We went in today for the first of two pushes in my last consolidation round. Had to be there at 8:00 this morning, which is tough for a girl who is used to getting up some time between 8:00 and 9:00, but I did it. Drove in, had the blood draw at 8:00, killed some time for an hour and a half until my appointment with Dr. Bigler at 9:30, he looked me over and the numbers over, said everything was good to go, and we then went over to the chemo area. I had to wait there for an hour before getting in. Finally we walked back and I got an IV in… tough, but not too bad, and the saline started. I then got my pre-meds (some stuff to help me not get nauseas) and about a half an hour later, the push started. The nurse was great… she pushed a bit slow, making sure it was nice a diluted as it went in (trying to prevent the phlebitis I’ve gotten the last couple of rounds) and then it rinsed through with saline and we were out of there. I was starving by then… it had been a long time since the morning cheerios, so we went down to the cafeteria in the central office (convenient) and each had a sandwich. Then home…. Which is the best. I got to come home. No hospital stay to get this done. Just the push… then home. Nice. And for dinner tonight? A salad with chicken, parmesan, eggs, peppers, tomatoes, and blue cheese dressing. Not to mention a nice piece of toast to go along with it. I was not neutropenic this morning when my blood draw happened, and we are assuming I am still not neutropenic for at least today and tomorrow. Probably not until Monday at the earliest… though something we’ve definitely learned is that each consolidation round is different than the last. We’re hoping no fevers, no hospitals, no transfusions. Just a decline during the nadir and then a rise to October 15 and my meeting and start of the maintenance round. For now though… home sweet home. It’s nice.
The changes… I got a bit less chemo (they reconfigured because I’m now on outpatient status, based on weight and height… and since I’ve lost 40 pounds the amounts were less) and they also reconfigured the amount of ATRA I’m getting… 9 pills a day instead of 10. I start that again tonight. One other thing… I’ll be giving myself a shot every day for a bit starting on Saturday. It’s called Neupogen… it’s supposed to help my white blood cells recover faster. My doc is trying to avoid me getting another neutropenic fever. The shots didn’t seem that bad as I was practicing on a little thing at the chemo center. We’ll see how it goes as I give them to myself. I might have to talk Mom into giving me some of them. We’ll see how it goes. I don’t know how long I’ll have to do it… probably at least 7 days… but it’s based on my numbers, which the pharmacist (as well as my case manager as usual) will follow them. I might have to go in three days a week instead of the two during this time, we shall see. Nancy told me to tell the pharmacist that I am already getting my blood draws twice a week. Maybe that will be good enough… if not, I won’t be doing this too long (hopefully) so it won’t be too bad. We will do what I have to… as always. I got refills of zofran (anti nausea med) and a refill on the Ativan ( I was running low). I also got a medicated lozenge for the thrush I’m having after the antibiotics I got in the hospital. Something I’ve learned with this is that there’s always some little thing. Part of the process… but hey… we are moving through it.
Taking it day by day… and tomorrow… the last push, which just happens to coincide with my 45th birthday. Two things to celebrate in one day.