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Initially diagnosed June 4, 2009 Invasive Ductal Carcinoma Stage II,Grade II tumor size: 2-3 cm node positive ER/PR postive HER2 Neu - negative Current Diagnosis: Metastatic Invasive Ductal Carcinoma Grade 3 Mets: Scalp/skin, Liver, Spine, Bone ER/PR + HER2/NEU -

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Thursday, October 29, 2009

Hopefully Uphill from Here

I think I made it through the worst of this round. If I could just shake the sinus infection I seemed to have acquired over the weekend, I think I'd feel pretty good. I went in for my weekly CBC today, and luckily my immune system didn't take to bad of a hit. The stat they use to measure is called the absolute neutrophil count (ANC). This is a measurement of your bodies ability to fight infection. Since chemotherapy attacks the good cells with the bad, many people end up with an impaired immune system. They told me the number to watch for is 1.0. At 1.0 they refuse to treat and make you wait for it to recover.

I am at the beginning of my nadir, which is the low point, or point at which your cells are most susceptible to the chemotherapy, and my ANC was only 1.9 on todays CBC. The nurse assured me that my immune system was fine to fight infection at this level. I was thankful that I had refused the preventative Neulasta shot they had recommended. Neulasta is a drug they use to force your bones to make more white blood cells. I have read it is incredibly painful, causing severe bone pain for long periods of time. I also read a study the other day that showed that taking the preventative shot rather than waiting and taking the shot as needed, only provided less than 10% decrease in persons requiring hospitalization for infections. As long as my ANC stays decent throughout this, I won't have to go through the bone pain the shots cause, and won't be at risk for hospitalization either. And again, I can always get another medicine that boosts for a shorter period of time as needed(Neupogen), which is the method that sounds the best to me. I have enough drugs in my system with out adding unnecessary ones into the mix.


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