Mount Baldy
6/4/09

I've been holding off writing a health-update email, O Best Beloveds, because I wanted to have some definitive news. What a silly I am; there hasn't been definitive news in three years, why start now?

First go-around with Exempra (I know, I know; I just like that name better) went fine; no real side effects, just a little weak for Jazz Fest so that too often I didn't make it the whole day. But I held up well enough to have a really good time, speaking of emails I'm quite behind on writing. Will get to it shortly, promise.

Second go-around was more interesting; a couple days after the dose, in the middle of the night, Steve noticed I was really hot. Just for fun, he took my temp; 101.7. Youch! I figured there was nothing to do for it; calling Dr. W. in the middle of a weekend night didn't seem fair, especially since all he would probably say is take a cool bath and some Tylenol. Temp stayed high for a little while, but within a day or so it was back to normal. Meanwhile, to continue the "flu-like symptons" theme, I was hit with bad bodyaches. Nothing Vicodin couldn't handle, but it did keep me thoroughly down for a week, and partly down for a week after that.

But! We get a call from the clinic. First post-chemo blood test. We started at 2700-something...and went down to 2306! Wow! 400 points! Talk about results! I picked the hair off my collar, where it was as opposed to my scalp, and cheered.

Hair continues to thin, and it's time for Round Three. Not quite as bad as Round Two; no fever, bad body aches one day, just sharp annoyances most of the rest of the time ("Vicodin remains my best friend" I said to Chemo Nurse Leah. "Nothing wrong with that," she responded.) My hair continued to thin and by "thin" I mean "pretty well gone but I'm too lazy/doped up to go get the remaining fluffy bits shaved off." My eyelashes also went awol.

And then there's the bloodwork. Last time, 2306. This time: 2507. Oh, for CRYING OUT LOUD. I haven't spoken to Dr. W. yet, but I'm sure it's just going to be "this could be a tumor blast" (ie, as the tumors break up, they spread around, and registar as more than they are and the numbers go down the next time), but it never, ever is; whenever my markers go up, they go up and not down, not, at least, until we change chemos.

So not sure what the next step is. Darn it all, though; I figured with the aches and the hair loss, this goop had to be doing something, and it sure seemed like it for a time there. But thanks to molecular typing, whatever we pick next should have a better shot of working. Of course, I'm just assuming I'm going to come off this goop; maybe not. Maybe for once it IS just a tumor blast. I'll keep you posted.

At least I'm getting lots of good naps,

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