Sunday, May 21, 2006

The blood counts

And the next test is in. Apart from low (3.2) white blood count and platelet count of 141 which is also a tad low, Steven's blood counts are doing good. Now I am off to go and read about what happens when these counts are low. Thankfully they are not too way down there and the next test which is another two weeks away, will tell more and hopefully even see these settled down. But its good..... On 14th June we are headed back up to the specialist at Vanderbilt, Nashville and that test will give us an even better idea of where 'things' are headed.

I find myself smiling at referring to cancer as 'things'.......... just the fact that it brings a smile to my face, makes me wonder at the long road already ridden in this journey - in such a short space of time.. and this brings another smile in knowledge that we are, after all, dealing with this - so far.

Steven is looking good, but tired today. But hey, its weekend and everyone that age should be tired after a weekend! He is obviously enjoying the car with the new motor in it too.... nice to see him and Laura smiling and getting on with life. And good to hear how healthy that car sounds as Steven 'guns' it down the road for the benefit of his mama who is standing watching! :-) I told him to do that for me and he had no objection to complying...

I find myself breathing easier again - its always like this around a test time - my blood pressure rises, I find myself a tad rattier and tense and then it all evens out again when I get that hug with the piece of paper that says "its ok". And then it is "ok" again, until the next test looms.

I was thinking just today, that we really are SO lucky! Steven is healthy otherwise, is a 'kid' that looks after himself, leads a drug free (apart from Gleevec, obviously) life and has a plan for his future. Imagine having to try to care for a child/person that was already on a 'self destruct' path..... I could not imagine the worry that goes with that.

I have also been thinking about something a friend wrote- how does one live knowing that you cannot plan for a future - is it even possible to live 'in the moment' without thinking about the future? I dont know, my friend, I dont know. I tried to do that numerous times today, and failed. Just know that that question alone has made me even more grateful that I can plan ahead with reasonable expectation of being able to carry out those plans. I hope to hang on to that thought for a good long time, Penny - and I know that as long as I have a future - you will be in my heart.


1 comment:

Bubba Canuck said...


I am 45 years old and I was Dxed in November 2003. Since then I have been on Gleevec and have been pretty lucky to have experienced very few side effects. In fact I still run, lift weights and do the army reserves thing and can keep up with much younger and healthier people.

My dose is 400 mg 3 days a week and 300 mg 4 days a week on alternating days. So far my counts are well within the normal range.

Any side effects that I have experienced, I have been able to combat and keep under control by:

Bone pain: What I have read and experienced, this is a side effect that happens at the begining of treatment. I was able to only experience a few days of this by taking calcium suppliments and warm baths. I no longer have any bone pain.

Upset stomach: Many people take Gleevec at supper which keeps any stomach upset to a minimum (since there are only a few hours until bed time.) I take mine with a small snack and a big glass of water right before I go to bed. I have read that chemo (and many medicines) works best during sleep. In addition, laying down and going to sleep keeps any possible upset stomach away.

Tiredness. Vitamin D (also needed for the calcium) does wonders for people in the northern latitudes (like myself) in fighting the winter blahs. It helps elevate your energy levels and is a good cancer fighter. I also exercise and keep myself hydrated.

Infections etc. I also take lots of vitiman C and garlic which help boost the imune system. In addition I take Cayene pepper capsules (capisayim ... mine the spelling ... the active ingredient in chilis) is known to kill "adult" leukemia cells and help with circulation, digstion etc. (I take these 2 week on then take a 2 week rest).

I sould note that I take these suppliments with a meal and that I have checked with my hemotologst and he says that as long as they are keeping feeling good, he sees no problem ... so check with your doctor before trying any of these...