Wednesday, April 15, 2009

chemo day today

Hello everyone
Just finished chemo and driving around North Bend doing errands with Ken, but I am staying in the van.  We came across a big rally, was not clear what it was for, but with a lot of flags....
I figure it had something to do with tax day today, and there was a poster that said fire the government.....hmmmmm

My blood count came up enough for them to give the chemo today, but some of that might be facticious as the steroids I took last night artificially raise the blood count temporarily by "demarginating " the white blood cells that are normally attached to the vessel walls.
In easier terms, normally there are many white blood cells attached to the vessel walls, crisis such as infection (or steroids)  will make these cells come off the vessel walls and join the blood cells that are already in the vessels. So this makes the White blood count "artificially" high.
Fortunately I am getting the neulasta tomorow which will boost the bone marrow to produce more white blood cells. 

I was wondering if I really needed this drug, however now I am convinced.  By boosting the bone marrow it kept my white blood count at a very good level until the last few days.  It seems to cause many of the side effects, mainly bone muscle and joint pain.  (I am VERY lucky to have a close friend whom I went to med school with,  who is a hematologist, to ask some of this stuff.

Chemo went very well today, I had it in North Bend, which simplified it. They also seem to have a more aggressive approach to the nausea. I had another med added to the medication regime called Emend.  325 dollars for 3 pills. (we left the dogs in the van the day we picked it "guard the pills" when ever we left the van). Emend is a med that "prevents" nausea and only works if given before the nausea occurs.   I also recieved Iloxi IV prior to the IV chemo, and it is another  antinausea med that acts for 3 days. So I guess I am covered.   All I need to do is find something that tastes good.

On the subject of food, we have gradually been making some "amendments" to our diet.
I guess I always thought I  would have a heart attack when I turned 52, which is what my mother did. Turns out not so. Looks like endometrial cancer instead.
I have spent the past 28 years following a diet that was low fat, very little meat basically vegetarian. I have exercised pretty regularly, at times to extreme (hopefully this part is not just in the past) 
For many years Ken and I " did" (he cycled, I ran) 21 miles every Friday and a couple of times a year 26 miles in a day. I even went so far as to run 35 miles once. We have drank red wine REGULARLY...... perhaps sometimes too regularly.  The anaesthetist before my surgery referred to my cholesterol panel as being "enviable". I stopped smoking about 3 months before my mother had her heart attack, 28 years ago.

It seems like the whole business of my health prevention has been akin to  swatting away at mosquitoes and then getting bit between the shoulder blades, just where I was not hitting.

I have so many friends sending me info on the growing body of evidence that people who eat diets high in certain foods (even after you have controlled for other factors) have a lower risk of cancer, and cancer recurrence. 
I have exhausted myself reading study after study to determine "my chances" of having a recurrence, only to find that endometrial cancer that gets to the stage I am at is relatively rare, when you compare it to cancers of the breast, colon, and prostate. 
45,000 new cases of endometrial cancer are diagnosed in the US every year and 80% of those are caught before the cancer invades the myometrium, so these people have an excellent prognosis and have no further treatment. (beyond a hysterectomy and removal of tubes and ovaries)
The remainder that are treated with chemo and or radiation are a paltry 9000 a year, which sounds bad to say, but a very small group to actually study, especially when there are many other variables that affect outcome.    So the truth of the matter is that no one really knows the truth of the matter.  So I have decided to try hard to believe that my chances are excellent with the treatment I have been prescribed AND do what I can to improve my chances with diet.
Some pretty convincing stuff out there. The real biggie is green tea and it apparently has to be Japanese green tea, and it should be steeped for 10 minutes and drank within an hour. I really wish that green tea was as easy to "develop a taste for" as red wine was.
Turmuric, is also extremely good at clearing out cancer.....probably the smell.
Actually they suggest that if you want to prevent cancer to mix a teaspoon in with olive oil and black pepper and put it in soups and stews. I wonder how it would be in a smoothie. If you already have cancer it should be a tablespoon.  Hope I REALLY like it.
Garlic, we have long eaten tons of, in fact we buy those braids of them at costco and challenge ourselves to complete the whole braid before any stems start growing, sometimes we do sometimes we are close.
Asparagus apparently eaten every day, has an effect on cancer, non medical studies have shown complete remission of some rather poor prognosis cancers.
Pumpkin  against prostate cancer, we can eat them for Ken.
Ginger...I have devised a way to better save ginger from drying up and going bad, after all we only eat it every few weeks. I have found that if I put one root of ginger in a pot with dirt and water, it will keep, until you want to use it. It might even start to grow..
The idea is you can buy more ginger root at the store and any extra put in pots....until you need it.

Berries such as  strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, cranberries raspberries....I am sure I have missed a few, in winter I buy them frozen at rays, and the company that distributes them is from oregon. I have also found an instant hot cereal that is nuts and seeds and is listed as fair trade. So I have my frozen berries mixed with the hot cereal every morning. I add All Bran to the top and a little yoghurt (with activa).
This is all I can remember right now, I have taken a LOT OF DRUGS today, so my memory is not quite all there.
I finally got the guts up to post a photo with no hair.
Oh and by the way, I feel great 6 hours after chemo!
love and peace
janet bates

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