Treatment 7 of 12 (9/20/12)

We arrived at U of M at 8am. Blood work was completed quickly and then we proceeded to the doctor’s waiting room.  We finally saw the doctor around 9:45am.  He reviewed the blood results and talked to us about the next few weeks…

My platelet count was 64. Unfortunately, that is lower than what the doctor would like it to be.  The platelets help with blood clotting in case of a cut/injury.  With a low count I run the risk of an uncontrolled bleed. Given this risk the doctor has eliminated the oxaliplatin from the mix of chemo drugs I will receive today. The good side of this change is that the oxaliplatin side effects should also be eliminated.  I suppose that the bad side of this adjustment is that I will receive one less cancer fighting drug today. In any event, the side effects of this drug included neuropathy (tingling / numbness in hands and feet), cold sensitivity, and jaw pain.  I certainly will not miss these side effects. He has also will lower the amount of this drug on the remaining treatments.

The blood test also shows that I have a low Neutrophil count.  This means I have an elevated risk of infection. Extra precaution was advised; including washing hands, using hand sanitizers, and avoiding sick people.

My CEA level has increased as well (hovering between 8 and 9).  As you may recall from a previous posting, the CEA level is correlated with tumor activity.  The doctor assured us that CEA increases could also be a result of receiving chemo, so tumor activity is not the only cause of increases.  In any event the doctor has scheduled a PET and CT scan to be done on 10/1/12. Hopefully these scans will show no evidence of any further tumors. And hopefully I won’t be too anxious about these upcoming scans and potential results.

The other news received today is that my doctor is relocating to Los Angeles California.  He will be leaving U of M in a few weeks. So my last visit with him will be on 10/4/12, when we review the scan results.  My doctor assured us that his colleague is a very good doctor and that he will take good care of me throughout my remaining treatments. We will probably see the new doctor on 10/18.

I will be on the pump until Saturday afternoon and probably sleep away Saturday and Sunday this week.  Hopefully I’ll feel good on Monday (working from home) and be back to work on Tuesday.

Thank you all for your continued prayers and support throughout this journey.



7 Comments on “Treatment 7 of 12 (9/20/12)”

  1. Linda Sult says:

    Continuing prayers for you as you make this fight. May those with infections stay away. We send only good thoughts to you on this sunny fall day. God keep you in His healing arms and give you a special peace.

  2. Celeste Etheridge says:

    Hi My Friend,
    Teresa Odden shared your blog with me. I’ll be sending many prayers your way for you and your family. One big hug to you……Celeste.

  3. jillinois says:

    With the low neutrophils, did they mention not having fresh plants/flowers around, or to make sure you don’t handle raw veggies and fruits- someone else needs to peel them for you? I also had to drink bottled water as a precaution. I was in reverse isolation (to protect me) for 6 weeks because of those pesky neutrophils (or lack thereof). Also, the platelet thing is scary, but I got down to 7 (seven), and had to have transfusions, but nothing busted loose 🙂 Praying that things go well ❤

  4. Cheryl Salens says:

    Uncle Phil, you are the strongest person I know. Staying positive is a drug in itself. One with no bad side effects. I know that a man of your faith has a strong relationship with God, and He most certainly is with you on this journey. We love you and praying that your body is 100% healthy again.

  5. Little Brother, Geo says:

    Sounds like they’re dialing in the treatment plan just to fit you. Like a rollercoaster ride; ups and downs. Hang on tight, and look behind you, I’m in the very next seat back 🙂 Love you…

  6. Krea Gregory says:

    Phil: Celeste shared your blog with me. I’ll add you to my prayer list. I was so happy to read that you have accepted Jesus as your Savior!

  7. Lynne Corbus says:

    Hang on, Phil, and keep looking forward. You’re almost 2/3 of the way through this. Keep that great, positive spirit. Prayers and hugs from us.

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