Blood results, stats geekery, aftermath.

Monday’s blood results weren’t as bright as I’d hoped: wbc at 1.7, rbc at 6.0, meaning office visit for this week is definetely out of the picture, and so is most of anything. I’m not saying I’m not disappointed, but then, this is the learning bit for me: I’ve never been good at patience games. Discpline games (like a treatment), yes. Patience, no.

Anyway, I did a bit of a calculation, this is why it’s good to have all blood results at file, so you can do calculations. Left alone (so not bombed by chemo), my body seems to generate about 0.3 units of rbc per week. Considering a conservative growth pattern (so not assuming that rbc generation speeds up as time goes on), this means it’ll take around 8-9 weeks until my red blood count gets back to normal territory (8.5 is the bottom of the normal range). I can’t do the same calculation for wbc as my wbc has always been assisted by G-CSF, but safe to assume it’ll take a similar amount of time for it to go back to normal, too.

With that, I spent most of my yesterday sleeping, and generally feeling like shit. (Like shit that’s also sleepy.) That seems to be gone now (walking a short 3.6 km helped big time), but I’m still anaemic. Also, this is still a 3rd week, so what do I expect other than regular 3rd week stuff, right?

Last but not least, an inventory of residual side effects:

  • Anaemia: as above, this will probably take 2-3 months to go away.
  • Neuropathy (reduced sensation in my fingers): I still have it, healing time in the range of “weeks, months”, according to the doc.
  • Arms and veins: they hurt a bit, time to time, I guess the IV doesn’t just go away that quickly. Not a major annoyance though.Hair: stil doesn’t grow, not that I’m bothered… Will start growing in “weeks, months”, I guess.
  • Eyebrows, eyelashes: they need to grow back. I have 1 (ONE) eyelash that is still around. Hang in there, little hero hair!
  • My face (through which I am detoxing at the moment and it looks like Mickey Rourke’s): this is an interesting one, so far Prednisolon was the answer — I wonder how long it’ll take without my ‘roids.

This is more or less it. I was thinking about drawing a diagram and a Plan-on-a-Page (I’m a PM or what), but… meh, instead let’s go to the playground with the kids!

C05D06: side note on side effects.

Fell silent for a couple of days, but that doesn’t mean life ain’t happening. I started C05 in the meantime, blood results were mostly good on day 1: rbc and platelets perfect, wbc a bit low. Doc tells me this is normal, bone marrow is getting tired of this roller coaster of “don’t generate wbc now” – “no wbc at all now!” “wait for it” “NOW generate a shitload of ’em!”, so the usual amount of stimulation was only enough for a 3.9 wbc. It’s OK, but could be better.

Nothing much to report apart from this, so this will be a post on some side effects, because why not. And because I am by now convinced that chemotherapy is mostly about dealing with the little annoying side effects, and some big ones.

My fungus thing comes every cycle like clockwork: day 5-6 of the cycle, I can blindly start taking my Fluconazol, because if I look in my mouth in the mirror, I’ll surely see them — the fungi.

Anaemia: by now, apparently anaemia is a clockwork thing too (for these last remaining bits), comes in around day 4-5. Impacts my stamina somewhat, and my brain a lot. Workouts help with the stamina thing, I operate like sherpas do: can execute physical activity even with low blood oxygen. I could be a sherpa. “A scarce breed in NL,” Ian would add!

Just to be clear: the fact that I’m anaemic does not prevent me from doing sports. As a matter of fact, I got this toy yesterday:


elbow rest for the hassled vein kid #cycling #chemo

A photo posted by Gergo Lippai (@lipilee) on


Hair loss. The side effect most commonly associated with chemo. (Together with the extra water you retain because of Prednisolone, it results in that typical bald-n-chubby chemo patient look.) When you think of it, you usually think of hair on the patient’s head; well, that’s only part of it. Eyelashes (I have around 12 of them left, total), mustache and beard (not that I had too much in the first place, now there’s none), most of the hair on my legs (calf, to be precise; I look more and more like a pro cyclist), and, we need to talk about this as well: pubic hair. (By now, all of it.) Oh, and btw: apparently these last 2 cycles, the hair loss got stronger (I guess the amount of anti-hair stuff from the chemo adds up), for example my eyelashes really started falling out in the past 2 weeks.

Skin. Yes, chemo patients are not supposed to go out on the sun. Reason: we don’t tan, we burn. We need to use 50 factor sunblock if we do go out. Except when I did it, got burnt even with 50 factor. Or allergic, who knows. Nevertheless, I drove around 30 mins on the sun (well, in the car, that was on the sun) the other day, and got burned very badly. Swollen read intchy head badly. So I ended up just not going out on the sun at all. Direct effect of this is it gets boring inside during the day, and of course I only do workouts just before sunset.

Well, that’s it for today and on side effects.

Quick update on weight: I’m over 86 kg. Lot of it is muscle!

Prednisolone fun.

A funny thing with Prednisolone is one of its side effect is shaking hands — this hits me pretty hard, to the extent that I have difficulty typing on a smartphone or use a touchpad in the morning…

…and pick up a Perdnisolone pill: it’s the smallest of all the pills I take.

We figured with Juli this is probably a bit of practical joke, courtesy of the pharmaceutical industry: they give you a pill that causes your hands to shake so small it’s close to impossible to pick up with shaking hands. It’s actually pretty funny, good one, pharmaceutical industry!

So that little obscure giggle you notice when your pharmacist hands you your box Prednisolone… now you know why.