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KleenTeeth

Stage 3b

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Thought I would give you and update on my sister. She tells me she hasn't lost all her hair, but that it is now wispy to the point you can see her scalp. Her red blood cells, white blood cells and platlets numbers are all good. The only numbers that are concerning the MDs is her liver enzymes. That number has doubled and they don't know why. She says she is very temperature sensitive. Despite her liver enzymes, I am thinking positive thoughts. Has anyone else had an increase in this number?

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My husbands liver enzymes all became elevated during chemo. We were told that this is not unusual. They have since returned to normal. In addition to the chemo, he was taking daily hydrocodone (Vicodin) for pain at some points; that can also raise liver enzymes.

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Talked to my sister on Saturday of last week. She told me she felt the best she has ever felt! :D She told me she went cross country skiing; didn't wheeze, cough, nor was she short of breath. She says she has no mouth sores, has not lost her bangs, eyebrows or eyelashes.

Now, for the "bad" news; and I am hoping some one can shed some light on things for me. She told me her white blood cells dropped from 5 to 2.7; and her liver enzymes that had doubled, have started to drop. I got a call from her husband today telling me that Diana was rushed to the hospital Tuesday evening with a 104 temperature and that she has pneumonia. Today her temp was normal. I am under the understanding she had her 6th chemo treatment Tuesday during the day. I guess what I need to know is all of this "normal?" I am getting scared.

Suzy

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I am sorry your sister was doing so good and then was put in the hospital so fast. I can not shed light on the liver thing but the white blood cells is normal with her chemo. That is where mine was at last time I had my chemo. They gave me the shot to boost my white blood cells (I think it is Nulasta) and I am usually ok. Atleast they have her temp. under control. Let us know what happens. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

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Thanks, Heather. I am hoping to hear more news (better news) soon. I usually call on Saturday evenings, but am debating if I could call tonight or Friday. Being here and her in Montana is horrible! I am going to mention the medication you listed in your post. Diana hasn't said anything about that. She says she has no nausea; only very tired...that was Saturday. I am VERY glad for this message board! Thank you all! :)

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Hey Suzy,

I am also a Stage IIIB survivor and have been for almost 2 1/2 years and still having good scans!! I also wanted to let you know that during treatment I was also hospitalized with pneumonia. I wouldn't say hat's typical but I would say that the way chemo knocks your immunity system for a loop that it's probably more common than we think. Prayers for you and your sis during this time.

God Bless!!

Jamie

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Hi Suzy,

Sorry your sister is having some problems. I know my sister had several high fevers which put her in the hospital. Please try not to worry, she's a fighter, I can tell. Keep us posted. Ellie

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Hi Susie, gee I was surprised you are a dental hygeneist :D ... I think your screen name gave that away. :wink:

I just wanted to say Hi and welcome here. I hope there is better news about your sister. I know how scared you must be. So many of us have walked in your shoes.

My husband had the same chemo. Chemo definetely can lower the white counts. They gave him a Neulasta shot which boosted it up. Also he had an elivated liver count, but he is fine now.

Stay strong and know that this is beatable. There are so many survivors out there who are IIIB some even stage IV.

I will send meditation prayers out to you sister, but I have a feeling she is doing better.

You are really good on keeping us posted. I hope your next post is good news.

Maryanne :wink:

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I talked to my brother-in-law just a few minutes ago. Diana is now home, but exhausted. The MD ordered a scan and it was done on Tuesday; it did show the cancer has shrunk. :D They did blood work and it showed her white blood cells were very low, :( but they continued to give her the chemo. Her MD ordered a shot to increase the white blood cell count (David forgot the name of the shot), but her insurance company turned her down, saying they wouldn’t cover it. Diana’s boss (David said this lady is a “bull dog”!!!) came into the chemo clinic to check on Diana. When the boss found out the insurance company denied Diana, she got on the phone and gave the insurance company what for and Diana had the shot within 15 minutes and for 3 days afterward! :D The blood tests now shows Diana’s white blood cell count has doubled! :D The downside is, the shot will cause her bones to hurt while it “grows” the white blood cells. Tuesday evening Diana developed a temp of 104.9 and was diagnosed with pneumonia. David said that they took 400 cc of fluid out of Diana’s lungs and that her lung collapsed. As a result, they gave her 9 breathing treatments which caused Diana’s heart rate to increase to 125 beats/min and to cause Diana to become quite nervous. Once they stopped the treatment, Diana’s heartbeat returned to normal. David told me he talked to Diana’s boss and asked that Diana be taken off night call (unknown to Diana) and the boss agreed. I couldn’t have asked for a better brother-in-law!!! So we have some good news that I thought I would pass along. What a roller coaster ride!!! Please continue to keep Diana in your thoughts and prayers because they are working! Thank you for all your support. I can say enough about this group!!!

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Once everything levels off she should start to feel much better. Poor girl she certainly has been on a major roller coaster.

I am so glad she is home.

Continuted prayer...

