3rd chemo

Today was my chemo-spa day again. We ran around ahead of time trying to get stuff done, but I did have time to do my mediation practice and have my flax-oil smoothie for breakfast. New York Oncology Hematology was really busy…more busy and behind than we’ve ever seen it. Apparently yesterday was even busier, at least in the chemo infusion room. Our nurse Amy (who again wasn’t our nurse this time–rats!–but she snagged us a seat near her desk again) said she had 27 patients yesterday and she usually does about half that in a day. So we got started with the chemo an hour late, almost, and didn’t finish until nearly 3:00. That was okay, because I don’t find the chemo infusion itself stressful and I don’t really mind being there. I never take work or catch-up stuff (bills, etc.) or my computer, so I just talk to Eric, read books, talk to the nurses, and relax.

Again Eric did a visualization for me about the chemotherapy drugs and how to envision them entering my body and reacting with it. It’s not about little attackers killing off cancer cells but more about light and glowing.

I gave Dr. C. (the oncologist) the 17 or so abstracts I’d pulled off of Medline about medicinal effects of certain mushrooms: immunune boosting, liver-protecting, cancer-killing effects. He said “Great, bedtime reading!” (He had sort of asked/challenged me 3 weeks ago to bring him some information, since he didn’t know about them and said he’d rather I didn’t take them during chemo.)

My “liver numbers” were again fine, despite my dangerous practice of taking herbal mushroom extracts and drinking nettle tea. My red blood cell count is down (expected, I think), and my hemoglobin & hematocrit are down too (maybe I can do something about that–I’m thinking herbal iron tonic made by my herbalist/doula/midwife friend Sarah). Yes, I take a multivitamin, and no, I wasn’t anemic before chemo. So it is transient…but if I could boost my Hg & Hct during chemo I would feel more energetic and less tired.

After chemo, while Eric picked up my Neulasta prescription at the drugstore, I went to St. Peter’s Hospital across from the drugstore to visit my doula clients who had their baby early on Monday morning. It was a great birth! And I was home by 6:40 AM. When I dropped by today they were just leaving, after 36 hours in the hospital. One night of hospital care was enough to convince them that they would get more rest at home! Of course the hospital gave them a formula bag, even though this is a third baby and the staff know she is breastfeeding exclusively. Makes me so mad! So I helped them carry their stuff down to the exit and then bopped off to connect up with Eric again. Very convenient and heartening.

Now I’m home and everyone is here (with food) for dinner. That’s my life…

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