Monday, October 22, 2018

My "noots" are tanking, I'm on a "cancercation" :-D

Ups and Downs

That's EXACTLY how the cancer adventure goes!
Last month my Oncologist dumped me because I'm on auto-pilot, that is, all is going smoothly. But that was last month...Oh and he didn't really dump me; every other month I see a very bright and capable Physician's Assistant who dispenses the wisdom of the day and sends me on my way.
My blood contents seem to be problematic, the chemo is killing my "noots" nickname for Neutrophils which are a type of white blood cells. My white blood cells are down too.
Apparently there is no magic pill to get those puppies back up where they belong. When my "hemes" were down (hemoglobin) I was able to take Procrit to spur my bone marrow into making more. Not so with the "noots." Nothing to do except to quit taking the poison.

This brings up an interesting thought, I WANT to take poison. I want to keep killing, or "managing" as we say, the cancer cells. Me! A short year ago I never wanted to take even Ibuprofen for headaches, preferring instead to quiet down, drink water and let them naturally dissipate. Sigh. Now I want my poison and I'm not allowed to take it yet.
So I have $11,585 worth of 100mg Ibrance pills sitting in my pill box. And now they want me to lower the dose to 75mg, which means another $11,585 this month charged to my insurance. I'm a bit nervous about that, don't want to get dumped.

Incidentally, my tumor markers were up last month so I'm nervous about that too. If I didn't feel as good as I feel right now I would be panicking. But I'm also told "we don't look at those" so I'm eagerly awaiting my end of year PET/CT scan (Oncologist promised me one for my birthday). As I scour the web for info on these tumor markers, I find they are notoriously erratic, sometimes showing hugely high levels due to the medication, sometimes due to something not related to cancer, sometimes as high as 5000 in some people only to drop over a month or two. Great.
CEA marker range is 2.5-5.0 and CA 27-29 marker should be under 38. They are both crawling up slowly...which means... NOTHING! NOTHING! Sigh again.


Hanging on and enjoying the ride, weeeeeeeeee!!!!!
Meantime, I'm on a vacation of sorts. No pills except the estrogen blocker which goes down without any side effects (aside from hot flashes which are very bearable when the weather cools off). Without the poison I almost feel like a normal person. I still go into a lab and take weekly blood-lettings. But it does feel like some sort of a vacation to let my body recover for a bit.
I feel it, the poison, not so much when it is there but definitely when I'm off it. I feel refreshed, energetic, like walking and riding and hiking and doing house projects. I feel like the old me, almost.

Coming up to my cancer-versary in another month! Still alive and feeling much much better than I felt last year about this time. A thousand times better. I'm having a party on my cancer-versary for sure. Every year from now on.

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