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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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Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Today's Doctor Visit

I went in for blood tests, an oncologist visit, and a Zometa infusion today.  They performed the following blood tests:  CBC, CMP, and CA 27-29 test.  I have results back on the CBC and CMP.  CA 27-29 is the tumor marker test, and I should be able to get a copy of the results when I go back next week.

The CBC showed low white blood cells.  It was 4.6 on 1/6/14 and 2.8 today.  The normal range for WBC is 4.8-10.8.  The 2.8 I have is definitely below normal range;however, the important stat, NEU (ANC) is still within normal limits at 1.7 (normal is 1.5-6.5).  Since that number is within limits, I will continue my current treatment(Xeloda every other week) this week.  They will check it again next week and the following week.  I will be postponing the next treatment (which would normally start on 2/8) until after the second test is completed.  If it's below normal, they will have me skip the scheduled chemo that week to give my body a chance to rebuild the neutrophils.  With the flu and bronchitis being so extreme this year, I will be avoiding anyone sick and taking extra precautions when in public until my white blood counts improve.

If these lab results are greek to you, and you'd like to learn more, click here. 

The CMP test showed low calcium.  This is a side effect of the infusion I have once a month (Zometa - which is a drug to help reduce bone break down from the bone metastasis).  The nurse called earlier and said I need to start taking calcium and vitamin D supplements to counter the calcium deficiency. (Just what I wanted.. more drugs to take!)

I have been experiencing a few side effects, but nothing extreme.  I've had hand/foot syndrome which is a side effect of the Xeloda (More Info Here), some mild to medium lower back pain, insomnia, and mild fatigue. Overall, this chemo regimen I'm on is fairly tolerable in comparison to the ones I've had in the past.

Although I have had some side effects, they haven't been slowing me down too much.  I did find that I was a bit winded after going through a cave tour while on vacation with the kids and my grandchild, but was still able to do it.  Of course it seemed really abnormal to me because I've done this same cave tour several times in my life and never remembered it being the least bit taxing.  I guess this is all part of the adjustment period one goes through with a chronic disease or condition.  I'm sure in time I'll learn to deal with my new limitations better and be more prepared for aches and pain with medication, heat, cold, or whatever. It's difficult to remember that your body is not the same one you had prior to the disease (which for me was only  about 6 years ago).  I believe it's just a matter of finding better ways to cope with these obstacles and refuse to let my disease limit me.  I will most likely be on chemo the rest of my life, and do not want to live my life in a bubble or stop doing the things I enjoy.  My plan is to endure, adapt, and overcome!

One more thing I'd like to share, if you haven't already seen this on my Facebook page:

Feel free to comment on anything I post.  I enjoy reading your comments!


  1. scDonna Smith WallisJanuary 21, 2014 at 5:55 PM

    I wish we could see each other more often. Reading your blog at least keeps me up to date and I learn a lot. Keep up the good spirits and know I'm always here for you.

  2. Thanks, Donna. We need to make a point to attend an event in the near future. Tim used to drag us along and we always had a great time. Maybe we can go to the spring event this year if Jesse is off that weekend.

  3. scDonna Smith WallisJanuary 21, 2014 at 7:04 PM

    You can check out the Ansteorran Calendar at http://calendar.ansteorra.org/
    Elfsea's event is April 4th-6th at the Sid Richardson Boy Scout Camp, DFT's Guardian is May 16th - 18th in Glen Rose and Loch Ruadh will have a one day event in Benbrook on Sept. 27. Let me know when you are ready for an event.

  4. I like the pin and what it says. Good reminder that it's just part of your load, but you persevere. Keep hanging tough! I know you will! And do be careful with all the flu out there. :/

  5. You write your story so well; and I love that you share your day. You are such an inspiration! Knowledge IS power.


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