Day 6

Yesterday was Day 5 of treatment and I started a new chemo:  Asparaginase.  I started that with no problems, and still don’t feel any different today than I did yesterday.

Today, day 6 of treatment, I did not get chemo.  In fact, I have a little break until Friday when I get 2 different kinds.   I still get the Neupogen shots & steroids daily.  Then will continue to receive more platelets and blood as determined by the blood tests they take every morning.

I feel like I still don’t understand a lot of what is going on with my body, so last night I had a nurse explain the 3 main things they check for in my blood everyday:

WBC: White blood cell count.  Doctors measure it in thousands, but will often just say a number in between a range of like, 5-10.  That’s a good range.  Yesterday my count was at 5.1  and today my count was 5.6.  Basically how it works is that the chemo will kill the white blood cell count and that number will get lower.  When the number gets lower, that’s when I’ll feel really crappy.  When it gets down to the 3’ish range, that’s when I will start being a lot more restricted since my immune system will be so sensitive.  I most likely wont’ be able to see Ryan for a little while, I cannot have flowers in the room, won’t be able to get fresh fruit or vegetables, won’t be able to leave the room without a mask, any chance of visitors being sick won’t be allowed.   They want to control everything as much as possible when it starts getting around 3 and lower.  I know they can’t tell me what day my WBC will get down that low, but I did ask if there is a trend to it.  The nurse said it tends to start getting that low around day 14’ish.  I will have to double check with John on that number.  I guess chemo gives you “chemo brain” that’s similar to “preggo brain”, so really you can’t trust anything I say 🙂

Platelets: My platelet counts are super low, which is why I bruise so easy.  And why I can’t shave because if I cut myself I could bleed to death.   (not shaving for a month vs. bleeding to death….. has anyone tried those things you see on TV where you can just rub the hair off??)  So they test my blood every morning to see if I need more platelets, and I have been given platelets on most days I’ve been here.  Here is a picture of my arm from when they tried to give my my IV the first day I was here.  It really doesn’t hurt at all, but just gives you an idea:

Hbg: The red blood cells that carry the oxygen around your body, so this number has a lot to do with your energy level as well.  I am thinking the normal range for a woman is around 12 and mine is around 9.5, so  I have had to get blood the past couple days too.  Again, I could be making up the normal range of numbers, but it’s somewhere in that ballpark.

I am a little frustrated  because I had more to this blog entry and had edited it, but left it for several hours and my changes did not save.  So now I feel like I’m leaving out some of what I wanted to say and probably have several incomplete sentences and it feels a little more negative than I want it.

So on a positive note, I’m feeling great today. I had quite a few visitors,  some of my friends come up to bring me lunch, and had a dinner date with John in kitchen across the hall.   This floor has a kitchen, library and a TV with DVD player you can rent so in the next couple nights we’ll have a movie date night.  It might just turn out we get more date nights now than before 🙂


11 thoughts on “Day 6

  1. Have tried the rubby things that remove the hair… don’t work so well. Nair? I have tried and love it, don’t know if they’ll let you do the chemical thing. But worth a shot.

  2. Did you ever try Nads? Ha. One summer Jamie, Stacy and I grew our leg hair out to the recommended length (yes, during the summer-gross) and were so disappointed when it didn’t work! All that hair growing for nothing 🙂 Thanks for the updates again. That’s so awesome that you get to have date night and make dinner and stuff. Enjoy your upcoming movie night!

  3. Laura,

    It was so great Skyping with you today! You need to post a picture of yourself so everyone can see how great you look….like I told you earlier, the arm picture looks very painful.

    Stay strong and I’ll talk to you soon! XOXO Mel

    P.S. I tried Nair once and it burned but it did remove the hair!

  4. Laura,

    I believe the level at which one becomes “neutropenic” is when the white blood cell count falls below 3,000 (or 3 as they say up there) and it usually occurs between 7-14 days for most patients.

    Also won’t the fact that the chemo will make you hair fall out take care of the shaving issue? I suppose if there is any benefit to the hair removal it could be that?

    Stay strong and I will be by after work tomorrow to help you kick some cancer ass!


  5. Dang – that’s quite a bruise! I’m glad it doesn’t hurt!
    As far as movies go, I don’t know if you’ve seen it – but I recommend Duplicity with Clive Owen and Julia Roberts. I “Redboxed it” recently and really enjoyed it. Happy movie watching!

  6. I’ve tried the little things that rub your hair off. Not a big fan. It just made it smell like burnt hair. Not like when you actually set your hair on fire, but my brother used to give me indian burns (not sure if you’ve ever gotten one, but it hurts and can actually leave you hairless in that spot) and it was a lot like that. Anyways, it didn’t work all that great. But, if you want, I will selflessly volunteer to not shave for a month so we can be hairy twins:)

    I’m so glad you are writing this blog. I love knowing how you are doing.

    Love you 100 percent!

  7. you are so awesome and brave, Laura! I’m so glad that you have your normal positive attitude! The power of positive thinking is an amazing thing! Love and Hugs!

  8. well – i wouldnt worry about shaving. heck i dont like to shave at all. i mean once it grows to a certain length gets soft again. ugh – is that too much information.

    thanks for the updates. keep kickin butt and taking names.


  9. Yeah all I ever got from Nair was a bunch of stink. Can you pluck? I’ll volunteer Dustin to pluck each individual hair that is getting on your nerves.
    That bruise is not joking around…it could probably compete with some of your softball bruises.
    Love you!
    K to the G

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