T+10 month checkup: AOK!

Long time no post here, but partly because I’m happy with my results, and partly to test my newly migrated blog (yes, I’m serving from an NL based multisite setup now, and using Letsencrypt)… so I had a checkup today. I have one every 4 months now, and while I didn’t post about the previous one (in April), here I go with the current one, and a little status update for all those interested.

So, the figures:

  • Hb (red blood count): 9.1 (was 8.8 in Apr)
  • Tr (platelet): 160 (was 152 in Apr)
  • Lk (white blood count): 7.4 (was 4.9 in Apr)

So that’s pretty good, right? I mean, 4.9 –> 7.4, baby!

In other, more generic news: I’m OK. I’m better that OK, in fact. Quoting my doctor: I’m in better shape than before the cancer. My running pattern for the past couple of weeks has been 3-4-5 km usually twice a week, and 8-11 km once over the weekend. Plus cycling at least twice, to work (which, if we are into numbers anyways, is a ~22 km round trip, usually with a 20-22 km/h average, including city traffic. I’ll stop now.)

Also, this guy:

Met him in the hospital. He started his first chemo cycle I started my last. He’s also a member of the Amstel Quartet:

And he’ll do a benefit concert for hemathology research. Go and listen.

Okay, let’s see if this can get posted!

Nov 30 blood check: my red is back in the black!

…And by black I mean back in the normal range (Hb: 8.8, and normal territory starts at 8), probably for the first time in about a year — I’m out of the land of anaemia!

In other news, platelet count and white blood count are still a bit low, at 135 and 3.9, respectively (150 and 4 being bottom of the OK range, again, respectively), so there’s a bit of work to do still, but that’s considered the normal path – after all, I’m oly T+77, less than 3 months after the end of my BEACOPP Escalated.

So I still have to take my Cotrimoxazol (antibiotics) and Esomeprazol (anti-antibiotics), which means my irritated bowels will remain as such.

I’m also doing fysio these days to couter the constant pain in my muscles (prednisolon withdrawal effect, I’m told), and to get back in my feet — literally and figuratively. And we are trying to sort out the things in our life that we neglected in the past half year — car, taxes, car taxes, and the like. (Don’t like, to be frank.)

TL;DR: all things are on the up!

Complete Remission.

It’s September 28, 2015, and I will remember this date. Got the results of the PET scan I had last Thursday, and the result is


So there is no cancer activity in my body, it’s gone from my lymphatic system, from the thorax, from the neck, it’s gone from my liver and my spine. Chemo worked it’s charm, and I don’t need radiation therapy.

Yes, we are happy! (Although I’ll admit we haven’t fully embraced it.)

My blood results are also good: Hb at 6.9 (meaning it’s gone up 1.3 units in a week, from 5.8, which is better than anticipated), Tr is 145 (up from 100), Lk is 3.5 (down from 4.1; but 4.1 was brought to us by GCSF). So while not up to normal levels just yet, it shows my body is generating stuff on its own, or to phrase it differently: my body is standing on its own legs again. (OK, to phrase it wrongly.) And, while we are at it (statistics, that is), my weight is around 88 kg by now, pretty much the target I’d say.

So what’s next?

Date of next checkup is end of November. And next steps are to deal with the remaining side effects. Apparently I have a bit of withdrawal from steroids (who doesn’t!), so my face is swollen, red and full of little pimples, oh and it itches like there’s no tomorrow (so does my back and my arms); my joints hurt (hips, legs, elbows, shoulder, lower back), and some veins are acting up because of the chemo I took in.

On the bright side: my neuropathy is almost gone, in fact, if it happens to stay like this (but it won’t), I wouldn’t even be very upset. I can feel it’s still there, but I have sensation in my fingertips and all.

So after all the fear and pain and everything, I now know it was worth it and I’m on the right path.

Oh, and I can finally delete the movies from my computer… the ones I kept in case I have to spend a long time at the hospital — the superstitious fucker that I am…

today was a good day


Somehow this cycle seems to end up being the messy one, even if only a little.

First things first, day 15 blood results: everything is considerably (but not too) low, wbc is at 2.4 (better than this time last cycle), rbc is 5.7 (worse than this time last cycle), platelets 28 (worse than this time last cycle). I have since administered another shot of GCSF, so wbc is probably on the OK side by now, and yesterday I also got a blood transfusion so rbc is up to 7.2.

For some reason I didn’t feel the anaemia on Monday. In fact, I decided to put up some shelves, fix lamps, drill holes in the wall on Monday afternoon — something I shouldn’t have done, as I felt almost instantly afterwards.

I already had something in me that I probably triggered by overloading myself. Anaemia kicked in (drumming and white noise in the ear, fatigue and loss of breath, strenghtened neuropathy), and if I have to guess, I got myself some hidden sinusitis activated. (Which is not a particularly good thing when you are in chemo.) Then, at the hospital my fever went up to 38.4, and I generally felt like shit for a couple of hours, slept through most of the day. I couldn’t even go out for a walk in the afternoon, not something I often pull! (And just to add to the whining, this all came when my usual GCSF induced skin/bone pain was also present.)

Long story short, fever went down, sinusitis all but disappeared by now, and I feel a lot better — I won’t cycle today for sure (which is a pity, I wanted to see Sail Amsterdam), but I’ll probably do a 5 km walk. And I still have 4 days left of the “rest week” before cycle 6.

Learning: no drilling and stuff alone!