Archive for February, 2010

Better Hemoglobin

February 23, 2010

The good news today was a better hemoglobin count (10.6).  The two pints of blood apparently helped.   The bad news was needing the next scheduled chemotherapy and knowing the side effects likely to come.  The good news is that the side effects seem temporary. The doctor noted Mary Jo’s better color and general better energy.  She seems to be on track with the treatments.  The bad news is there’s no real way to measure the success of the treatment except with follow up visits over the next several years.  We, of course, plan for the best outcomes, and God willing, that’s what we’ll get.

This treatment is not the end, but you can see it from here.  One more chemotherapy treatment on March 8.  Our prayers continue with those who don’t see an end, but whose treatments will continue in order to keep the cancers in check.

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Two pints

February 16, 2010

After a few days of aches and pains that followed last Monday’s chemotherapy, Mary Jo went in today to have her blood draw and analysis once again.  White blood cells looked okay, but the hemoglobin had sunk below acceptable levels.  It was down to 7.3.  So it was off to the infusion center once again for another two pints of blood.  The infusion went better this time, and she came home tonight looking pinker than she looked when she left the house this morning.

She spent an hour this evening going over some music with the S.O.S. Band, the church’s praise band, and found that was good for her soul as well.  Along with the blood infusion for the body, she does need that infusion of people and music.  That puts roses in her cheeks as well.  What good gifts both are.  So we hope for more energy this week, and then it’s back to chemo treatment #7 (out of 8 ) next Monday.

We thank God tonight for those who give blood on a regular basis for times like these.

Counting Down

February 9, 2010

Mary Jo is counting down the chemotherapy treatments that are left.  Just two more after today.  We expect the last one to be 4 weeks from now.

The last few days she’s felt pretty good and been able to have the energy to do a few things around the house.  She still gets tired, but the energy level is better than it was.

We’ve slipped into the treatment routine.  This morning blood test, then doctor visit, then chemotherapy.  The blood test showed her white blood cells were normal and platelets were good.  Hemoglobin was only 8.1 which is close to the point where our doc likes to do blood transfusion.  Today though he went ahead with treatment.  The whole treatment process is about 3 1/2 hours.  The hemoglobin will probably go lower so she has to watch to see if she has shortness of breath, chest pain, etc.  Those would signal a need for a transfusion.

We expect things to be pretty good for a couple of days.  3-5 days out from treatment, muscle aches, joint pain, numbness and tingling in her toes and fingers arrive.  She’s got some pain medication for that this time, so we’re hoping it won’t be so severe.

We snuck in a trip to see Dave’s Mom and sisters on Saturday.  It felt good to both of us to have a change of scenery and for all of us to be together!

As we go through this, we keep remembering that God is good, all the time.

Ouch!

February 3, 2010

Mary Jo has her first week in on this new drug.  The side effects are different this time.  For one thing, she has very little nausea for which she is thankful.  Most everything tastes good too.  That’s the upside.  The downside is about three days of muscle aches and joint pains.  They were severe enough for her to even question continuing treatment.  She also had numbness and tingling in her feet and her fingers but all of these discomforts are gone now and she knows about what sort of pain medication she will need on those days.

Today brought another blood draw.  The white blood cells has rocketed so the doctor called off the shots she had been giving herself, at least until after the next treatment.  Hemoglobin had dropped to 8.3 which apparently isn’t great but doesn’t warrant receiving blood.  So she avoided that today.

Outside of those painful days, she has felt pretty good.  She snuck into church for worship again on Sunday.  It’s good to see her back in her place. For her, God is very much in this process and walks with her through the valleys as well as the peaks.  We do have a gracious God.

The next treatment is Monday.  Then two after that… and then one… then!!!!!!