Wednesday, November 11, 2009

penguin eggs

Hi Everyone
I am quite excited, just got a request from  a folk music magazine in Canada called "Penguin Eggs" for a photo to accompany an article they are doing about me, my blog, and my new CD.
I think I will send them a picture Ken took at the run I talked about in the last blog.  It was last Sunday and Ken and I ran the 3 miles. ( Actually we got lost and Ken was sure we must have ran about 10 miles :) ) It may come to a surprise to everyone who knows us, but Ken is not a runner. I am sure the only reason he is not is because he ruined his knees playing hockey.  He clearly looks like a runner.  He told everyone he was so proud of me for doing 3 miles, but that he spent the  whole time wishing I would quit (so he could quit too).
There was a great turnout, so I hope they made a lot of money for Brandy and her family.
BTW, about my cd..... it charted at #12 on the international folk dj radio charts for October. 

I saw my surgeon last week in Eugene, she said everything looked OK. I guess I am a bit intimidated by her, and perhaps in an effort to not seem too paranoid did not tell her about a new groin pain I have for the past few weeks.  It is hard to know how to balance my fears with reason. Being left in a position with what I feel to be a 15 percent risk of recurrence, it is hard to ignore new symptoms. On the flip side, I have had a big operation, and two forms of radiation to the area, so many reasons to have new pains.  The best prognosis for recurrences is if they are caught early, but where do you draw the line on testing? If you did a ct scan every week, you would likely catch a recurrence early, but at what cost? The amount of radiation and the amount of unnecessary surgery would be phenomenal. The number of little things that show up on CT scans that turn out to be nothing, is high. This then leads to unnecessary surgery and increased risk of further complications.
This is essentially where medicine is these days with all this advanced testing that is available.
The best case scenario for a recurrence is that it will present with very clear symptoms, that clearly point towards a specific area.
With this in mind, I went today to see Dr Gruchacz, who is the Coos Bay doctor who actually made the diagnosis of my cancer, and is clearly the one who I am most comfortable with. She has this small old fashioned office that I just find more comfort in.  She did not feel anything there, but seemed aware that that is only so comforting. We decided that at this point we will wait and see if this pain settles on its own.
My blood count is still low (ANC is 1100 this week, under 500 is considered severe neutropenia, between 500 and 1000 is considered moderate and between 1000 and 1500 is considered mild) I am thinking it is 11 weeks since the last chemo, so it seems chances are it might not go back to normal. I am thinking that that is likely OK except for perhaps if I needed surgery etc., but I have not really found any info on long term neutropenia. I believe the lower limit of normal for ANC (absolute neutrophil count) is  2500.

I am currently trying to run every 3 days, and hope to gradually increase the mileage. I am getting less sore each time, so perhaps  I was just THAT out of shape.

Have a great week
Janet Bates 
jankenb @


  1. Maybe the groin pain and the low blood count are because you are pushing your body very hard after it has been assaulted by some pretty toxic medicine and surgery.
    Perhaps because you are part of the medical world, you are subconsciously punishing your body for letting you down despite years of you caring about your body and its health. I know I would feel betrayed if I had been as healthy as you were before this disease attacked you. Have you considered getting psychological help to come to terms with what you have endured in the last year?

  2. Running IS my psychological help. All things can be solved when I am running. I cannot say when I felt better psychologically. I have always found that the hardest challenges in life make you a stronger person. Loosing my running was harder for me than losing my hair, and now I have both back