Thursday, October 28, 2010

Cycle 2 and All's Well

Kay finishes her second cycle of the chemo for her recurrence of the ovarian cancer this week. So far no real problems. Her white blood cell count is somewhat low, so we're back into the no kissing mode, but hugs are still OK. She is getting a 3 day course of a granulocyte colony stimulating factor drug called Nupogen to push her bone marrow to produce more white blood cells in hopes of avoiding illness. She complemented me on my shot giving technique last night. I think she just likes it when I pinch her personally, but whatever makes Kay happy is my pleasure.

Kay has not lost hair yet, making it likely she will not with this regimen of therapy. She is happy about that and looks great. As we go into the influenza season, we are working hard to stay well, and so I posted today on tricks to Avoid Getting Sick in my medical blog today. You may want to check it out.

This week has been a challenging one, in that a long-time patient and family friend Abe Riggs passed away today. He is a long time member of Celebration Lutheran Church where we attend, and I ask you all to keep his family in your prayers.

Love and thanks to all for your continued prayers and support.


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Update at the End of Chemo Course 2, Cycle 1

The first cycle of Kay's chemotherapy went very nicely. She continues to feel good, her energy is holding up fine, and good news is her CA-125 drawn yesterday was down to 32. Dr. Rob McCrosky, her oncologist warned us that the level often does not go down after the first course, and can even go up, so this nice drop is reassuring that this new regimen seems to be working.

Kay convinced them to reduce her dexamethasone treatment doses from 10 mg on Tuesdays and 4 mg on Fridays, to 4 mg on Tuesdays and none on Fridays. Dexamethasone is a very potent, short acting corticosteroid given IV. It's used to reduce the chance of allergic reactions and to reduce nausea during chemotherapy. In Kay, as in many others, it seemed to cause more fluid retention, make her a bit agitated and have trouble sleeping. It also gave her a voracious appetite, which she disliked. She seemed to do fine with the lower dose today.

Last week she spent a few days with Jean in Seattle, and they had lots of fun, and shopped relentlessly. Jean is our shopping guru, and Kay loves to shop with her. Kay's closet is looking much fuller now. They also seduced a makeup expert at Nordstroms who gave them makeup cases, lots of samples, and Kay rewarded him by stocking up the case.

My best news of the day when one of my partners, Nancy Grubb, volunteered to cover the Same Day Clinic for me on the Sat/Sunday after Thanksgiving so I can stay with Kay, Jean, Brett and the whole Colmar clan in SoCal for the long weekend. It will be the first time all the cousins are in one place since my children were very young. Everyone is excited.

Kay's white blood count was slightly low, and she is going to get a drug called Neupogen for 3 days after the infusions next week. It is an injectible med, given like insulin, that stimulates the bone marrow to hurry up and replace the white blood cells. Fortunately I can give her this so she won't have to inject herself or go to the doctor's for this. If her count gets too low she will be at risk for infection, and would need to interrupt her chemotherapy.

Pray for good bone marrow resistance, for safe passage through these courses of chemo, and of course for efficacy of the treatments to fight the cancer cells.

Love to all.


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

First Course a Breeze

Kay is in her "off week" of her first course of chemotherapy, and the first two weeks of infusions on Tuesdays and Fridays went uneventfully. She was a little buzzed from the high dose dexamethasone she gets prior to each infusion, but except for that really had little difficulty. The biggest thing for Kay has been that the treatments take up about 4-5 hours on Tuesdays, and 2-3 hours on Fridays. She really hates spending that much of her week in treatments. She is doing so well she has been going alone, and that has been mostly positive. She naps, reads, and watches movies, but still it's a long sit.

This week Jean has Wednesday thru Friday vacation days, and she and Kay are in Seattle having girl time. Today Jean and Kay looked at places for Jean to live, and went shopping. Lots of fun on their agenda for the next 3 days. The struggle between Mother and Daughter is Kay trying to book as much fun as possible, and Jean trying to keep Kay from wearing them both out and being sure to get lots of time to relax and enjoy each other. My guess it they'll enjoy each other, but the relaxation will be active relaxing more than lying back and relaxing.

Kay and I went to the coast with our birding friends this past weekend, and had fun in the rain Saturday, and enjoyed unexpected sunshine Sunday.

Prayers of thanks for the relative ease of the treatment infusions, and prayers for effectiveness in ridding Kay of the cancer are in order. Thanks for all your support and prayers.


Sunday, October 3, 2010

Week One of Chemo is No Problem

Kay's first week of chemotherapy was really no problem at all. She had a minimal amount of nausea, but didn't miss any meals, and overall felt pretty good. We had another busy week, helping Brett move into his apartment in Seattle on Thursday, Kay getting chemo on Tuesday and Friday, but have had a relaxing weekend and feel ready to face week two of course one of the new treatments.
Keep us in your prayers.