[cancer] Thinking through chemofail - Lakeshore — LiveJournal
? ?
An author of no particular popularity

Jay Lake
Date: 2011-06-11 05:54
Subject: [cancer] Thinking through chemofail
Security: Public
Tags:cancer, child, conventions, health, omaha, personal, travel
Yesterday's failure of chemotherapy was annoying at a number of levels.

In the simplest terms, at a minimum this problem extends by a week the amount of time I get to spend being sick and sickly.

It also is a poor harbinger of the course of chemo to come. This is (or was) only session three of twelve for my FOLFIRI course. On FOLFOX I got through all twelve without ever hitting the wall.

The drop in my neutrophils was precipitous, almost 90% in a two-week span. That seems spooky fast to me. They're planning to add something called Neulasta to my mix at the next infusion round, which will supposedly take care of this, but, wow.

I'm also very unhappy about how this is affecting my summer plans. As things stand now, my July trip to Omaha with [info]the_child is off the table. If we slip again, my surgery date will have to slip, and I'll have to cancel my ReaderCon trip that I just committed to. Not to mentioned which if my surgery date slips, my WorldCon trip is in peril.

I have written my doctor and asked if we can break after 3 sessions, so my pattern would be 3/cut/9 instead of 4/cut/8 as currently planned. If there's only a nominal difference in outcomes between the two, the quality-of-life benefits of the change would be worth it to me. As a result, I have not yet contacted the airline about canceling my trip. Going to let this ride a little.

The dominoes, they topple. The ironic part is that I have made no plans whatsoever for the fall. Any of the fall infusion sessions could have slipped, and I would have just said, "Huh."

This is another situation where cancer just steals from me the things I care about. All three trips this summer are in danger because of this issue. I am helpless in the face of the problem, completely at the mercy of the disease. This makes me angry and very frustrated. Cancer has already stolen so much from me, now the thief returns for another round of stripping from me those things I hold dear.

Post A Comment | 12 Comments | | Flag | Link

User: cate_morgan
Date: 2011-06-11 13:14 (UTC)
Subject: Sometimes The Dragon Wins
But that doesn't mean you should stop fighting--that's what the dragon wants you to do.

Happy, sparkly thoughts and good karma mojo being sent your way. Here's to hoping things improve.
Reply | Thread | Link

User: nancyfulda
Date: 2011-06-11 13:46 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
That sucks. Like, really sucks. I wish I had something to offer besides wholehearted agreement re: the nastiness of cancer.
Reply | Thread | Link

Kari Sperring
User: la_marquise_de_
Date: 2011-06-11 14:15 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
You have every right to the anger and frustration. All good wishes.
Reply | Thread | Link

User: emmainfiniti
Date: 2011-06-11 14:32 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
The chemo fail is not necessarily a harbinger of things to come. My BF (also on folfiri) had an early fail, but the neulasta did the trick. I will hope for the best.
Reply | Thread | Link

User: deborahjross
Date: 2011-06-11 16:58 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
What She Said. Give the Neulasta a chance.

And get as angry as you want.
Reply | Parent | Thread | Link

User: cathshaffer
Date: 2011-06-11 15:17 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I wouldn't worry over much about the treatment implications of your low neutrophils. It is a very common side effect, and the docs can work around it. I am sorry about the disruption of your plans and schedule. I think your proposed solution of going with three chemo cycles instead of four before surgery is a good one. I myself am not a fan of the chemo-surgery-chemo program, myself, given the fact that you have had a false positive liver tumor in the past. (One that lit up on PET scan and that your surgeon swore up and down he was sure was a met.) I still think they should have done a biopsy before putting you through chemo, so I'm all for scheduling the surgery for your convenience.
Reply | Thread | Link

Renegade Vagabond
User: khaybee
Date: 2011-06-11 20:57 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I have nothing to say buy I love you and I can't wait to see you.
Reply | Thread | Link

User: horace_hamster
Date: 2011-06-11 21:44 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I can certainly see how a 90% drop in neutrophils would come as a bit of a shock. But since neutrophils have a very short half life in the blood, and it takes the progenitor cells in the bone marrow less than a week to produce a new fully-mature neutrophil, they can bounce back pretty quickly. Your bone marrow is making billions of new neutrophlis every day, so your blood levels will catch up soon.
Reply | Thread | Link

User: mectech
Date: 2011-06-11 22:18 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
craptastic indeed. here, have a virtual hug. guaranteed germ-free (which the in-person version is decidedly not at the moment).

con crud, allergies, who cares? (tho it does seem unfair to acquire con crud from working a software engineering event....)
Reply | Thread | Link

Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2011-06-11 22:38 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Thank you for the v-hugs, and I am sorry about the crud.
Reply | Parent | Thread | Link

User: cassiealexander
Date: 2011-06-11 22:58 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Reply | Thread | Link

User: mlerules
Date: 2011-06-12 01:27 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Ah, hell. *fingers x-d re: quickie response from your doc re: timing issues*

Reply | Thread | Link

my journal
January 2014
2012 appearances