best of luck to you! I am enjoying following your blog and looking forward to reading more!

  2. I made the plans when I was still on every three weeks carb/taxotere. Now I'm on weekly taxol...but I'll find the strength somewhere. We are at least taking the bus, not driving.


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