Monday, March 1, 2010

Officially more than 2/3 done with my chemo!

After a two-week delay, I finally was able to get my chemo today! Following my denial again last week, I went back for another blood draw on Wednesday. My WBC count was still the same as Monday (800), so my doc opted to give me three shots of Neupogen to boost my WBC production. Even though the shots cause some serious bone pain as they put my bone marrow into overdrive to pump out those white blood cells, I'm so glad they worked. After three shots, my count today was 7100!

So that's the good news. The bad news is that there really isn't a whole lot of literature out there that discusses the long-term effects of Neupogen on my body...there is always a possibility that it could permanently compromise my body's ability to make sufficient white blood cells, or, at the worst, cause leukemia. That's always a great conversation...

"Erin, your best rate for cure (from breast cancer) is to go into surgery disease free, and your best shot at that is maxing out AC at 6 rounds and completing 12 weekly rounds of Taxol. Oh and by the way, all of this chemo will leave you neutropenic (WBC deficient) so to get through it, we'll have to supplement with WBC booster shots which could potentially give you another cancer."


I even called up the oncologist I saw at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, and they concurred with my doc's opinion. Since that clinic specifically treats breast cancer, they have more experience with patients on the same chemo regimen as me and said that giving the Neupogen shots was standard protocol for patients on weekly Taxol. This news is supposed to make me feel better.

I'm really glad to be back on track with my chemo and more than 2/3 of the way to the finish line. I think that my body enjoyed the chemo vacation because after my round today I'm feeling pretty crappy. After five months and thirteen rounds of chemo, I'm just waiting for my body to cry Uncle! At least I'm looking better than I'm feeling...I took off my scarf during chemo today and all of the nurses (and a few patients) were oohing and ahhing over my head of hair. It's not quite long enough for me to go au natural in public yet...I need another 1/2" or so...but what girl doesn't love a compliment?

Hopefully I'm feeling better tomorrow before Brian injects me with the first of my three days of shots on Wednesday. I need a good day to plant my peonies and blueberry bushes before my bone marrow gets smacked into overdrive!

Thanks so much for all of your good thoughts and prayers as I struggled with getting my WBC up...keep 'em coming!


  1. I hope you feel better, and soon! Also happy to hear about the hair- I'm sure it's gorgeous! :)

  2. Hey, Erin!
    Sending lots of love and prayers your way!

    Capt E. and Jan

  3. Sis you seem to amaze me more everyday! You are such a remarkable woman and I am so proud you are my big sis! Matt, Jack and I are sending you lots of love and good wishes!