I hope everyone relaxed during the holiday season, and that you are all enjoying getting back to your daily routines.
This past Tuesday, I had my 8th and final obinutuzumab treatment. In addition to having no more day long visits to Clinical Treatment Unit for the foreseeable future, I’m also just past the half way point of the trial. As of my December test, cancer cells are down to .1% of my white blood cells (down from 82%+).
I’ll have a bone marrow biopsy (BMB) and full body CT scans on my next visit which is the 31st. Then, I’ll have just 5 more trips every four weeks and one more trip back a few weeks after that for yet another BMB and set of CT scans.
While the treatment was uneventful, the week wasn’t without challenges. I had, and am just now slowly getting over, a massive cold that made me a stuffed up oozing mess for more than a week. I likely caught it over the holidays from one of my 8 nieces or nephews who are under 10. In addition to feeling nasty, I was working overtime to cover people who were on vacation and to top it off, fighting with my son over getting his college applications (which I understand is a universal challenging experience).
My BFF trial friend (and fellow CLLSA member), who is a month behind me, had neutropenia (low count of neutrophils – white blood cells that fight infection – same thing I was fighting last month) and was denied treatment, which was just awful. They shot her up with Neupogen which is supposed to stimulate neutrophil production, and her count went down. She is still sitting in Columbus hoping she can resume treatment next week. I’m happy to report that as of today (Saturday) her counts have recovered and she should good to go.
I’d like to share an interesting tidbit I learned about uric acid and gout. When I was growing up, this was referred to as the “rich man’s disease” and in fact, too much rich food, e.g. seafood, meat and beer can cause gout. One of the byproducts of my chemo is one of my counts is off and it’s never the same one, so I’ve had to make dietary changes several times to raise or lower the numbers.
Last month, my uric acid was a little high (byproduct of killing cancer cells is uric acid), so they handed me a low purine diet (because purine+oxygen=uric acid). What was fascinating to me was a lot of healthy/super foods that are staples in my diet were on the restricted list. These included lentils, beans, broccoli and spinach.
The good new is I was able to get my uric acid number back to normal range, so I am going to ease back into a more normal for Ellen diet, though I am going to continue to minimize the consumption of seafood and meat.
Now that you’ve learned something new, it’s time to wrap this. As always, thanks for your support and let me know if you have any questions.