Cycle 5 – Day 10: The Thermometer

For the last couple of days I’ve had a sore throat and runny nose, both very annoying but not fatal… unless.

One of the things CancerCare drills into you about chemotherapy treatments is the need to be very concerned about infections. The main issue in my case would primarily be a low white blood cell count, which I have. That along with a bunch of other things make me more prone to infection.

The one thing CancerCare really emphasizes is if you have high temperature, hence this bad boy.

The “magic” number is 38C. The advice if you see this number is to go directly to the ER, do not pass GO, just get there ASAP. Tell them you are on chemo and your are immediate bumped to Priority 2 and started on IV antibiotics. Priority 1 is in progress heart attacks and/or you’re about to die.

I’m good and the sore throat is letting up and the number above is me this morning, so no ER for me! ?

Cycle 5 – Day 1: Will this ever end?

Another chemo treatment. Hopefully, the 2nd last chemo treatment. While I’ve been tolerating these treatments quite well physically, I’m definitely getting very tired of the process and the fact that it’s a constant reminder that I’m dealing with cancer. Treatment day plus pills and injections for several more days afterwards just keep putting the issue in my face. That plus every little feeling in my body gets put through the filter of “Is that something to do with the cancer?”.

Enough whining. I’m very fortunate to have so very few side effects and such positive progress on eliminating the cancer.

Today was a little different as Shirley was at another appointment during my treatment so there was nobody sitting with me, which for me at this point in the process was OK. However, I can really see the benefit of having somebody with you when you’re starting treatment or when things aren’t going good. Normally, most people undergoing treatment have one or more companions with them but today, there were several people, in beds, who appeared to be alone. Not good.

The treatment went about the same as previous sessions and the time flew by. As I’ve mentioned before the first 2 hours are quite busy with starting and stopping different IV drugs, and doing the 10 minute injection. The last hour of IV is generally a nap so I’m not the best company for that hour as I drift in and out.

Chris F. (Thanks!) dropped me off this morning and Shirley is doing the pickup and drive home. Getting closer to the end, yes!

Cycle 4 – Day 21: Results of the last CT scan

A bit of apprehension leading into today as I check in at the hospital to get my blood work done and find out the results of last Thursday’s CT scan.

Thankfully, it’s all good news

  • The tumour in my chest has reduced from 12.4 x 9.4 cm to 4.1 x 3.3 cm, an 88% reduction in area! This means prayer & chemo is working!
  • As per previous tests, there has been no other cancer detected (Neck/Chest/Abdomen). This means there has been no spread from the initial site, also a very good thing.

As good as this is I must admit I was a little disappointed. I really was hoping & believing it would be totally gone. I know I’m healed and it will just take a little more time for my body to catch up with the Word.

There are two more Cycles of chemotherapy planned at this point starting with #5 tomorrow. After Cycle 6 there will be another CT & PET scan followed by a decision on next steps, if any are required. I continue to feel well with minimal negative side effects. Still hitting the bike on a regular basis 🙂

Cycle 4 – Day 17: CT Scan

Today is the CT scan to check up on the effect of the chemotherapy.

This is a CT scanner, but that’s not me

Just in case you’ve never seen or experiences a CT scan, this is what they look like. I’ve had a couple now so the process was familiar and went smoothly. The nurse that started my IV for the contrast injection was a riot. He had a constant upbeat banter with me and the other nurse he was working with. Interesting that this time after a 4 hr no eat, no drink rule I was asked to drink 2 large glasses of water right before the scan. Previous scans didn’t do this.

Today, I also broke a cardinal rule. I left the house in sweat pants, something I’ve told Shirley to never let me do. I never want to be “that guy” with the baggy, dumpy grey sweats roaming around in public. Now, these were quite nice Bench sweats in a tasteful dark blue colour that, I think, fit quite nicely. All the same I only wore them to the hospital and straight home where I changed back to jeans. Why the sweats? Well, if you show up for the CT scan with no metal in your clothing, you don’t have to change into a really stylish hospital gown 😉

Cycle 4 – Day 12: Figuring things out

Later in the Cycle is not so good for long distance, high intensity cycling. Who knew!

In today’s FOG ride I was starting to struggle as we came up to Hwy 44, 60km into the route. Would I push on to Birds Hill park, or listen to my body and cut the ride short a bit. The body won out and I took an easy pace back to the Legion parking lot via Henderson Highway. Pretty zapped when I got back and spent most of the afternoon laying around and napping.

I guess effects of the chemo on my blood chemistry really are taking a toll on my stamina and endurance. I know that things like WBC (White Blood Cell) and a whole lot of other things are well below normal levels.

In general, I’m still feeling quite well. Breathing is good and so is my appetite 🙂 Nothing to complain about here as the treatments seem to be having the desired effect. I’ll know more specifically how the treatment is going after the September 6th CT scan is reviewed with the oncologist on September 10th