Monday, July 20, 2009

4 wheels of soot

Hi Everyone
I am sure you are wondering what IS this fascination I have with this burned out 4 wheeler, but for some reason I see a certain photographic creative aspect to it. WEIRD.
There is another reason.... 
I awoke this morning to a phone call from the hospital that Ken was unable to answer, because his back was in such spasm.  Now I can see some of you putting this all together, looking at a dead 4wheeler and wondering HOW DID IT GET UP THERE?  I wonder if I need to go further. 
Our burned out 4 wheeler was replaced with a new one, but we had to get the old one out of there, and as you can see from the wheels, it was not "rolled out" of the yard. I had though perhaps we could take the new wheels off the new one and place them on the "old one" but that was not going to work.
SO Ken somehow dragged the dead carcass of this machine onto this trailer,  and just that one poorly planned movement, (all the rest of his moves were carefully planned) now leaves him unable to tie up his shoes. 
I said I would help, heck I even said Chewey and Rex would help, but .............................

Anyways this is probably the last of the burned out 4 wheeler pictures, and only one more "move" left, and that is getting it off the trailer at the dump, and I think we should leave that for a day several days from today.

I am currently on day 8 of my 4th chemo cycle. I had my blood work done today and now a few things are quite low. In the past cycles my white blood count has not dropped until near the end of the cycle (day 20 or so), however my blood work today is low already.  I did receive neulasta last tuesday, which is supposed to bring it up, but perhaps now it is just slower to do so.
The OTHER low value is my platelet count is low. Platelets are the part of blood that is responsible for clotting and for secreting substances that heal tissues.  My level is 80 and normal is 140-425. So what this means is that I should not take up contact sports for awhile.  I am at higher risk of bleeding. At this level I could not have an operation. Platelet transfusions are not given unless someone is actively bleeding. The average lifespan of a platelet is 8-12 days, so the bone marrow is kicking out platelets all the time, and so as soon as my marrow gets to work it will get back up there soon.....I think.  :)  Meantime Ken no wrestling!

I am thinking that these two issues are likely why my "open lesions" have 'reopened" and show no sign of healing soon.  I guess I had thought that since I have been off of chemo for 10 weeks, I would basically be back to normal, and it would be like starting over.
I do think that this pattern of treatment is likely the cause.
The treatment I am getting is called "the sandwich approach".  I got 3 cycles of chemo, followed by 5 weeks of daily radiation,  followed by 3 cycles of chemo.
I think that the basic idea is that as far as the cancer is concerned chemo interferes with the reproduction of rapidly dividing cells ie cancer cells, so after chemo you have cells that have been damaged many destroyed, you then hit a focused area where the cancer was known to exist with radiation.  So you have cells that might already be dead, perhaps damaged, then you hit them with something else that is going to damage, destroy them, which makes the radiation more lethal because the cells are already reeling.
You then go back to the first approach of "killing cells", at a time when they are still reeling from radiation.
I found a recent study that was done comparing "sequencing" of the chemo and the radiation.
They compared those who received chemo, and then radiation,  radiation then chemo, and chemo, radiation and then more chemo. What they found was that the overall 3 year survival for those getting chemo then radiation was 54 percent, which means that 54 percent of the women were still alive at 3 years. The 3 year overall survival of those who received radiation and then chemo was 57 percent, and the 3 year overall survival of those who received chemo, then radiation and then chemo was 88 percent. (sandwich approach)
Keep in mind that this study included both women with STAGE 3 and Stage 4 (I am stage 3), so over half of the women in this study had a stage that was higher (worse) than mine.
SOOOO.... if this "sequencing" is so much harder on the cancer, it  is logically also harder on the blood cells, so that is likely why my counts are getting lower with time.

I guess I just have to hunker down and wash my hands a lot and try not to get into too many fights I cannot back away from ...  :)
The way I see it, that means I have 8 more weeks until my body can begin to heal.

Love and peace
Janet Bates
jankenb @

1 comment:

  1. Keep up the fight Janet....figuratively that is!
    Best wishes as you move toward health. Jo in Merritt.