Maryanne

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Talked to Diana last night. She sounded great! Sounded like she just had a cold. She said that she had been out walking her dogs and to the store to do a little food shopping. She clarified the amount of fluid that they removed; I thought David said 400, it was 1400 cc. She said she was going to ask her MD what the significance was of that. She said her appetite was good, hadn't lost much if any weight. She said she is on (and I know I am not going to spell this right) Neupagin for the white blood cells. Diana said that as of yesterday (and she had 3 injections so far)that she is not in any discomfort from the injection. She told me she wants to come home in May, but that it was too far to think about that right now. All in all, I thought it was a great phone conversation and that things looked bright!

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Talked to Diana tonight and she sounded so good! She still has her cold, left over from the pneumonia; and now her husband has the colds. At least they are sharing! :D Diana tells me the CEA marker in her blood was at 24 prior to this last Monday. Blood work taken Monday shows the CEA at 13! I told her I had heard about Cassie's Tea from a patient and had gotten her some. She tells me she has been drinking that along with the Mangosteen and the pomegrante juice. So something is working!! Thank you for all your posts, prayers, and well wishes! I am feeling so encouraged! Far from how I felt last week!

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Talked to my brother-in-law last night. Diana's liver enzyme (in his words)"is way out of wack." But her CEA marker dropped from 24 two weeks ago, to 13 last week to 10 this week!!! She tells me that it needs to be 0-3. Those liver enzymes worry me; which I mentioned before. But I gather from the posts the elevation is normal. Wish it wasn't. But all in all, Diana is improving. She is drinking Cassie's Tea, Pomagranite juice, Mangosteen juice, green tea, white tea...poor kid, I don't think she gets out of the bathroom with all that drinking! :D Thank you for all your support!

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Heard from my sister.Her CEA marker only went down .6 of a point (she now is at 9.4) is it normal for this marker to suddenly slow down? She is so depressed by this. She is also depressed by her liver enzymes elevaating. Her MD doesn't seem concerned. Any suggestions on what I can tell her to perk her up? She also had to back on neupogin. My sister also said her stamina is just no there;her red blood cell count is good. Pearls of wisdom would be appreciated. Thanks!

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I am sorry I haven't brought you all up to date on my sister. She is doing wonderfully! Her CEA is down to 6.4 (from the original 27). :D She is noticing her fingerbeds are turning yellowish brown from the Taxol she says. Also she said that she is able to walk more without being out of breath and coughing. Two weeks ago she told me she couldn't go up a flight of stairs without her heartbeat going up to 122 beats/min. She has her blood work every Monday and chemo every Tuesday. Right now her numbers aren't dropping as fast as she would like...they are only dropping tenths of a point and that gets her upset. Is that normal...the dropping by tenths the closer it gets to "normal"?

Thank you all for your support!

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Shelly, what Diana has "taught" me is 0-3 is "normal" for a CEA marker. So Diana is headed in the right direction. But the fact the numbers are moving so slowly after doing such a drastic drop from Dec 06 is what I am wondering about.

What I forgot to post,is I wrote an article for my dental hygiene magazine and the editor has contacted me saying he is going to put it in the August issue! I am so excited! I did some research, put in a table with numbers, etc and he liked it! I have another hygienist friend who is a speaker and she says she will help me become a speaker on this topic as well. Don't know when all this will take place, but it is helping me cope with everything!

Thanks for all your support!

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Where do I start? Diana is doing wonderfully....I think. Her CEA marker is down to 3.8 (she started at 27 in Dec 06). Her liver enzymes started to drop once she started doing Milk Thistle. She is not out of breath like before; isn't as tired; is working close to full time. The list goes on of all the wonderful things she is doing. Her oncologist told her the tumor shrank down "8 fold". The fluid he told her is down quite a bit. What are my concerns you ask? She emailed me tonight to say the oncologist told her at least 3 more treatments of chemo. I can go with that and so can she. Then she said the oncologist wants her to have a PET scan to see if the cancer has spread. Is this normal for them to do a PET scan? She said that if the cancer has spread (and the PET scan should show this) it will mean radiation. That scares me! The radiologist took a chest x-ray about 2 wks ago and told her he thought there was a mass on her collar bone. The oncologist looked at it and said no it was her thyroid nodule that she had been having problems with and that she should probably have it removed when this is all over. In the beginning when she was first diagnosed, the pulmonologist told her it looked like the tumor was near her liver and involved her liver. The oncologist said he doesn't know what the pulmonologist saw as he doesn't see it. Up to now, I have been able to think so positive. Now I don't know if her current results (decrease in tumor size, decrease in fluid, increase in strength) are as positive as I was taking them. Was I wrong in thinking this way? Now I am scared all over again! Should I be? HELP!

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Hi Suzy,

Could be that a PET would be needed now. It is common procedure. Not only for recently diagnosed. Did you ask your sister if she is afraid? I hope she will be OK. Or at least feeling better soon.

Sisters are very special people. I miss my big sister very much. :)

Prayers, Barb

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