One third of the way through chemo!
Lorelei got a great report from Dr. Geister at her appointment today before she began the infusion of her fourth treatment. Her blood levels look great. Her erythocyte sedimentation rate ("sed rate") has gone from 41 down to 8 in just 3 treatments. (0 to 20 is considered normal.). And her WBC looks good enough to justify only a 3mg neulasta shot tomorrow instead of 6mg like last time. She hopes this may mean that she'll experience less of the deep bone pain that accompanied that shot last time. She loves the fact that the neulasta shot allows her to lead a fairly "normal" life and not have to be hospitalized or secluded into a sterile bubble. A girl's gotta cheer on her Thunder! (She's been invited to see three games in person these past two weeks.)
Lorelei happily told Dr Geister about how she's been golfing (even carried her own bag for 18 holes as is a tournament regulation) and gardening and cooking and was even nominated for spring sports homecoming queen. I don't think Dr. Geister could believe how active she's been! He suggested a caddy for her clubs but that's not allowed in 6A golf. Then Dr. Geister got a little testy (like he was ready to fight for Lorelei) and said he dared anyone to take their star golfer and put them through such rigorous chemo and expect them to carry their own clubs! I think he's going to "prescribe" a caddy or cart. We'll let the people who make the rules come argue with Dr. Geister!
Lorelei is aware that the fatigue from chemo is cumulative so she knows she may feel like slowing down eventually. She went to bed at 6pm tonight and was too tired to even get up to come watch American Idol in her chair in the living room. That's pretty tired for Lorelei since Idol is one of her favorite things. She knows her energy level will slowly improve over the next few days, even if only to her new normal. So far she has not thrown up. Nausea is a little worse this time but the nausea meds still work.
Today she had several visitors to help chemo go by faster. Jordan Glover, Kassidy Kingsly and Mr Upchurch were able to come by since there was no school for Spring Break (on top of the usual Mom, Dad, Miles and Hannah.) Time felt like it flew by. It was wonderful to fellowship with other believers.
We know the mass of tumors in Lorelei's chest is shrinking because she's no longer coughing. She'll have a pulmonary function test in two weeks to confirm. And she'll have a PET scan after the sixth round. Her type of cancer is going to leave hard tumors behind. That's the nature of "Nodular Schlerosis" which is the type of Hodgkin's Lymphoma she's fighting. So, for the rest of her life these will show up on x-rays and cat scans. But a PET scan makes cancer glow. It will be wonderful to see all of those lymph nodes that used to glow not glowing any more.
Thank you for your continued prayer as we know it's not going to get easier from here. But we already feel like we are winning the battle.
"The human spirit can endure a sick body, but who can bear a crushed spirit?" - Proverbs 18:14
Posted on Thu, March 22, 2012
by Andrea Decker