Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Never Mind - It's Not Normal

Yesterday was blood work day. Between each chemo treatment, blood is drawn to make sure I'm still functioning reasonably well. I've had so much difficulty breathing over the past week, that we were beginning to get worried. The blood work showed that I've become very anemic. Breathing trouble could be caused by much worse problems, so we were relieved. The oncologist said that if my hematocrit falls any lower I will need a blood transfusion. I've been anemic before, although not like this, and have some ideas how to help this problem. The doctor didn't perscribe any iron supplements - my guess is because I would need so much of them that it would cause very unpleasant side effects. The blood counts should begin rebounding very soon on their own.

My doctor has been so easy-going about the alternative methods of chemo support I've been doing. She takes notes on everything I'm doing and waits to see if it seems to help. She has never once made me feel silly for drinking lettuce juice, or for using any of the other things I'm taking. She seems to be completely supportive. When I suggested I could take some of the supplements I have in the past to help with anemia, she was very agreeable. So we stopped by Whole Foods on the way home and picked up some things which I started taking right away.

I will be having a CT scan or something like it soon, now that the little guy is bigger and developing well. It should help the doctors determine when is the best time to schedule the delivery as well as giving them a better idea of the extent of the cancer. I couldn't have any scans earlier because they put the baby at too much risk.

It looks like I will be having an additional round or two of chemo to prevent going three or four months without any treatment while we wait for the delivery and recovery afterwards. The original plan was to have four rounds of Adriomycin and Cytoxan, then wait for the delivery, then four more rounds of Taxol, then radiation. As I mentioned before, the oncologist is very nervous about waiting for baby and not treating the cancer. She is planning to proceed extra cautiously with additional rounds of Adriomycin and/or Cytoxan. I assume these rounds will include extra testing to make sure I'm not falling apart.

All this info may be like Greek, but maybe it will help to answer some questions about what lies ahead. Several of you have been through this routine and know about the ups and downs of treatment decisions. We appreciate everyone's concern and your prayers.


Anonymous said...

Still praying for you, Amy! God is good. No good thing will He withhold from them who walk uprightly!


Lisa Arnold

Greer, SC

Brandi said...

It still sounds so much better than it could be! With your iron that low I can't imagine how tired you are. Your doctor sounds like she has a really good bedside manner, I guess Oncologist just have too. It would be grand if all doctors took what their patients told them seriously and didn't make them feel dumber than a doornail :). Whoever suggested the lettuce juice deserves a hug cause you seem to have had really good luck with it! Hope you feel more energized soon. Love you.

Anonymous said...

We are praying, Amy and Jon! I am sure this whole experience is emotinally draining, yet intensified by the frequently changing information. We love you, and we praise God for your wonderful testimony through this trial!

Ruth Bustamante

Wed Night Small Group said...

May God wrap his arms around you and keep you thru this challenging time. Your courage and walk is a testimony to so many. Our Small Group began praying for you last October. It is with great joy that we read that you are in the final 10 weeks prior to delivery. What an awesome story you will have of faith and God's grace to share with this little one.

Greenville, SC

Bonnie said...

Still praying for all of you!


Suzy said...

Still praying....

Anonymous said...

Amy and Jon,
You may be tired but you sound to be yourself. We are praying for the entire family. May God be your strength and shield as you go through this trial.
On another note: I have heard that molassas has tons of iron - so drink it with your lettuce juice :)
Candy T.

John Dierking said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Aunt Debbie and Uncle Phil said...

Our whole church is still praying for you. It is so encouraging to see that you still have an active sense of humor. I don't know about the value of it, but molasses and lettuce juice sounds terrible! =(

Anonymous said...

Jon & Amy,
Our prayers are with you at this time~hopefully this molasses along with the lettuce juice will make a change in your blood~your testimony
is amazing~May our Lord continue to
sustain you through all this!

Judy-Hampton Park

Donna said...

Love you and praying.

Cynthia said...

Thank you for taking time to update us, Amy! I know you have little strength to do anything. :) We love you and continue praying for you and Jon and the kids, too.


Cousin Cynthia (in Brazil)

sefcovic's said...

Hi Amy, just wanted to drop a note to let you know I'm thinking of you. I haven't checked on your blog in a few days so I'm glad to see you've updated us. It was so great to spend that time with you and would love to do it again soon. The next two weeks are very busy for me and I see you have another chemo treatment this Thursday, so maybe the first week in March I can come visit. I"ll call you in the next 2 weeks to see what you think. In the mean time we are praying for you and think of you often. We love you,