Monday, November 07, 2005

great news from the doc!

I had an appointment today with the oncologist, who will direct my stem cell transplant. Today was my one week follow-up since I was discharged from the hospital and had the Neulasta injection last week. So, my blood was taken to see how my blood counts were doing after the 1st cycle of DICE. I was told beforehand that I might even need a transfusion of blood or platelets if my counts were too low. That, however, wasn't to be. He and the medical staff were amazed at the normalcy of my blood counts. He actually joked and asked if I had even had chemo. I wouldn't call myself Wolverine, but he sure made it seem pretty good. Surprised by the recovery of my counts, he told me that I was in perhaps the top 1% of patients who recover that well. Wow! I and a generous family friend, who accompanied me to the hospital today, were both amazed. That's great news. So, I was told to enjoy the week. All looks good.

Because I recovered so quickly, my onocologist bumped the start of the 2nd cycle of DICE up one week. So, I'm scheduled to begin round 2 of the chemo on November 15th. Everything, he said, would be the same as before: the duration, dosage, and side effects. With regards to the side effects, I explained to him how I felt during and after the 1st cycle. He said that the headaches and constipation that I experienced are common side effects of the anti-nausea medicine, which I received during the DICE sessions. The anti-nausea medicine called Kytril helps prevent vomiting and dizziness associated with the chemo. The back aches and muscle aches in my legs were the results of the Neulasta injection, which are very common. He said he'll give me something during the 2nd cycle to lessen the headaches. So, at least now I know why I felt the way I did and I'll be better prepared for next week, although it won't be fun but I'll be okay

Finally, he gave me a rough outline of the course of the treatment. The schedule of the treatment is, of course, subject to change. After the 2nd cycle of DICE, I'll undergo a scan, most likely a PET-CT scan to examine the results of the DICE. This should take place around November 30th. Then, from December 9-11th I'll go to the hospital for the stem cell collection. On about the 14th, I'll be admitted for the commencement of the fun part - the TRANSPLANT! Yippie. {laughing} He said I'll be in the hospital for 3 weeks. So, according to this rough schedule, I should be back home by the 2nd week of January. It doesn't sound too bad. Not at all.

2 Comments:

Comment Anonymous Amy Rusky said...

Duane,
you kick ass. I'm glad to know you are doing so well. We miss you lots out here in Chicago. I wish you were in Farouk's class with us. Not too much new here...ooh! There is a tornado watch tonight. oh, and last night this woman got carjacked and was finally rescued over on 49th street. I could hear the helicopters. That's the Hyde Park gossip.
Take care!! miss you lots!
Amy

12:38 AM  
Comment Blogger Duane said...

Hey Amy! I'm glad to know Hyde Park hasn't changed much. :) Of course, I had hope to graduate with you and the gang this year. Please continue to stay in touch. Thanks so much for the warm message.

Best always,
Duane

12:19 PM  

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