No Mo Chemo (till January)


No chemo yesterday, or last Monday for that matter. (I was all hooked up but they wouldn’t give me the juice.) My blood counts are too low, particularly my platelets. The normal range is 150-450. I’m down to 49. My white blood cells are down to 2.0 and my reds are also below normal. Not surprising; I’ve been on the decline since starting on Cisplatin. It affects the bone marrow where blood cells are made and my marrow doesn’t recover as fast as it did before my transplant.

This means I’m only getting two-thirds of the chemo I’m supposed to during radiation, which may slightly reduce its overall effectiveness.

Cisplatin

Cisplatin is a “cytotoxic alkylating agent.” It works by damaging the RNA or DNA controlling cell division. Cancerous cells don’t die when they become defective like normal cells do, hence tumor growth. Chemo kills rapidly-dividing cells, both cancerous and healthy. The normal cells should grow back, the abnormal ones shouldn’t. At least that’s the theory.

Cisplatin side effects can include: nausea and vomiting; kidney toxicity; loss of appetite and taste changes (I’m down to 144 pounds); low white blood cell counts (increased risk for infection), low red blood cell counts (anemia) and reduced platelets. The one I didn’t get this time was hair loss.

It’s not as gloomy as it sounds. My energy level is good and I can pretty much do what I want. How many people can say that?

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