Thursday, February 5, 2009

February 5 - Getting thru a little valley

We continue to be incredibly blessed by the love and support by our family and friends. I don't think a day has yet gone by where we haven't received some sort of card or care package via the mail or an offer to provide dinner or a myriad of other blessings and prayers. This afternoon our neighbor called and offered to bring over a Chicken Vesuvius - not long after we received another offer to bring dinner to us. Personally, I am extremely fortunate that the little nausea I am experiencing this week has done little to harm my appetite :-).

While we come from many different perspectives and faiths I believe that God is at the root of the inspiration that causes each friend to reach out in help and support. Reflecting back on my life my most profound experiences of God happen thru other people. I thank you for responding to God's call and being his instrument for me and my family to experience His love.

Brief update:
After my first treatment I struggled a bit in days six thru eight. Knowing this we've tried several things (new medication for nausea, more proactive use of others) to help this round go smoother. Last night (between day 6 & 7) was rough but wasn't as bad as last time. My hope is that last night was my little valley for this round and that I am going to move into the clear for the next two weeks.

Tomorrow (Friday), I have what will hopefully be a short visit to the doctor to check my blood counts. During the last treatment at this time my white blood cells were very low and my blood pressure was high. They both bounced back quickly - hopefully I won't have anything to bounce back from this time.

In Christ,


  1. Are you getting Neulasta after your chemo treatments? I think that really helped John in the long run. He also needed an Epogen shot (to increase his red blood cell count)directly after the chemo for the first couple of treatments. After that his numbers were good and he didn't need that one any more. But he did get the Neulasta the day after each treatment. Modern medicine today is absolutely wonderful! Not so many years ago, this would have been a death sentence, but no longer!
    You have a fantastic support base around you and that is THE most important part of all of this treatment. Your outlook is good, your spirits are up. Stay positive, enjoy each good day and don't overdo it when you're tired!

  2. Joanie - Yes, I am receiving Neulasta after each treatment. It does help. My visit to the doctor on Friday showed my white blood cell counts as normal on day 8 after treatment 2.

    They also gave me a drug called Emend which helped with my nausea after treatment 2.

    Interesting how expensive these drugs are. Each Neulasta shot is billed at about $7,000 (insurance negotiates a much lower cost). The Emend was about a $700 prescription.

    I don't know how someone without insurance could possibly deal with this.

  3. I didn't tell John how much the Neulasta shots were until after all his treatments were finished. Fortunately, his retired military insurance covered all of it.
    John's latest scans came back clear, which was wonderful news. Now he goes every 3 months instead of 6 months, just to be on the safe side. John also needs to see the Lymphoma specialist at Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philly.
    I hope you have continued good luck with your treatments.