Wednesday, July 8, 2009

I Get My Chemo Cocktail This Afternoon!

Mmmmmm ... chemo! I get my toxic chemo cocktail this afternoon at 1:00. My liver enzyme counts have come down considerably.

ALT is the one liver enzyme count that is not quite down to normal. Normal is between 5 and 45. Mine was at 15 before I started chemo. Last week it was 698. Today it's at 116.

My oncologist thinks chemo was the cause of the liver enzymes being out of whack so he's suggesting that we go ahead with chemo but he will reduce the "E" (of my FEC chemo combo) by 25% and see if that makes a difference. He suspects that my liver enzymes counts will still end up being high. I'll have more blood tests done next week to see where things sit.

My oncologist had earlier suggested giving me preventative antibiotics at the time of this chemo treatment with the hope of preventing the fever and infections that landed me in the hospital last time. But now he's recommending against the antibiotics to reduce any further liver issues and to help them pinpoint the exact cause of the raised liver enzyme counts.

He will, however, start me on neupogen after my chemo treatment. This will involve, I think, 5 injections (one every 2nd day) after treatment. Neupogen is supposed to help my white blood cells recover more quickly. Maybe that will make a difference. The side-effect that is most common with neupogen is bone aches. Hopefully that will be minimal.

Anyway, as strange as it may sound, I'm so excited to get kicked down by chemo again! Now to get ready. Drink lots of water ... light lunch ... dress warm ... take a blankie ... take my bear slippers ... take my princess crown ... remember that I'm surrounded by such a good team ... imagine them cheering me on from the side-lines and blocking for me as I soldier on. Good to go!


  1. Whew - I can't believe I am going to say this, but "What good news! I'm glad you are having a date with chemo this afternoon." I hope your side effects are minimal. Go Heather Go!


  2. OK first things first...Good luck today. I knew that neupogen would come into play. Hopefully round two will go smoother. Think of that bitch as your new ally! No pain no gain? Ask for some emla patches to put on before the injections to numb the skin. NOW secondly...On a good day you cleaned the house? That was a duty I readily relinquished upon diagnosis and haven't returned to yet. Get a cleaning lady! Unless you one of those freaks that likes to clean. And if you are then knock youself out! Tell that old liver to behave this time. Take care ANNE

  3. just checked my comment and see that I can't spell. But it kind of gives me a bit of street cred. YO Bitch.

  4. All the best today Heather!! Glad to hear that your trip to the Champion Centre today had the outcome you were looking for :)
    Go get em', take care.

  5. Heather, you are the best!!! We all joined together to make you feel better and of course you being Heather make us feel better instead. Good luck this afternoon and we are all their beside you just look for us. :) Pat

  6. Hi Heather,We are all strangely elated over here!??? I guess it feels like you can keep knocking down the "ENEMY" and now it is like we get to see our star player running confidently back into the game.Your body has just sent you a big message that it is prepared to fight for you! We love you lots .Hugs and stuff to Kev - I think of you lots Big Bro`!Chuck(Mimi)

  7. You go girl!!! Glad to hear that the Chemo was a go!! Hope that liver behaves this time... Maybe a little red wine would help? Just kidding. I know you probably can't have that right now so I will drink some in your honor!!
    Sorry again that I missed the hat party but wanted to keep my cold to myself. Sounds like it was a blast!! Take care and we will talk to ya soon....Gail W (see I told you it would work out didn't I!)

  8. Good luck Heather, you can do it!


  9. Go Heather! Boy, your liver enzymes sure did a dance on you last time. Bet your body is better prepared this time. It's amazing how it adjusts and comes bounding back. I say go for the housework. There's nothing like a little mindless activity to distract you. And it's great that you are going into this second treatment feeling (and looking) so good. That's a bonus. Sorry once again to miss the party last night. I'll give you a call in a couple of days to arrange a time to bring over the scarf I got you. Sounds as if it will look pretty hot tied around one of your gorgeous new swooping hats. Now there's no excuse for not getting into the garden. I find dirt very therapeutic; you might too.

  10. Will cheer you on and have a cheers to you . . . . since we can't drink that cocktail with you - at least not today. . . Another cocktail another day - absolutely!
    Good luck (oh there's that horrible word again - I mean - more than luck! Luck is like what happens in a lottery - you win some, you loose some - you have no control. I wish you only the win! And that takes more than luck... You've earned it.)

  11. Oh Heather - one more perhaps naive question (forgive my ingnorance on this). . .
    Please tell me they don't make you "drink" this "cocktail".?.

  12. Hope treatment goes off without a hitch. I wish you all the best. Stay strong, you looked great.

    All of my best wishes,


  13. Good Luck Heather! I hope that you are doing well after yesterdays chemo treatment. Take it easy and get the much needed rest. You will beat this!

  14. Hi everyone!

    Thanks for checking in on me and cheering me on! So far so good. I don't know what those liver enzymes are doing but I don't feel them doing anything bad. They're easy to ignore until next week's blood test anyway.

    Thanks for your suggestions and for being my "bitch", Anne, you funny woman!

    Yes, Nora, gardening has already turned out to be cathartic. Even just looking out my window on these rainy days is lovely ... and watching for birds, which you've taught me to appreciate more. And housework ... you don't realize how much you appreciate being able to do those mindless, tedious necessary duties until you can't. So, for now, I'll do them when I can. I'll gladly give them up when I'm recovered, though. I think this appreciation of household chores will be fleeting.

    Nice to see you stopping in Tana. Aren't those nice photos I got of you and your pals? I hope your Mom enjoys them, too. Say Hi to her for me.

    Gail (and everyone else, too), please do drink some wine on my behalf. In the meantime, I'll just hold tightly on to a bottle from time to time and count the days! Then we'll have a glass or two ... or three ... or whatever ... together! I hope your cold is passing, Gail. It would have been great to see you at the Hat party! I'm wearing my "Live Love Laugh" bracelet. To remind me.

    Patio, trust me. YOU are the ones making ME feel better. Really. It's true. I really do rely on the feeling of you all bolstering me through this. I don't know how I'd manage without you.

    I'm glad to be feeling strong today. Moment by moment. That's the way it goes. And this moment is good.

    Love to you all,



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