I get lots of questions about what chemo is like and how I react to cancer treatment and all the appointments etc etc so I’ve decided to blog on each of the 21 days in my fourth chemo cycle so you can read what it’s all about and what’s involved.
There are many different types of chemotherapy, however, and everyone responds differently so please don’t read this and think it’s the same for everyone on chemo…us cancer patients hate that! 😉 for instance even two women with stage four ovarian cancer receiving the same chemotherapy will respond entirely differently from one another…
…Anyway, my chemotherapy cycles are 21 days long with my chemotherapy being administered on day three…
So today is day one in my fourth cycle and involved a wee trip to the chemotherapy ward to have my weight, blood pressure, pulse and temperature taken. The nurse informed me I’ve lost another 2kg! I’m not sure how this is possible since I am eating lots and on steroids! But nevertheless this means I’ve now lost a total of 9kg since my diagnosis!…turns out chemo is the secret weight loss program we’ve all been waiting for!…haha!
I also had some blood tests taken. These tests are looking at two things. Firstly they are checking my white blood count to see if my immune system has returned to a high enough level for another dose of chemotherapy. Secondly they are checking my CA125 levels (aka ovarian cancer marker levels) to see if these are reducing after each cycle and thus providing an indication that I am reposing well to chemotherapy.
Today the nurse managed to get some blood from me with great ease – a rare event as my veins are increasingly worse thanks to chemotherapy which thins your veins.
All my vitals were as expected and when I saw the Dr (after the nurse) I was assured that she thought I’d be fine for chemo four in two days time but that she’d call me if my blood results suggested my white blood count was too low – I’ve not received a call so I should be good to go!
Whilst there I also asked the Dr what my cancer marker levels had been doing since my diagnosis…and here is the interesting bit…
At the time of my diagnosis my levels were 453.
After chemo cycle one they had reduced slightly to 326.
Then after chemo cycle two they had reduced to 94!
‘Normal’ levels are 20 so this is all good signs that I’m responding well to chemotherapy – hurray for some good news!
Since my diagnosis I’ve become increasingly aware of all of the toxins in my life and so, in addition to chemotherapy, I’ve also changed a number of factors including the food I eat which is now all organic, dairy free, mostly sugar free and free from all processed food. I made this change after chemo cycle two and I think the blood marker results speak for themselves on the impact of this in partnership with chemotherapy…more on this in a future post…
On Wednesday I’ll find out what level they are at now but in the meantime the Dr was able to give me preliminary results of my CT scan from last week which also shows I am responding well to chemotherapy.
Now this is obviously all good news but also expected – as I’ve said before, they don’t give you chemotherapy if they don’t expect it to have an effect! So no celebrations at this stage!…
For me the real good news will be if/when they can get my cancer to an operable stage. Fingers crossed until then!
The Dr also gave me some ‘great’ (insert sarcasm) news that after chemo four most people loose their eyebrows and eye lashes. Well that sucks! Especially as my hair is starting to grow back now and she also told me I’ll loose that again too…it’s not very glamorous this cancer lark!
After my appointment I had some lunch with one of my sisters which was lovely! I always try to see family in the couple of days before I receive my chemo as I’m so unwell afterwards and really not up for any visitors for at least a week.
Going out for lunch means I’ll need a lazy afternoon and evening on the sofa. This is because the affects of chemotherapy are accumulative and so now I’ve had three doses I only really mange a couple of hours a day before I start to feel fatigue. This is something I’m becoming used to so I no longer find it a big deal but rather just something I have to accept as a way of life during my treatment….it certainly helps to prioritise the day!
Love and light, Fi xx