Health Update

Today was not a good day. It started well but went downhill quickly.

I was up at 5:00 am, had a couple of poached eggs, and headed over to Brad’s for our Tuesday workout. I was feeling tired and pretty sure all we’d do is watch a few Crossfit Clips and Chat. That’s how it played out and Brad gave me a haircut before heading home.

Once home I jumped in the shower and headed to the 11th Floor Chemo Clinic. I was supposed to do Chemo on Monday afternoon but I neglected to get blood work done in advance. All I could take care of Monday afternoon was to have blood drawn and sent to the lab. There wasn’t enough time between getting the blood results for the pharmacy to make up the drugs. It all worked out; blood work Monday afternoon and I was rescheduled for an 8:30 am Chemo treatment on Tuesday.

If you’ve been a regular you know I’m chemo insensitive so you’re likely wondering why I’m back into chemo. I think it’s best described as a “Hail Mary” play. Although there is no clinical evidence to indicate the Vinoralbine I’ve just started will have any benefit, it is an old drug and my Oncologist has used it with past patients similar to me; out of treatment options but still in good health other than the cancer. He has seen it benefit about 5% of his patients which is another way of saying extend their lives. And there are no appreciable side effects for most patients. So I have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

I have to go to the clinic and be hooked up to a drip which only takes 15 – 20 minutes so it’s pretty quick. The flush of my porta-cath before and after take as long as the treatment.

That part of the day went well and I was feeling pretty good. However, my blood work from Monday showed my hemoglobin at 78 which is dangerously low. With my permission, the clinic drew blood so it could be typed and matched, and then arranged for me to have a blood transfusion of two units. It took a while to make to get everything organized.

I got started around 11:00 am with the first bag. It takes about an 1.5 hours for each unit. With flushes between units and after the second unit, I was finished around 3:00 pm and heading home.

I didn’t come prepared to sit in the chair for that period of time and no matter how I tried to arrange pillows, my bony butt was aggravated throughout the treatment. I also didn’t have that much to eat and so that left me pretty hungry.

I was beat by the time I got home and went right to bed. That took the edge off and I got up and ate around 6:00 pm. I asked Janet to thaw the chicken livers and chicken hearts. They’re not most inviting protein but I don’t mind them and they’re loaded with Iron. In case you didn’t know, the body needs Iron to manufacture many blood products including hemoglobin and we are not able to manufacture Iron. It can only come from diet.

I planned to have a laid back day to prepare for our weekend at Queensland but I didn’t expect it to be forced on me. Ah well, just another day in the cancer adventure.

Here’s hoping tomorrow I’ll be able to say, “I have good days and bad days but more good than bad.”

As always, thank you for being at my side during this roller coaster ride. As my Support Pillars, you inspire me to stay positive and that takes work on days like to today. A shout out to my wife Janet; she ended up having to do all the grocery shopping for the weekend alone today. Also thanks to Drew for picking Janet up at the grocery store.

And finally, I thank God for being my constant companion.

Peace, Love, and Laughter

PS – Just 20 days to my Birthday on October 25th to schedule and make a blood donation in my memory. I set up a fundraiser in Facebook for those unable to donate but I really hope you’ll make a donation.

PPS – For the Bluenose 10km race Brad and Registered for, him pushing me in an adaptive wheelchair, we’re having more difficulty finding one than we expected so if you have any ideas, please pass them along.

7 Replies to “Health Update”

  1. Hope the good days far outnumber the bad, Phil. Thinking of you with. Few good words for the person above thrown in.

  2. Phil it has taken me too long to get to your blog site. It is wonderful. It is not wonderful that it was triggered by your disease (I presume). My spiritual advisor has said that Jesus wanted us to be limitless but usually we are not ready to go there, or try to go there, our shadow gets in the way. I think you are there. What do you think.

  3. Phil – great to talk to you yesterday and to see that you have found a clear pathway to continue teaching while still living life large. Looking forward to getting together – it’s been too long…

    Enjoy the Thanksgiving weekend with family and friends!


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