Ruth's musings

I have been dealing with breast cancer for a while, and have been sharing my journey with friends, family, and prayer partners. This blog brings all my updates together in one place, and leaves me free to muse on other parts of my life. Thanks for visiting!

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Ruth Update, October 8, 2008

Dear Friends, Relatives, and Prayer Partners,
I went in to take my second dose of Gemzar on Monday, and found out that I was neutropenic, so that was delayed until next week.  I still had my monthly Aredia, though.
The next day, I had an appointment with my oncologist.  She had to make some phone calls and get a fax, but she got the results of my biopsy.  My cancer does not have the receptors that would take up the Herceptin.  This means the drug would do me no good, so it is off the team and out of the dugout.  We will continue with the Gemzar, Carboplatin, and Avastin.  I haven't actually started the Avastin yet.  I imagine I will end up taking Neupogen or something like it to keep my counts up.  I have managed to get my own immune system up and going on its own in the past.  I think I will be having chemo of some kind every week for a while.
I covered some other stuff with my oncologist while I was there.  I asked "Can I have a beer now and then?"  "NO!!!"  I had a feeling that would be the case.  With my liver in the shape it is in, drinking alcoholic beverages is not a good idea.  Ah, well, it is not a part of my daily routine.  Still, a glass of wine or beer is nice when we go out to dinner.  Paul took me to a "pub" called Elephant and Castle before we went to see Romeo and Juliet a few weeks ago, and I had a beer.  When it was in front of me, I thought it might not be a good idea.  I drank most of it, anyway.  We got great service there, too, and the price was not bad.  When we told them we were going to the theater, they kicked it into overdrive.  I ordered the dessert, bread pudding, at the same time as our entrees, and all worked out well.  They let us split the dessert.  I told Paul to leave a big tip, and he did.  Much to my surprise, he left a bigger one than I would have.  Maybe he didn't want to wait around for change.
Another thing I can't do is take acetaminophen, or Tylenol.  The liver doesn't handle it well under the best of circumstances.  The trouble is, I have been taking Vicodin, which is acetaminophen and a narcotic, hydrocodone.  Percocet is the same thing, only the narcotic is oxycodone.  So, now I am taking oxycodone by itself.  This is one of those drugs the doctor actually has to sign an actual paper to prescribe, and I have to show ID and also sign my life away. 
I have been going to work in the mornings, getting some stuff done, and them coming home and crashing.  I do have some pain in the liver and ribs.  The doctor could feel the liver was enlarged when she palpated my abdomen.  She assures me we will shrink it.
I'll take the medicine and follow orders.  All I ask from you is prayers.
Oh, and get mammograms.  Do self-exams.


  • At 5:45 PM, Blogger Matt said…

    yeah be careful with the oxy. take only as prescribed, but then that's the only way you would take it anyway. so why did I say it. perhaps because that drug scares me because I've heard so much about it.

    anyway, I love you mom. GET BETTER!! Miracles happen. especially if we pray hard enough.


  • At 6:27 PM, Blogger Faith G said…

    Neupogen was weird- have you taken it before? It gave me weird sort of spasming back pain that made me think I had a new cancer (I'm a little high- strung). But I gave the injections to myself, which made me feel cool and hard- core.
    You are in my DAILY prayers.


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