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,