Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Chemo #6...finally!

Yesterday was my 6th and final scheduled chemotherapy treatment. WOO HOO!!! It went as well as always! Tulsa Cancer Institute has several campuses in the Tulsa area and are finishing a new state of the art building to combine all the facilities into one. The campus I usually go to is the first to be in the new building this week. The treatment area is so nice with actual sections for each patient instead of a circle of recliners with no defined space.

After my last round of chemo, I needed a Neulasta shot to boost my neutrophils (part of white blood cells) that had dropped to 1.1. Yesterday my count was 4!!! That's higher than after my first chemo of 2.4! So as I was checking out, the scheduler said she'd see me back the next day for an injection. I told her nothing was said about a Neulasta shot, my counts were up, and this was my last chemo. She tried to call my Nurse Practioner who I had seen but was only able to reach my oncologist's main nurse. I ended up on the phone with her (new building is big with multiple floors), and she was very adamant that I come in for the shot. After some discussion, she finally went to ask the NP, came back and said we could skip it. Of course she went on to lecture me that I better call back if I start running a fever, even if it's in the middle of the night. Okie dokie! I know she was just doing her job, but all patients do not fit into a procedural mold. Gotta stick up for my rights!

After the Neulasta shot three weeks ago, I had a couple of days of hip pain, felt crummy, and slept a lot. That's fine if I really NEED the shot, but if I don't, why go through it? It would also be another day off work and drive to Tulsa - not to mention the cost of the shot (thankfully to insurance and not to me). Now I'll be praying I won't run a fever and have to call the nurse - HA!

I thought I was going to have to call the nurse last week. Allergies or a cold hit me with a sore throat, head full of snot, stuffy AND runny nose, sinus pressure, and cough. One day I felt awful and ran a temp from 99.9 - 100.4 all day. The magic number to call the nurse is 100.5, so I never called. I took Tylenol PM that night and woke up fever free! Now if I could get rid of all the snot!

So I'm waiting for my PET scan to be scheduled, and then I'll see my oncologist after that to go over the results and talk about how they'll monitor me. It's been almost six months since my mom noticed the swollen lymph node at my collarbone. This journey will continue, but I'm grateful it will be a different kind of journey after my next appointment. And I am so thankful that I won't be on any part of this journey alone - family, friends, and most importantly GOD are traveling with me!!!

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.
~ Joshua 1:9

1 comment:

  1. This photo brings tears to my eyes. Praise God!