Into the second week of the chemo, when infection risk starts to increase as blood count starts to drop. As well as the white blood count dropping so do the red blood cells, which accounts for the breathlessness this week, generally this starts to improve in week three. The dizziness continues , when he lies down the room starts spinning, like the aftereffects of those really bad student hangovers , only without the alcohol. It tends to make him very irritable as his energy levels drop right down , having been so fit previously , psychologically this is always really difficult.
Blood count at last test was as follows
RBC – 11.4 ( this was lowest result to date)
WBC – 2.6
N phils – 1.9
This is also the week of the nose bleeds, had a really bad one mid week last time when it took around 30 mins to stop completely . Have increased iron content of diet with additional watercress in salads ( broccoli has been off the menu for months ).
Mentally finding it tough now, the phrase ” terminal cancer ” keeps haunting us , as we realise this last six months , however hard , doesn’t mean anything is over , indeed may be nothing has even been achieved. IF it has suppressed the tumour , there’s no knowing for how long. Then again noone has any guarantees in life, cancer doesn’t make you special.
To paraphrase Churchill, chemo round 6 isn’t the beginning of the end but it is the end of the beginning.
- …and the adventure continues. (littledogdiaries.wordpress.com)
- One down! (littledogdiaries.wordpress.com)
- Chemo Treatment #2: The Neutrophil Edition (andyridesagainstcancer.wordpress.com)
Looking very tired, to be expected as this is the low point of blood counts, these should start to improve from next Tuesday as we enter the final build up week before round 6. Always a sign of low counts had very bad nose bleed today, been a while since these , but given low platelets number it takes ages to stop.
Sleep though has definitely improved , which makes a huge difference to his well being- no wonder sleep deprivation is used as a form of torture.
Avoiding bread has helped with the bloating, although digestion still a bit iffy. His self confidence is very low at the moment, as he is aware of how ill he looks. The local pharmacist didnt help , he collected his latest supply of supplement drinks, which are quite heavy but nothing major. As a grown man used to a physical job, found it a body blow to his confidence that she kept asking if was ok to carry them the 200metres to the car- kindly meant but as she was a gray haired granny herself made him wonder just how ill he did look.
As for the blackbird, the scruffiest bird in the world now not only visits the garden morning and evening , he taps on the window for you to go out and feed him. Heard this week on a gardening programme blackbirds are very partial to strawberries, so as a treat put one out for him- can categorically state while they may like strawberries this is only because there are no fruit cake trees available.