Wednesday, June 27, 2007

I Feel Gooood (So why do I feel so bad?)

I usually go through a 36-hour “detox” period after checking out of Hotel Hope. Nausea. Lackluster appetite. Low energy.

Not so this time. I checked out on Monday afternoon and hit the ground running with none of the usual chemo side effects.

Ordinarily, this would be a good thing, but not so this time. My boundless energy and hearty appetite underscore the reality that I received a reduced dosage of chemo during Round 4. My blood counts simply couldn’t take the assault of a full-on regimen.

What’s more, the plans are moving forward for the auto stem cell transplant without the benefit of Rounds 5 and 6. I met yesterday with my nurse coordinator, and July’s calendar is filling up fast with tests (bone marrow biopsy, PET scan, CT scan), clinic appointments, Hickman catheter insertion, Hickman training, a small dose of chemo, ten days of injections and, ultimately, the stem cell harvest.

If all goes “according to plan,” I could be hunkered down for my month-long stay at Hotel Hope before my birthday on August 15. Of course, a lot could happen to take me off course, but . . . one day at a time, one day at a time.


Lisa C. said...

Hey, I hope you can start that stem transplant soon and get it over with, already! Like you said, one thing at at a time...

Lisa C.

Paula Johnson said...

Lucy, you got some 'splaining to do.

So your blood couldn't hack hardcore chemo, but it sounds like what you did get is sufficient to curb the cancer enough for the transplant.

Or am I missing something here?

And while being hospitalized on your birthday is no fun, aren't you excited about getting it on with it? You'll be in climate-controlled Hotel Hope while the rest of us sweat through another freaking hot August.

Hey, and at this rate, you'll likely have HAIR by Christmas!

See you on Friday.

Susan Carrier said...

What I didn't explain is the original rationale for going with the "bigger gun" of Hyper CVAD. One is the eye tumor's proximity to the brain and central nervous system. Two is the type of MCL, blastic variety, which has a poor prognosis and is treatment resistant.

The full course of Hyper CVAD was designed to deal with both of these issues. Anything less than the full course doesn't give me the "optimal efficacy" that I want.

I went 3.5 rounds instead of six.

I have an appointment at CoH this afternoon and will discuss these issues with my doctor. I want to know what we're doing to mitigate the risks associated with the abbreviated course.

Karen said...

Susan, what is the purpose of the stem cell transplant? What is it supposed to do? How does it relate to the chemo?

SAMO Calling said...

I'm always happy to hear you're feeling good. I think as long as you're feeling good, you'll be better able to deal with the onslaught of issues that come next. Feeling good is not to be underrated right now.
I love you -

Barbara Roth said...

if I know you if you're in the hospital for your birthday, you'll find a way to make the day into a positive event. I am pulling for you. Barbara R.

Susan Carrier said...

Karen, In response to your question about the purpose of the stem cell transplant, the short answer is because studies show that an SCT can extend the survival time of mantle cell lymphoma patients.

Karen said...

I hope your meeting with your doctor went well. I'm thinking good thoughts for you night and day.

Mrs. Duck