Thursday, December 4, 2014

Another Day of Chemo

Yesterday, Barbara and I drove to Dana Farber for the start of Cycle 8 of my chemo regimen.

We had an early appointment - 7:15. When we arrived there, Barbara looked at the schedule and said,"We could actually get out of here early today." Big mistake. I gave her a dirty look and she realized immediately that she had jinxed us. Now, the truth is that as an engineer, I absolutely do NOT believe in jinxes or such like. In spite of knowing that they are totally meaningless, however, I have found them to be profoundly effective.

You may recall that last week, my phosphorous was too low to get treatment. So, over the last week, I took phosphorous pills and loaded up on foods that are high in phosphorous. And my phosphorous levels were plenty high enough. Someone suggested that I might be "phosphorescent" enough for them to use me at the top of a Christmas Tree. Nor did I burst into flame - even though besides taking phosphorous, I am also taking Magnesium. No - the problem had to to with Neutrophils which were way too low. It registered 0.77 where they require at least 1.00 to give me chemo.

Well, clearly this was bad new for the chemo, but I explained that this had happened before and that if I exercised, I could probably get the number to come up. So, I went to the stairway and managed to do 20 flights after which I submitted to yet another blood test. This got the number up to 0.93. To me this indicated that I was improving at the rate of .08 per flight and that all I really needed to do was to climb one or two more flights. The infusion nurses did not agree. They called the Clinical Study nurse. While waiting, I headed back to the stairway and told them to call me when the nurse showed up. I said that if I didn't answer the phone, to send someone to the stairwell with an Automatic Defibrillator. I managed another 17 flights before the nurse showed up. She decided I needed a shot in the arm - which she gave me (literally) and told me to wait two hours and get my blood drawn again. By this time I was too beat to do any more stairs, so I went outside and wandered around looking for lunch.  Which I found and brought back to Barbara.

They redid the blood test and this time it had nearly doubled - to 1.78, so I got my chemo. We finished everything at around 2:45.

One of these days, I am going to look up what Neutrophils are.

I wish I had cancer marker numbers from last week, but they are still not posted. I had hoped for additional numbers this week, but I am not not sure they are retesting.

Besides that, there is not much else to report over the last week. We are still getting settled in the Fox Down Abbey apartment. We had a "punch list meeting" this morning which went well. And I managed to make another small bowl.

Last Saturday, I bought a 5 foot tall Singing Santa which Barbara hates. It was not my fault because it was on sale. Barbara says it scares the daylights (well - not exactly "daylights", but you know what I mean) out of her every time she sees it. At first glance, it appears to be an intruder in a red suit. She says that it even scares the cats. They stand in front of it and meow. I think they want it to pet them.

There is a switch on it that will cause it to randomly (and loudly) sing Christmas Songs - yes - his lips do move. I am thinking of throwing the switch. This will get Barbara into the Holiday Spirit and prevent her from being surprised when she sees the Santa. It will also most likely get the two of us (me and Santa) thrown out of the house. 

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