Sunday, September 6, 2009

dear diaries

Hello everyone
Day 12, and getting better all the time.  The numbness of my toes has changed over to just my right foot and now most of the bottom of my foot is numb, but no numbness of my left foot, or my hands(keeping my fingers crossed which only makes two of them numb :) ) Although I have not spoken to my doc about this a few friends who had it were told to take  L Glutamine and B6 for it, so I have a B complex vitamen and am looking for L Glutamine?
My bloodwork this time, everything was low.  Usually the WBC is high or above normal at this point, but it is now low normal. The hemoglobin which is the part that delivers oxygen to the tissue, is 9.9 (12 being normal), which is probably why I look so pale. 

 Everyone who sees me tells me how great I look, and I always think "don't you think I look pale?".  The other night someone told me how great I looked and she said, "you must hate it when people tell you how great you look when you are feeling lousy". I said no, that I actually just figure that they are all lying. I guess when people say you look great, what they really mean is you look a lot better than one would expect someone to look like on chemo.  Irrregardless of what a lovely round shaped head I have, I do not think that I look great bald. I have been told countless times what a great head I have. I think it is just one of those things that falls under the category  of 'things to say to a bald lady'.

The platelets are also quite low, lower than they have been thus far in chemo (platelets being the ones that are involved in blood clotting), so for now I will let Ken cut the vegetables.

I am going for a CT scan of the chest abdomen and pelvis on Wednesday. This is an end of therapy "make sure that there are no metastasis" scan. It will be with oral and IV contrast. What this means is that I start drinking a barium sulfate suspension the night before (otherwise known as berry smoothie readi cat 2 ) which will outline the entire gastro intestinal tract. A ct scan does not show much without contrast in the GI tract. The IV contrast outlines the vessels and the vascular organs.  These are done at (?I think) 3 month intervals for the first while and then 6 month.
It is not certain if doing these is of any value, because with endometrial cancer, most recurrences are symptomatic. The goal is always to pick up recurrences before they are symptomatic because usually you stand  a better chance of treating them.

The hard part about all of this, is that you tend to "look" for symptoms and whilst on chemo and radiation you have SO many "symptoms, you are always asking yourself, is this the chemo, or could this be a metastasis?  So the good part about getting further and further away from chemo, you have less symptoms and those I have right now, I know to expect from chemo. I am fully expecting a normal ct scan on Wednesday.

I wanted to point out here to anyone going through this OR anyone who knows someone who is going through this, to keep a diary. I know this seems nuts, but right now and many times I wished I had.  I have used this blog as a bit of a diary, but not to the same extent someone who was just writing to themselves would do. The reason for this is to know more about what to expect and when to expect it.  I am always going back to check how I was feeling on Day 6, or what day did the bowels start to work and what day did the blood work change etc etc. On chemo you are FOREVER saying to yourself "I wonder if THIS is normal" even sometimes when you have had the same thing before. I wonder if it normally lasts this long......etc etc.
You can always burn it at the end, or put it away somewhere in case you ever want to help someone else with the question "I wonder if this is normal"
Several people who read this have suggested I make this blog into a book, but I wonder sometimes if I could go back and read it. It is a whole journey I am not anxious to make again soon, even in literature.

Speaking of journeys, I am busy, busy busy with my new cd, getting 550 cds ready to be sent to radio stations next week. Nice to be busy.

Love and peace

Janet Bates
jankenb @

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