Wednesday, June 3, 2009

A new view on weeks 3

This is Kay's second cycle of chemotherapy, and we have been expecting that week three of each cycle is going to be her "good week" where the effects of the prior course of chemo are wearing off, and she is strong, has some fun, and gets ready for the next cycle. Last course in week three she started to have more abdominal swelling, and it felt to her like "the cancer was winning again." This cycle it feels similar but not as bad. In week two, Kay seems to get past the bone pain and fatigue of the chemo. She feels pretty good, but by week three she starts to have more abdominal pain, more swelling and fluid retention, and it feels like the cancer is regrouping to attack again after the poison is gone.

When she saw Dr. McCroskey Monday she found out that her white blood cell count was quite low. The neutrophils are the primary infection fighting kind of white blood cell, and at least 1000 neutrophils per cubic millimeter of blood is needed to have confidence that bacterial infections can be kept at bay. Her count was only 900 Monday, and she is concerned we may have to put off the next chemo treatment if the count does not recover.

All this combined, the ascites accumulation, the low WBC count, and the abdominal discomfort are reminders that this is going to be a long fight, and that there is lots more treatment needed. We had been feeling so confident after the last CA-125 level came back so good that it was easy to feel confident. This makes us fall back on our love, faith, and friendships.

Pray for good WBC counts, next chemo on schedule, and feeling better the rest of the week.

Enjoy the sunshine.


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