Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Chemo is a 'go' for Friday

Met with the oncologist today. My hemoglobin has dropped lower (to 88; normal is 120 to 160), but we are going ahead with the chemo. As much as I'm dreading it, I really didn't want to delay it. I will be glad to get it behind me. Once I recover from this one, chemo is done, done, done!

And what I've learned: Hemoglobin is the protein molecule in red blood cells that carries oxygen from the lungs to the body's tissues and returns carbon dioxide from the tissues to the lungs. A low hemoglobin is referred to as anemia. I am anemic.

My symptoms are that I'm tired and my heart starts pounding at the smallest amount of activity. It's nothing too terrible, just means I'm on the couch a lot more. They've warned me to get up slowly because I may get dizzy, but that hasn't happened yet. Since the anemia is caused by the chemo, there is nothing I can do (other than to ensure I am eating normally, including protein). They will schedule me back for more bloodwork in 3-4 weeks to check it again.

I think if it causes problems, they can do a blood transfusion. He also mentioned shots that can get your body to generate more hemoglobin, but I really don't want to go there!

It was left undecided whether or not I should be doing the neupogen shots following this chemo (to get my white count back up quicker). I was hoping it was a 'no', but I will find out Friday morning.

That's it for an update - one more day to enjoy before chemo...


  1. Isn't it amazing to realize how far you've come, Beth? It just seemed so unreal to me. It was if I'd kind of drifted through those eight chemos, tired, dragging, sleeping, emotionally up, emotionally down, filled with positive energy, amazed me how 'all over the chart' I was, but I slogged though it, week by week, and amazingly, amazingly, AMAZINGLY, I had very few real side effects. I'm glad for your last chemo. It's such a happy day. YOU DONE GOOD!

  2. As I am reading this, it will be your chemo day so I am wishing you all of the best. I can't wait to get mine over and done with, its gone on for so long. Good luck Beth x

  3. Beth I'm so happy for you that you are having the LAST chemo tomorrow!!

    You may not need to do anything about the hemoglobin once the chemo is over...with time, the blood may return to it's normal levels. But I love how the doctors tell us what they can do should that not happen. It reminds us that we have options and when cancer makes a choice for us by arriving and it seems we have no control, it is such a good thing to be reminded that we always have options still left to us.

    Wear something special to that last chemo to celebrate the victory you have achieved in completing the rounds!!

  4. Congratulations on making through this far. The finish line is so close and I am so proud of you! You are a tough cookie and I am rooting for ya!!! :) Here's a big hug to ya.

  5. I never had to get those shots. I had heard they hurt. I was always scared to get them but thankful I didn't. They do help though so I guess it's worth it. I know what you mean by not wanting to put the chemo off. I actually always get dizzy from standing up too fast. I did before chemo and I do now. I usually will either sit right back down for a second and wait for it to pass then get up slower. I tend to forget to get up slow. Regardless I hope things go well for you. I know how exciting it is to be done with chemo. I actually became very friendly with the radiation people since I saw them every day!

  6. Beth you are going to be in my thoughts and prayers tomorrow. I always felt we had gone down this road together. You a week ahead and I was following you...
    Congratulations dear friend , take it easy when it's over, get plenty of rest and Breathe Easy!!

    Love Alli xx