Saturday, July 25, 2009

Oh, Saturday morning!

So for the past two days I was eating the way my 'low-fiber worksheets' directed me. It did have a nice twist of my childhood, but the cramping returned through the afternoon and night. #@^&%# !

I do not want to go back to the hospital for any surgery because Chemo #3, Doxil, needs time to do its job. I'm scheduled for my second Doxil IV in eleven days.

With the experience I have gained during the past two weeks I will go back to a 'semi-liquid diet,' kind of like at the hospital during my last 24 hours--clear liquids PLUS goat milk yogurt and apple sauce.

But, I REALLY wish I was watching grandson, Noah, age--almost 6, at his basketball game with his 4-6 year old team mates!!! This is real entertainment!

Friday, July 24, 2009

A week since the hospital & Chemo #3

By way of giving you an update, I have responded to the questions of several family members:

The only reaction to my new 'joy juice cocktail,' Doxil®, has been fatigue, and that is ALWAYS to be expected. For just how long I will feel 'wiped-out' after I receive the treatment, I still haven't figured out.

To your question, "So did your first chemo not do the job?" the answer is YES and NO to the Carboplatin® and Taxotere® (aka, Chemo #1) that I was taking between July 28 and Dec 15, 2008. The YES answer because the tests in December showed I WAS 'cancer free.'
The NO answer is because the cancer in my abdominal area returned.

Chemo #2, Gemzar®, which I began taking June 1 on a weekly basis, did not go the full term of 8 treatments because of the abdominal cramping that resulted in my admission to the hospital last week. Now, I would say this chemo appears to have NOT worked at all.

Last Saturday, July 18th while I was still in the hospital, I received my first IV of Chemo #3, Doxil®. The fatigue I mentioned above, is putting me into the two-naps-a day category.

At this moment I don't know how many treatments I'm scheduled to take--so much has do to with HOW my body reacts to the drug as we so clearly learned with Chemo #1 and #2. I'm not supposed to lose my hair.

While Patrick you didn't ask the next question, it has been asked: When might we begin to see if Chemo #3 is doing the job? My oncologist said possibly after the next treatment, which will be 3-4 weeks after the first treatment (depending on my blood work results). A long-time survivor in group last night has taken Gemzar® and Doxil®, and she said it took about three months for the CA-125 tumor marker to decrease after she started taking Doxil®.

OH, the new diet! This low-fiber diet is such a switch in my life style, but I'm getting used to it. Once again, the purpose of the low-fiber diet is to make the passage of my food through my GI system to go as quickly and stress-free as possible, and to see if this diet will reduce the cramps while Chemo #3 is getting rid of cancer that is around the intestines.

Back to the low-fiber diet: no seeds in fruits and veggies (the wonderful berries, and tomatoes in season), no dried fruits, or Brown rice and Brown bread (I'm still looking for a package of Wonder bread so I can have smooth peanut butter and grape jelly of my childhood days! I guess I better not expect to find the bread in Whole Foods! Today I had my second serving of 'mac and cheese,' something I have not eaten in decades.

Thanks to some of the cooks in the family, I have a nice selection of pasta and protein and well-cooked vegetable. Fresh veggies are out, as well as fruit with skin or citrus with the membranes. I love my pealed apples AND since my weight has dropped a few pounds I have had two shakes in two days! Got that gals--I'm trying to GAIN weight!

BTW, I'm continuing with my participation in Art Therapy at Premiere Oncology and Wellness Community cancer support group in Santa Monica.

Feel free to respond either on the blog or my home email:
It will be your questions and comments that will help me center on my progress.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Hi Team, from Michelle

That's right! I was discharged from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, late Saturday afternoon after receiving my NEW chemo 'joy juice'--it seems that the one I was taking for the past 6 weeks wasn't doing what it was supposed to do.

My four day stay at the hospital went very quickly because of the numerous family and friend "advocates" that joined me during the many visits from the health professionals, (including but not limited to MDs, oncologists, nurses, hospitalists, social workers, nutritionists, clinical partners, nurses, and the surgeon with the blue eyes. Opps, I forgot, AND the excellent folks that took blood samples on a very regular basis, starting at 5 in the morning. Yeah, really!)

Now back to my "Advocates" These are the dear family members and friends that wanted only the best for me. While it began with Toni taking me to ER, and Eric and Adrienne showing up shortly after, the calls and visits really made me feel like I was on a four-day cruise.

Right! We'll call it "The Cedars-Sinai Medical Center Four-Day Cruise for Life Improvement!"

So to you, my family and friends -- Your love, generosity, and actions continues to help me get AND stay emotionally and physically strong and healthy. I thank you dearly.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Michelle Checking out of Cedar's

Michelle has taken her first dose of Doxil and is going home saturday afternoon. She was in good spirits today and looking forward to getting on with the program.


Hello Anybody/Everybody, As an introduction I am Adrienne, Michelle's sister. I look forward to conversing with any and all of you. I am a newbie for this type of stuff so, hopefully I won't embarrass myself with whatever I say. I'd like to offer in advance apologies to any one whose feet/toes I might unintentially step on. Thanks, Michelle's little sister Adrienne