Friday, September 19, 2008

33 minutes

Day 4/4, Cycle 12/17

There's an episode of the new Battlestar Galactica show (I think it's the first one after the series intro) where the Cylons keep showing up to attack the human fleet every 33 minutes. As a result, everyone's all at their wits' ends with lack of sleep and exhaustion. I guess it's not quite the same, but with all the chemo and hydration they give me while I'm here, it feels like I'm up to the bathroom every 33 minutes, so even if I try to sleep through the whole day, it doesn't quite work out that way. I usually get some sleep in the morning, but then I'm mostly awake in the afternoon, which seems to drag on forever and ever. It's 3:55pm and I've got 3.5 more hours to go.

chugga chugga chugga chugga. . . . woo woo!

By the way, my friend's team is one of the top 25 finalists in the American Express Members' project. If you've got an AMEX card, I urge you to vote (pref for their project, Embrace - $25 Infant Incubator, but if you find another cause more worthy feel free to vote for that). Here's the link and a video from Embrace:

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Register to Vote!


Anyone else ready for this election to be over? Man, I can't even watch the news anymore. I guess the debates will be interesting. Anyway, if you're reading this and you're not registered to vote, go here now! Go ahead, I'll wait. . .

. . .
(doo doo dum dee dum)
. . .

Done? Cool. Well, I'm finished with my neupogen shots for the week (see previous post), and we'll see if I can go in for treatment after my appointment on Monday. I did wake up with some sores on my tongue today, but hopefully that doesn't mean anything other than my room is too dry. It's weird to be getting them now, though. Sometimes I think my body has some sort of weird Pavlovian response such that it starts to expect treatment before I'm even getting it. My energy level is better than it was earlier in the week, though, so that's a good sign, I think.

One other bump that we cleared this week. . . my bladder is A-OK. My doc said that a couple weeks ago when I had my cystoscopy, the urine sample they sent out looked "suspicious". The pathologists said I should be checked for signs of bladder cancer. The pathologists saw abnormal looking cells, but they also didn't know I had gotten radiation in that area and was undergoing chemo. My surgeon said the "suspicious" cells were likely due to radiation and chemo damage to my bladder and were nothing to worry about, but my oncologist wanted to do another sample just to check. So I did that on Monday and the results came back negative yesterday. They even went back and checked the old sample to make sure, and there was no sign of malignancy. I wasn't that worried about it, but my mom was, so anything that makes mom happy is definitely a good thing.

Some days I think back to when I had surgery, and though there are lingering long-term consequences, it's such a relief that I still have a fully functioning bladder and urinary tract. We have to hold on to things that we can be thankful for, and try to let go of pain and depressing thoughts as quickly as possible. But I guess both are easier said than done.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Tired tired tired


Huh, I guess a year from now this day will have some significance (9/9/09). Any cultures where 9 is a lucky number? Well, as the title says, I've been kind of tired the past few days, more so than usual, unfortunately. I'm not really sure why, since my red cells are fine, but I guess it's just part of the process. Maybe it's because I haven't really done any exercise in a week or so. I've been trying to sleep more, but that just makes me feel more tired. Ugh.

Anyhow, I've been delayed again. . . Last week I had a doctor's appointment on Wednesday and was supposed to get treated on Friday, but my neutrophils were just barely too low (1.4 instead of 1.5, which is the cutoff). I took a few days to rest, but yesterday they were even lower (.98). On the one hand it makes you question the accuracy of the tests - is 1.4 really that much different from 1.5? How much do your absolute neutrophils fluctuate in a day? On the other hand, I guess they have a cutoff for a reason. Normally when I have been delayed, my doctor has wanted to wait to have my counts come back up on their own. I guess she's seen so many people get delayed lately that she's now recommending I take some more neupogen to help boost my counts back up. So, five more days of injections this week, and hopefully I'll be able to go for treatment next week. She's also talked to the doctors doing the rhabdo clinical trial and has decided to reduce my dose a little more this round; I'm already reduced to 80% but she's going to bump it down to 75%. Apparently that's as low as the rhabdo docs want to go, but hopefully it'll help me bounce back a little more quickly. I have to keep reminding myself that the effects of chemo are cumulative, and my doc is always quick to tell me I'm not alone in these delays. Ugh, it's just the waiting that's so awful.

Well on a happier note, here are some pics from my trip to NYC:

A quiet moment in St. Patrick's Cathedral

Mom at the MOMA. Unfortunately it was free admission that day, so it was packed.

Gathering for Anthony's very low-key but very sweet wedding ceremony at Brooklyn Bridge Park.

Anthony and Nolwenn.

The high school gang at the after-party.

Me, Jeff, and Anthony (middle school buddies) at the climbing wall.

Holly, me, and Jess (freshman dorm friends) at the Shake Shack in Madison Square Park.

Me and Manasi in Midtown.