Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Blood cells, anemia, and aches...oh my!

I had blood drawn Monday for a check, and it was not great. My white blood cell count is lower than it has ever been. As a result, I was given a Neupogen injection Monday and another today to help stimulate my bone marrow to produce more white blood cells. Unfortunately, the stimulation of the bone marrow makes your bones ache. I feel like I have the flu. It's not fun, but it's livable. I'm also anemic again, not blood transfusion anemic, but anemic nonetheless. As long as my treatment doesn't get delayed on Monday, I can live with it!

Sunday, March 28, 2010


I've had a few very polite questions lately about any possible future Flanagan babies. Many of you already have heard this from me, but I thought I would explain to everyone else. To keep you from too much suspense, Luke WILL be an only child (apart from any miraculous intervention from above). Basically, the type of cancer I have makes it very dangerous for me to get pregnant. I actually have 2 different types of cancer. One of these types is what they call hormone-receptor positive. This means that any surge in hormones, such as from pregnancy, make the cancer grow at a very accelerated rate. In fact, my doctors believe based on the size of my cancer that I probably developed it in my late 20s. They also believe that my pregnancy with Luke probably caused the cancer to take off and develop much more quickly than it would have without being pregnant. After Luke was born, the growth rate slowed back down, and it was able to fester for 4 years before I found it. Pretty scary, huh! Even though they believe all of my cancer was successfully removed with my surgery and now subsequent chemo, it would be very dangerous for me to get pregnant. If there is even 1 cell of cancer left anywhere in my body that might have remained dormant for years or even for the rest of my life, it could begin to grow again if I become pregnant. If I did become pregnant, and the cancer did take back off, I could not (or would not) treat it until the baby was born. This could basically be a death sentence for me. Often times, by the time the baby is delivered in these cases, it is too late for the mother. I realize this is all very morbid and sad, but Jeremy and I are fine with it. I often thought I might like to have another baby someday, but to be perfectly honest, we were about 75% sure Luke was going to be an only child anyway. Those of you who know Luke will understand why!

We are very happy with our 3-person family. Jeremy very lovingly told me he could live without another baby but could not live without me. Please don't think of this as something sad, but instead think of it as yet another way God has allowed my life to be spared & shown me His will. I have felt very guilty about only wanting 1 child, and God made that decision very easy for me. Not to mention had I gotten pregnant again before I discovered the cancer, there is a good chance I could have died due to another growth spurt of the cancer. Luke is the joy of my life. I am very content to be his mommy and only his mommy!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


My platelets came back completely normal on Monday. YEAH! This should mean that my treatment won't get delayed again. Apparently, the carboplatin dose was the major culprit with most of the problems I've had. I still feel really great and am enjoying some quiet time without my boys; although, I do really miss them. On a much sadder and somewhat pathetic note, I have now watched New Moon (which I purchased on Saturday) 3 times. I'm pretty sure I need help with my Twilight addiction.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Feeling Good Still

Every time I post about how good I feel I get sick, so I will say I feel good so far. This is actually probably the best I've felt after a treatment. They cut my carboplatin dose in half to try to help my platelets, and apparently that made a big difference. I've also developed a wonderful habit of taking an hour long bath every night with jacuzzi jets on, candles, bath scrub, and a good book (currently Interview With The Vampire by Anne Rice). This has been working wonders on my emotional well being. It's amazing what a little relaxation will do for you!

Monday, March 15, 2010

4 Down 2 To Go!

I finally got to have my 4th treatment today. My platelets were still well below normal but were high enough for me to go ahead with treatment. My doctor cut the dose in half on one of my drugs (carboplatin if you care) which hopefully will resolve the platelet issue. Everything should be back on track now. Hopefully, nothing else will go way down and my last 2 treatments will stay on schedule. I do have to get my blood drawn once a week now for a while to see how things are, but I would rather do that and have an opportunity to fix anything that is too low before treatment.

On a side note, I bought and read The Notebook during treatment today. I actually liked the movie better than the book. I also thought Twilight ran circles around The Notebook. I don't know if I'll ever be able to read another book again without thinking it doesn't compare to Twilight. I know; I have a serious problem and need to seek addiction counseling. I wonder if they have a support group for Twilight addicts.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Hoping for tomorrow...

I will hopefully have chemo tomorrow. I am going back at 9:30 (so say a big fat prayer about then) to have my blood counts checked again. As long as my platelets are up and nothing else has taken a dive, I should have treatment tomorrow. I can tell you right now, you do NOT want to be around me for a few days if my treatment gets delayed another week and I end up needing another transfusion. You may be wondering, it's only a week or two so what's the big deal. I'll tell you what the big deal is. It's another week without hair. It's another week to be exhausted and feel like poop. It's another week of hot flashes and crazy mood swings. It's another week of not having my life back. I know 1 or 2 weeks off schedule doesn't sound like much to you; but if you put everything into consideration, I think you can see where 1 week makes a HUGE difference to me. I will certainly keep everyone posted on what happens. I will try to have a perkier post next time, but I won't make any promises about that! :-)

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Stupid Chemo!

Warning: I am ranting today.

I'm pretty ticked off. I have been very even tempered about this whole thing, but today I am angry. This isn't fair, it stinks, and I don't have to like it. I'm starting to have a lot of anxiety problems no doubt caused by the chemo since everything else is. There is no part of your body the chemo doesn't mess up. Let me give you a short list here: hair falls out all over your body, mouth sores, spasms from eyelids to stomach to legs, my hands look like I'm 80 with wrinkled skin and very dry, tired ALL the time, bloody nose, upset stomach, very irritable and grouchy (sorry Jeremy and Luke), anxiety that can be mild to severe, sudden mood swings, can't sleep even when exhausted without heavy medication, lethargy, I'm either starving and stuffing my face or I can't eat at all, and very dry skin. I'm sure I've left out several things but these are the most irritating. I really, really hate this. I need to go to the beach or something. I need a break...now!

Monday, March 8, 2010


I was not able to have my treatment today. My platelets are very, very low so they can't do it. Assuming they come back up, I'll have treatment next Monday. I'm pretty bummed. I really don't want to add another week to this whole thing. I realize a week really isn't that much, but it sure feels like it.