Update 9/18/2014

September 18th, 2014 § 15 comments

IMG_9018Paradoxically, the one thing I can count on now is uncertainty.

In my last post I talked about the plan to get Gemzar this week after a higher dose of Carboplatin (and usual dose of Gemzar) last week. Unfortunately, the higher dose gave me some trouble. I knew within a few days of that treatment I would need a blood transfusion this week, but I deteriorated fast over the weekend. I wasn’t able to stand up on Sunday without nearly passing out and when I arrived at the hospital my heart rate would sprint to 165 when I stood up. The higher dose of chemo last week and the cumulative effects of so many cycles of chemo have just beaten my body down a bit for now. It’s hard to believe I’ve made it almost two years now with constant treatment.

I received one unit of blood on Sunday at Urgent Care at Sloan-Kettering and came home to rest and let it do its work. For that reason I did not get chemo this week. Instead I’m getting an extra week to let my body get its strength back. Next week I will move forward with a higher dose of the other chemo drug and we’ll see if these changes can get a response.

In the meantime I was able to get my flu shot. Please realize how important it is to get this vaccine. You absolutely cannot get the flu from the shot. The virus is inactivated (in contrast to the live virus FluMist). According to the CDC the flu and complications from it kill almost as many people each year as breast cancer. Let that sink in. The flu kills about 36,000 people each year. Metastatic breast cancer kills approximately 40,000 people.

Hope you all have a good rest of the week and weekend. This week really felt like Fall here and the garden is changing. The pictured hydrangea is one of the last with color for the season…

§ 15 Responses to Update 9/18/2014"

  • Beth says:

    My thoughts are with you, it’s truly amazing what the body can do! Hoping for a good response to your treatment and added strength!

  • Theresa Meyer says:

    My oncologist told me to NOT get a flu shot. He had all my family and friends get them. ??????????????????/

    Why the discrepancy?

    Another Stage IV BC friend,
    Theresa Meyer

    • Lisa Bonchek Adams says:

      I don’t know why he said it. The only way to know that would be to ask him. Possibilities include that it may be considered too much of a risk with your particular metastases, or conflicts with your current treatment, or something else. Obviously the person who knows your history and treatment would have to make that call but no matter what you are entitled to know what the medical basis for the decision was. Hope you can get an answer.

    • Lisa says:

      Vaccines may not work as well depending on what chemotherapy you are using and where you are in the cycle. I got my flu shot Monday.

  • Hiiamamie says:

    The beautiful flower still brings happiness to those who see it, and it will be storing its energy to bring joy to others for years to come. A symbolic photo during your hard times.

  • meri says:

    Hi, Lisa! Whew – what a week. Thank you for the update in spite of all, and for the flu shot reminder. I admire you so much for doing the best you can…and always think of you and your family. xoxoxoxo

  • Michael says:

    Rough week…..but the transfusion certainly helps out quite a bit,doesn’t it? It is extremely remarkable that you are still tolerating in most respects the carboplatin. I am sure your team is making copious notes about this development as so many cancer patients cannot handle what you are taking right now…you are a pathfinder Lisa and I hope many are helped by your journey.

  • Sarah Buttenwieser says:

    Just reading and holding you in my heart–and your family. Using comments as a way to send a smidgen more love your way.

  • Rebecca says:

    I think the flu shot is more important this year than ever with that darned Enterovirus D68 going around. I haven’t scheduled my shot yet, but I will soon. I’ll also make sure my daughter gets one. Meanwhile I called this morning and scheduled my mammo for the end of this month. Thank you for the reminders Lisa.

    I hope you can rest some and be able to get some treatment next week.

  • Elizabeth says:

    Sorry you had such a rough week. Hoping for a good response to your treatment. My onc always suggests I get the flu shot. Thanks for the reminder.

  • Naomi says:

    From your tweets today, it sounds like that transfusion did its job. Hope for smooth-as-possible chemo this coming week.

  • Cecilia says:

    I got my first flu shot ever partly thanks to you and partly because of viewing PBS’s recent Frontline show online on the merits and risks of vaccinations. I asked my doctor about vaccinations against shingles, pneumonia and others, but she said my white blood cell counts are too low at this time Thanks again for bringing another matter of great concern to stage 4 patients front and center.

  • Hello Lisa,

    I have only one post on your cancer journey, but I am afraid to read much more. I lost my dad to pancreatic cancer January 2013, it brings back a lot of emotions. Following my dad’s passing I lost my job and my husband had asked for a divorce. There were no jobs in my field so I needed an outlet to manage some of these emotions. So I started a blog myself. All I can say at this point, without giving too much away, is, “this journey has been amazing!” I will be praying for your and your family!

  • Gail says:

    I found your site last night and read through all of your posts. I am looking for a way to help a loved one deal with stage 4 lung cancer. While it’s clear there are no easy answers, your writing provided tools and strategies. You provided a valuable assist; I wish I could return the favor in some way. Thanks and I’ll keep reading – I hope to be able to do so for a long time.

  • […] 36,000 people each year. Metastatic breast cancer kills approximately 40,000 people.” ( Visit Lisa Adams’ blog, she’ll tell you first hand about METASTATIC Breast Cancer, and also how you should get your […]

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