Monday, May 13, 2013

The Cancer Blog: Week 16


My Health


This blog within a blog will discuss cancer and all of my fears, hopes and expectations for a positive outcome—full and complete recovery. In addition, I plan to throw in some latest medical research. All cancer patients are interested, to some degree, in research and the latest medical findings; I am no exception. Today is Day 147  living with cancer; tomorrow is chemo session n0. 7. Last week's session was postponed (see below for explanation).


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The HazMat Team: This is the kind of protective clothing worn by a hazadourous- materials team clening up what is considered a chemical spill. The gear sort of reminds me of the film, “Star Wars.”
Photo Credit Magnus Mertensplace;  Germany; 2005
Source: Wikipedia

There is a kind of dark humour among cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy on our willingness to accept the drugs entering the bloodstream and our system. It's best related by a story a nurse at the chemo unit recounted, matter-of-factly, during one recent session.

While she was hooking me up to the chemo bags, she said that at one time a bag containing a chemo drug accidentally ripped and he drug spilled on the floor. Within a few minutes, the unit was closed and sealed off, until a hazardous-material team (HazMat), with full protective gear, entered the unit and cleaned up what was considered a bio-hazard spill.

You must see the humour in that episode; at least I and the other cancer patients do. There is a willingness to accept what the oncologists say are necessary steps to take and accept so as to make us better and prolong our lives.

On another note, I had another CT scan (my third in the last few months)—this time of my lungs alone—11 days ago: the preliminary results, according to my oncologist, Dr. Chan, is that there is nothing unusual. But of course, the radiologist report will be the definitive answer, and that will come in a few days.

As well, last weeks chemo session was postponed till this Tuesday; my platelet count was too low (at 83 x 10E9/L) to continue. The minimum is 100 x 10E9/L, and a week’s rest might do my body good. My platelet count has been dropping steadily since chemo began on February 12th; then it was 206 x 10E9/L, which corresponds to a drop of 60%. This is significant.

I am feeling better than I have for months. I am thinking of asking my oncologist if I could have chemo treatments every three weeks instead of the standard two. I'll keep you posted.