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Lab work for chemo

Today is a weird day.  First of all, I’m having to take the day off from work, so I can go to doctors appointments which means I am not in my normal routine…this I don’t like.  In Tampa, my doctor prescribed 3 months of chemotherapy in a pill form, then after 3 rounds I would need to do another CT scan to see how my tumor is reacting to the chemo.  We are hopeful that the chemo is shrinking the tumor(s).  After the scan, we’ll have the information needed in order to proceed with either more chemo, some radiation, etc.  Each of my chemo rounds are 14 days on pills and then 14 days off.  In the 14 days I take 1 med twice a day:  2 pills after breakfast and 2 pills after dinner.  On days 10- 14 I add the 2nd drug which is 3 pills before bedtime, but I have to take another bed prior to that med to combat the side effects.  Then on days 15- 28 I get a break and don’t have to take any chemo meds (I love these days).  I say all of this because on every round I have to get my blood checked on day 26, 27 or 28 of the cycle.  This is to ensure that my blood platellets are where they should be and my red and white blood cell counts are strong.  If they were not where they needed to be, then I wouldn’t be able to start another round of chemo.

So, this is where the mixed bag of emotions comes in…what do I hope for when I draw blood?  If my levels aren’t where they hope, then I can’t do the chemo round…if they are where they hope, then I can start chemo.  On the one hand, I want to start chemo because I want to kick this tumor’s tail, but on the other hand, chemo sucks- I don’t want to be on it!  Ultimately, I know that I want my blood levels to be strong, and I want the go ahead to start round 3 of chemo; I know that is the fastest path to get this “behind” me…or as behind me as this is ever going to be.  I would like to point out that when I’m not on meds, then I feel fine.  When I’m on chemo, not so much.  It’s just a mental struggle.  So today, I pray for strength.  I want to be strong to let my body fight this lame tumor, but I also want to be strong for my family.  I want to have the ability to handle whatever news rolls my way.  It’s hard when you’re sitting in the doctor’s office, and they drop a bomb on you.  They say it as casually as if they just ordered a sandwich from Subway and asked for extra tomatoes.  It just rolls off the tongue.  You’re trying to process the news and not become an emotional basket case; but it’s so hard to collect your thoughts and ask all the questions you want to ask.  So, I will keep you posted with what happens today.  I am expecting my blood work will be fine, and I will move onward with my 3rd round of chemo; you just never know though.  I trust the doctors that I am seeing and thankful that my Emory doctors are happy to work with my Tampa doctors to save me some commutes to the ole Orange State.  Just keep focusing on the positive, right?!  I have 2 cute little boys that help me do that! Boys- rainboots

Ashley Taube

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By Daniele Zedda • 18 February

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