Chemo 19 — Otherwise known as Chemo Cycle 7, Day 8 — Who Knew? (1/6/2010)

Of course there had to be a logical way to number these things. Today, I got Taxol and Zometa. Somehow I got off a week on my own head count, but lucky for me the gals in the treatment room can keep things organized.

Results back from my tests. On the xray, it’s just degenerative disease, mild (due to age?) and L4-L5 and L5-S1 spondylolisthesis, which puts this right back in the category of muscle pain, probably from pulling my back out getting Christmas stuff together. Ho ho ho.  Oh well, it’s clearing up. It’s definetly better when the temperature gets about 45 or so. It got down to 9 the other night and I had to totally bundle up my feet. I remember too a long time ago someone who xrayed my back after an auto accident suggested that I had a “gap” at L4-L5 and L5-S1. I’ve kept it all strong all these years with my weightlifting, but now I plan to modify that routine so as not to put any negative stress on those junctures. Now, spondylolisthesis (because the spine shift and puts pressure on nerves) can be painful at times depending on its severity. L3-L4 are mildly involved and my guess is since the pain travels its going to vary when I get tired, feel anxiety or panic, or get into sleep or other positions that are not favorable. I’ll take a look at some exercises for people over 50 and see what I find. If I can rebuild my back and abs this should be a slow degenerative process. I have several support belts I’ll dig out if the pain persists and the onc has renewed my percoset (haven’t had to take any of this perscription yet), it’s responding to Tylenol and rest.When I think of how many people in this country have back pain it just spins my wheels. Cancer or no, it seems there are certain conditions our culture demands in payment for our life style.!

Also one thing aging and maybe the cancer too will do is make your skin more sensitive. That I know for a fact. Lucky we have good heaters and warm clothes, not to mention yummy hot chocolate.

As I type I’m listening to the Philadephia Brass doing Christmas Carols as a final adios to this season. For me it’s over today, at Epiphany. Tomorrow the rest of the decorations are coming down, getting boxed up, and I’m letting hubby put them away. ha.

Looks like the 24 Hour Urine sample was used for both creatinine clearing test (normal) and some tests on what my kidneys are doing. Proteins (or probably albumins more likely) was up just a tad, but enough to try to nail down any problems. A nephrologist friend says the amount is so slight it’s not a threat. Kidneys are leaky things as he puts it. And Lord knows the candy and cookies I’ve been consuming, while great for taste and helping me keep interested in food, are things I usually don’t eat. No small wonder January is the “Healthy Cooking Month” on Food Channel.

Well, I assume the onc is following some sort of diagnostic tree. He went ahead and approved today’s Zometa. Both the Zometa and the Avastin are dependent on such numbers, I understand. It’s a good thing to know that he’s as sharp as he seems. Another thing I like about him is that he sees patients on a standard regimen like I am every TWO weeks, not every week. So I’ll meet with him next week. I can reach him if I need to by calling his nurse who is also very sharp. She’ll get a message through if need be. This more or less puts the disease on the level of something chronic, not acute.

General Chemistry looked really good this week. Hematology was about the same. So treatment was approved. The nurses are still trying to get the patients in assigned chairs etc., and their organization efforts finally looked like they were paying off today. It must be difficult with that many patients and caregivers in that small treatment room, and imho those treatment room nurses and the doc’s nurses are working hard. Our darling NP Deb is back finally after her knee surgery. She’s been having a fairly rough week of it (for which she has our complete care and sympathy), no doubt the swings in the weather have been causing the connective tissue to balk. Knees are always a rough heal.

Well, I’m feeling pretty good right now. My New Year’s resolution is just to stay on top of all of this as much as possible, and try to get some stuff done. I can’t wait to make another trip to the Emerald City and explore the rest of the museums there, and I’d also like to go to Shawnee KS to visit my cousin soon. That gives me a few goals.

All the Best and Happy New Year to all, and to all a good night.

Joule Watt (aka LRLine, PhD)

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