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Tuesday, 31 May 2011

31st May - Day 1 of 5th chemo cycle.

I arrived at 08.30.
Pete, my brother in law picked me up and took me. Thanks Pete!

I have my blood level tested on Friday, but the levels of neutrophils were low, so I was asked to have another test.
The results of the test came back after about 10 minutes.
The levels were still low, and so the chemo staff nurse contacted my oncologist.
My oncologist said that I needed to go ahead with the chemo.

The following information was taken from

Managing a Low White Blood Cell Count (Neutropenia)

Chemotherapy  is usually given in cycles, with periods of rest that give your body time to help regain strength and replace healthy cells lost during treatment. However, neutropenia, a low number of certain white blood cells, is a common chemotherapy side effect of certain types of chemotherapy. In some cases neutropenia can disrupt your chemotherapy schedule.

A low white blood cell count means your immune system isn't as strong as it could be and that you are at increased risk for infection. The fewer white blood cells you have and the longer you remain without enough, the more at risk you become for developing an infection, which can be potentially life-threatening. 

As a result, your doctor may need to delay cancer treatment or reduce your chemotherapy dose until your low white blood cell count increases. If you are neutropenic and you develop a fever or get an infection, you may need to be hospitalized until your infection is cured and your number of white blood cells returns to levels high enough to fight infections. 

Neutrophil—The most common type of white blood cell. Neutrophils help the body fight infection. Since the most common type of white blood cell is the neutrophil, a low white blood cell count usually indicates that the neutrophil count is low. It is easier to get an infection and harder to recover from an infection when the number of neutrophils in the bloodstream is low.

As I mentioned...I also now have neuropathy, this is one of the side effects of the chemotherapy treatment. The drug responsible in my case is cysplatin. The dosage has been reduced, I will see the oncologist on 21th June, have more bloods taken  then too, and 6th and final chemo cycle on 21st June.
I was told that I will have a CT scan after that to get a 'benchmark' so that any changes can be see on the next CT scan.

The following info is from 'Wikepedia

The induction of peripheral neuropathy is a common factor in limiting therapy with chemotherapeutic drugs. Little is known about the mechanisms responsible for the development of neuropathy. Depending on the substance used, a pure sensory and painful neuropathy (with cisplatin, oxaliplatin, carboplatin) or a mixed sensorimotor neuropathy with or without involvement of the autonomic nervous system (with vincristine, taxol, suramin) can ensue. Neurotoxicity depends on the total cumulative dose and the type of drug used. In individual cases neuropathy can evolve even after a single drug application.  The recovery from symptoms is often incomplete and a long period of regeneration is required to restore function. Up to now, no drug is available to reliably prevent or cure chemotherapy-induced neuropathy.'.

I got home after 18.00hrs. Pete picked me again!

(This is me now!)

I will be massaging my hands and feet regularly with some essential oils, get my crystals out,...relaxation, meditation, massage......ahhhhhhhhh!
That will sort it out!

All in all, I feel relatively well, and more energy than after the 1st day of the last cycle, but Mum said that I look 'bloody awful!'
(Bless her, parents are getting more and more difficult to bring up).
I told her that I expect flattery and if she didn't comply I would put her in a home! Lol!
(Good job we both share a similar sense of humour!)

See how things are tomorrow, and I will let you know. (Not about Mum going to a home....about how I feel!)

Because she is as Nutty as a fruit cake!


cleo said...

oh man you have to go through so much... It all comes back now to me ...too. Although I forgot a lot of these things. Because of my advanced age I got an injection of some stuff which prevented my white bl cells to go so low..verry expensive stuff, forgot the name..

Now you nearly done, so pls hold it.. you were so fantastic and brave!
No radiology after? I had 25.. burnt into my body...

Carol said...

Yes, I know Cleo, 28 for me...burnt my bloody arse to cinders Lol!
You have done well.