Friday, November 20, 2015

Week 15

I'm a little late with this update, since I've been working on a couple of deadline projects that need to get finished before Thanksgiving. Sorry!

Monday, thankfully is the day I get my LAST CHEMO INFUSION! Yaaaay!

But this week, the week that's usually my 'feel good because everything's flushed out' week, was not as good as it usually is. The white cell counts are good, thanks to the Neulasta, but my red cells aren't bouncing back. Which equals anemia. Which equals fatigue. I slept more than usual last weekend, including an afternoon nap (and I'm generally never able to nap during the day!), and while I was in pretty good shape on Monday, Tuesday had me zonked from the errands and whatnot I did on my way home from the doc's office.

The doc pointed out the anemia and also suggested that we do another Neulasta dose after my infusion. From what I know, that will only help the white cells, and they seem to be rebounding nicely with the one dose. I'm keeping an open mind about it; since I won't be getting another round of chemo after Monday, we don't have to be concerned about the timing of a possible second dose.

The anemia, however, concerns me. Beyond the medical issues it could present, I don't want to spend the next month feeling exhausted all the time. I've been hibernating enough, and I have work to do. So what can I do about it? I was a little annoyed by my doctor's response - she kind of shrugged and suggested a multivitamin. Gee, thanks, Dr. Obvious. How about nutrition? She didn't jump all over it either way, but what harm could food really do?

I'm still on an unrestricted diet and everything tastes fine, so I stopped at the supermarket and grabbed a bunch of iron-rich foods. I've upped my spinach intake, had a few roast beef sandwiches (which I rarely eat) and double checked the pastas and cereals for their percentage RDAs. I also stocked up on Ensure, the marvelous stuff they tell old people to drink. (For the record, it's pretty tasty in a Vanilla Quik kind of way.) And had a couple of iron supplement pills in addition to my daily multivitamin.

With all that digested, I feel an improvement. I'm not as peppy as I was pre-chemo, but I'm definitely functional without dragging. I'll probably end up laying low over the weekend - no hikes or long excursions - but it seems I might have found a solution I can work with. Hopefully it'll get me through the next three weeks.

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