Blood is in the air, and other stories of the rest week.

Okay so I went for a routine checkup on Wednesday, all is fine, WBC is up in the skies (my bone marrow got a pat on the head for “reacting so well to stimulation” — well that’s one way to put it), but turns out my anemia got slightly worse (meaning my red blood cell or RBC count went further down, meaning my blood’s oxygen transferring capabilities were lacking). This is funny though: I’ve had anemia since pretty much the beginning of the whole thing, yet, when my treatments started, I could restart my excercises (the walks), and did a lot of things, as I mentioned earlier. So if I am this active while anemic, what would I do with a normal RBC count? (Oh by the way, for the bone pain slash WBC stimulation issue, next time I only have to inject G-CSF 5 times instead of 6, so hopefully the bone pain will be lighter.)

Anyway, by now I too, was feeling my anemia: my heart was beating like a jungle drum (roko-tokotoko-koroko-tokotontonn), I had a headache… long story short, I went in for some bloooed on Friday. I got (I think) 0.6 l (3 packages) of compressed blood (I guess just the good stuff, ie. RBCs).

As a result, I am totally fine now: all the *BC counts are normal or (in case of WEBC) higher than necessary, we had a day trip to Muiderslot today (some photos here) and Márti’s (younger daughter) 3rd birthday party yesterday where I participated fully (yay!), and in general I feel energetic.

Then, this also happened this week:

I don’t mind, truly, and for multiple reasons: first, for the past couple of years I usually zeroed my hair for the summer anyway, it’s very convenient if you do sports (with sweating and all) and I think it simply looks cool. (Yes, I do think I look cool in the summer. Isn’t that cool?) Second, I think now I can ask people (friends, strangers, the leaders of the world) for small favors, like…


One million dollars.

Cycle 1, day 9 status: IV rounds complete for this cycle.

Yesterday I received my Day 8 IV coctail (Vincristine and Bleomycine), next up is 2 weeks without IV, I only have to take my (industrial amount of) meds. Let’s see the immediate aftermath:

  • Due to the (I think) Bleomycine I spent 2 hours in the night coughing-and-not-sleeping. This impacted my day somewhat, in that I am now missing that 2 hours of sleep, and want to fall asleep instead of eating my dinner.
  • I also had to start to administer subcutaneous G-CSF yesterday, which in normal speech means I inject myself (ugh) with the equivalent of that extra size red healing potion in Diablo that you can only buy, not find in the dungeon, cos’ it’s so big. What it does is it tells your bones to start generating white blood cells (WBC, for an added TLA), at once. Result: yesterday I had no white blood cells (normal for this kind of treatment), today I probably have them swarming (no sign of it on Foursquare yet), and this will continue until Wednesday next week, probably resulting in WBC figures 5 times the normal — but that’s a good thing.
  • Added WBC side effect: I spent 2 hours laying in bed in pain this morning. Generating large amounts of white blood cells in a short time means your bones (mostly: ribs, scapula, and shoulders) hurt. A lot, apparently. Hard to explain the sensation, I guess it’s somewhere between your spine wanting to leave your body and start a new life in Florida (in FLORIDA!), and receiving a waterboarding lesson (maybe also in Florida). Reportedly Paracetamol helps, haven’t tried it yet, we’ll see.
  • I’ve also had some mouth problems (scarring because of some fungus, sorry for the naturalistic details) since around Saturday — again, part of the game, they give you (yet another) medication for it. I’m not too bothered by it yet (doesn’t hurt), but wouldn’t be good to have my otherwise awesome appetite impacted by something like this.

On the positive front:

  • I have no nausea at all, I can eat well, etc., meaning I have high hopes for the coming 2 weeks to walk, maybe start running, recover, draw, meditate, write.
  • My back pain was mostly gone by noon and I could do a 2.5 km power walk in the afternoon. Added benefit: got myself a good apple pie from Vinny’s for the walk. Added benefit of this: I avoided the rain that poured for like 5 minutes while I ate the pie.
  • I am currently weighing in around 77 kg, which is mostly due to last week’s binge eating, and then losing some yesterday (I guess; I always lose weight on hospital days, stress and whatnot). Target could be to hit 80 kg by the official end of this chemo cycle (May 31st). Seems absolutely doable!