Third Round of Chemo Underway

As I write this, Tate is getting set up for the first day of round 3 of chemo.  Today will be the long day (5 to 6 hours) and then Tuesday and Wednesday will be the shorter days (2 to 3 hours).

He just had the regular doctor’s appointment that starts each round and there we found out a few things.  His white blood cell count is ok.  The Neulasta treatment after the last round helped to boost his white cell production.  The treatment also at least contributed to the leg pain he’s been having.  The back pain though remains more of a mystery.  It could be arthritis or a slipped disc.  Tate asked to see a chiropractor but the doctor wants to wait until after the next PET scan for that.  If the pain is due to metastisis, the bones are going to be weaker and a chiropractor could do damage. 

His calcium level remains a little high.  Again this could be a side effect of the chemo or it could possibly be a sign of bone metastisis. It could also be the result of his new addiction to greek yogurt and bowls of cereal – the only two foods that he seems consistently able to enjoy no matter how he is feeling.  And water – he has to drink more water.  Kidney function is at 90% and water would also help boost that toward 100%. Aside from the pain, the other question we had is why is he still feeling so much fatigue.  Again, no concrete answer but several likely possibilities; continued affects of the radiation, higher calcium level, effects of the cisplatin (the stronger of the two chemo drugs he is getting), dehydration, low magnesium… LOTS of possibilities.

SO – round 3 is this week.  The doctor has planned 6 rounds total.  In about 2 weeks he will do a PET scan and see what the radiation and half of the chemo have done.  It is clear to both doctors that they must be accomplishing something because the mass on his shoulder is gone and he hasn’t had the cough for at least two weeks.  GREAT signs. 

As we were leaving the office, Tate reminded Karen and I that the fatigue and bone pain could just be that he has “always been a wuss with pain.”  Although this seems like a harsh way to judge oneself while undergoing cancer treatment, it did offer me some relief and hope. Yes, maybe he does just have a low threshold for pain and the treatment is hitting him hard but with positive effects. And BTW which is it really; “Affect” or “Effect”??  I believe I will never really know for sure.

Till next time,





  1. #1 by Anonymous on April 9, 2012 - 4:24 pm

    I don’t know if it’s “affect” or “effect”, but it should be “Karen and me” not ” Karen and I” 😉

  2. #2 by Selma Brown on April 9, 2012 - 5:43 pm

    Keep on hanging own. You are always in my prayers and I do beleive this too shall pass.

    Much Love

    Selma Brown

  3. #3 by Velina Brown on April 9, 2012 - 5:58 pm

    Thank you for the update. I’m glad to know there is stuff he likes to eat consistently. I’ve never heard of someone going through chemo without feeling fatigued. I think it’s pretty natural to feel that way right now.

  4. #4 by Amy on April 9, 2012 - 6:55 pm

    The EFFECT is a result of the AFFECT. The chemo AFFECTS the body. Fatigue is the EFFECT of the chemo. I can’t imagine anyone’s body going through such aggressive treatment and not feeling extreme fatigue.

  5. #5 by JoAnne Bauer on April 9, 2012 - 6:56 pm

    All teh best, Tate!
    btw, “affect” is the verb; “effect” is usually a noun (though you can “effect” a change)

  6. #6 by Elvy Stepinoff on April 9, 2012 - 7:52 pm

    Wow, you have knowledgeable friends….Selma is right, it is Karen and ME…LOL, and I get aff and eff mixed up too. All I know is that at least Tate seems not to have a flat affect!
    As for fatigue, I am surprised that the drs. don’t tell you it is totally to be expected! Do you know his Red blood cell count? If that is low, it will definitely cause fatigue!! But just the grueling regimen and the hard fight he’s putting up will cause fatigue. Be gentle, when you reach 60 healing and recuperating take longer than in your 30s!

  7. #7 by Lucy Rosenblatt on April 9, 2012 - 8:34 pm

    Knowledgable about grammar AND about LIFE Listen to your friends and family- Julia and Tate

  8. #8 by Bonnie on April 10, 2012 - 4:42 pm

    Couldn’t miss the chance to chime in on the fatigue question — Tate, Dude, go easy on yourself. I was only 44 when I went thru chemo, it wasn’t as much chemo as you are being blasted with, AND I was flat on my back for much of the time — just dozing, couldn’t even read a book — and you know me, I’m a hard woman! I’m telling ya, it’s the treatment, y’all, it’s the treatment. One of the bass-ackward things about dealing with cancer: what’s saving ya makes you feel worse than what’s ailing ya! oxo bons

  9. #9 by susan and jay on April 11, 2012 - 9:58 pm

    How about greens, Tate? Good for body and soul (it’s that magnesium).
    Funny, I thought ‘affect’ what what you actors did on stage; or we all do on the stage of life.
    Is it living with kids and healing women in your life that makes this work?

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