Friday, December 3, 2010


I had mentioned before "chemo brain".   It really is a real thing.  Today I started going through my notes I had taken the week before my last chemo.  They were notes from my phone calls to my oncologist in Utah (Dr. Glenn) and also the BMT (bone marrow transplant) clinic at LDS Hospital.  As I looked over the notes I could not remember where I left off with any of them.  Had I scheduled? Was I supposed to call back?  I hate not feeling like my brain is keeping up.  Let's hope this is a very temporary side effect!
  So I followed up and first called Dr. Glenn's office at Huntsman.  I talked with her nurse who told me this interesting news:

ME:  Did I schedule an appt to see Dr. Glenn on the 22nd of Dec? 
DEBBY (nurse):  Yes, but Dr. Glenn has looked over your results from your current labs / pathology /scans, and she thinks that this round of chemo could be a cure for you.  She is going to look over it more closely before your appt, but she feels a BMT could be jumping the gun.

So, at first I felt this was great news.  But because of the type of person I am, and I want to make a VERY educated decision, I still called LDS BMT clinic and verified that I had an appt with them on Dec 21st.  (And I did).  I will still get another opinion from a BMT specialist because I feel that if I look for all the info available to me, and I pray about it,  I will know what is right for me.  I'm also having a follow up PET scan on the 14th of Dec to see how this chemo has affected the cancer.

  Of course, I would love for this round of chemo to be a "cure" (which mean no sign of disease after treatment).  But I also know there is a possibility of the cancer returning at some point.  It could be years and years down the road.  So I'm trying to balance my decision between having the cancer gone for a long, long time (possible forever), and doing the least invasive procedure.  Not that R-chop in non-invasive, 'cuz believe me, I feel invaded.  But if this round of chemo is all I need for now.....HALLELUJAH!

  So, this week was chemo week.  I was able to have the whole treatment in 3 days.  On day 2 (Tues) I had Rituxin and CHop, and on day 3 (Wed) I had the rest of the Rituxin and the Neulasta.  On my previous treatment I was only able to have the Rituxin put in at a max drip of 100.  When they bumped it up to 150 I had an allergic reaction.  But this time was different.  On Tuesday I was able to have the drip at 150 and on Wednesday I was able to go up to 250.  What is the benefit to this?  It takes a lot less time to receive the treatment.  It means 2 1/2 hours for injection as opposed to 6 hours.  YAY!
  I have actually been feeling relatively good.  I feel a little achy from time to time, but I started taking Aleve and it seems to be helping.  The biggest side effects this week are: 1. Numbness in my fingers 2. Shaking.
Both of these side effects have happened with the other 2 treatments and seem to go away in week 2 and 3.

Did I mention,  I'M HALF WAY DONE!!!  I'll never forget my first day of treatment, sitting in the recliner thinking "I can't believe this happening to me".  My nurse Serenity (cute name for a nurse huh?) sat down by me to go over everything and I just looked at her and I'm sure my face said it all.  She just looked right back at me and said... "You can do this.  You really can do this."  She made that statement like she was just so sure of it.  So you know what, I just decided to believe her.  And now, I'm half way.  Whew!

Tomorrow is our ward temple day.  Well, of course I had no plans of going, I usually don't even attend church on my first week of treatment.  But this temple trip is different because it's my daughter Lauren's first youth temple trip.  I'm in the Young Women's Presidency, and I love going to the temple with the youth.  This whole year, I've been so excited to go with Lauren for her first time.  But of course having it fall on treatment week one meant I probably would not be going. I said before, I've been feeling pretty good this week.  Compared to other week one's, I'm feeling great.  So I'm going tomorrow.  I can't wait.  It's experiencing the wonderful things in life that help balance out everything else I'm going through.  So yep, I'm going.  Have a great weekend!  ~♥


  1. Half-way there, friend! I'm so proud of how you are handling this whole thing. Love you!

  2. I wish more people were like you--first of all, positive, and second of all, responsible enough to get educated and take responsibility for their own health. You are AMAZING! I hope you had a great trip!