Tag Archives: Neutrophils

Quick Update Cycle 6

Hello folks …

Thought I would send a quick update on where I am at as it has been a couple of weeks since my last posting. I started Cycle 6 last Thursday – my final pair of treatments. The second treatment is scheduled for this Thursday.

Having attempted and failed to take the last treatment it had been four weeks since I had had any chemo. My body had totally forgotten what was involved! Consequently, I have had a several days of feeling pretty grotty, and I am tiring very easily. Of course, I have no idea how my bone marrow is faring but will arrive early for the blood test this Thursday, before my appointed treatment time, so that we know where things stand and whether I can receive the last treatment this week.

We enjoyed watching Chocolat (lovely cinematography by Roger Pratt) and Barney’s Version. I had forgotten some key aspects of the plot in Barney’s Version – enjoyed the movie very much!

Following on from reading Just My Type I re-watched Helvetica, a really interesting (OK, nerdy) documentary by Gary Hustwit on the design of the Helvetica typeface, and the influence it has had on typography, graphic design and global visual culture over the last 50 years. It is interesting that all the graphic designers interviewed seemed to be European and British – North America does not appear to feature in these fields.

We also watched Urbanized, about the design of cities. I can’t wait to see Objectified, the third film in Hustwit’s design trilogy, about industrial design.

I think as I recover from the next treatment I shall retreat into catching up on the Harry Potter movies!

That’s all for now. I hope that when I next write, in a couple of weeks, I shall have started on the road to recovery. There is a bit of a ways to go!



Even Lower This Time

Well, it turns out you just can’t tell what is going on. My treatment on Friday Sep 28 was cancelled because my blood readings were too low. This past week, when I went for my catch-up chemo (Oct 5) I was getting over a cold and I was feeling a little shaky but generally as well as could be expected. It turned out that my readings were even lower than the previous week, with neutrophils at 0.3 (0.9 the week previous). Wow! If you go any lower than that they whip you into hospital. Since I needed to be at 1.5 to get treatment I was sent home and told that they would skip that treatment entirely and start Cycle 6 on Oct 19. Apparently, this should have little impact on the overall outcome of the treatments.

In any event, this reading has taken me into the high risk range for being out and about in the world and running the risk of infection. I feel like a basic amoeba, with no developed subsystems to protect me. One description we have seen is that it is like standing at the edge of a forest fire armed only with a water pistol. So, I am being careful not to interact with people who may be infectious right now. Alex has bought us Purell hand cleanser for when we are out and about and we are washing our hands even more than usual. I have passed on my opera tickets to a couple of friends and will be staying close to home for the next week or so. The bone marrow should be getting back to work strongly enough for me to have the next treatment on Oct 19.

In Other News
The henna hat has now faded right away and I am thinking about what the next ornamentation will look like. I reckon the hair won’t start coming back till mid-November at the earliest so I’ve got some play time in there. Mind you, now the Fall has arrived it is pretty damn cool round the edges when you don’t have any hair!

We had our friends Ted and Ira over for Thanksgiving Dinner (having ascertained that they were bug free!). Alex spent all day preparing a fabulous feast of turkey, yams with sherry and cream, brussel sprouts (OK, I put them together) and excellent gravy and stuffing! Ira made a pumpkin pie, from REAL PUMPKINS!

My parents joined us on Monday and we heard about their adventures getting to know their new apartment and neighbourhood in Port Moody, BC.

Other than that life plods along with time passing quickly in some ways. I cannot multi-task at all so I feel I am getting nothing done and it is suddenly the end of the day. The drugs play tricks on one’s mental and emotional state from time to time, but this too shall pass.

Thanks to those who have written – especially my long-time friend MEL, who is now following along on the computer at her local library in Perthshire but still sends actual physical cards!