Update 9/26/2014

September 26th, 2014 § 27 comments

IMG_8995I have become an expert in uncertainty.

I don’t know how I will feel from one day to the next. I don’t know if the chemotherapy that worked a few weeks ago will still work today. I don’t know how my body will tolerate what I’m doing. I don’t know how long this all will last.

I was supposed to get chemo a few days ago (Tuesday) as usual. However, when I arrived and had my bloodwork done I found out that the higher dose of Carboplatin the week before had really continued to hit my body hard. My platelets were too low to safely receive chemo. This means I had very little clotting ability. The Gemzar I was due to get that day hits platelets hard so it presented an even more dangerous situation. My hemoglobin was on its way down, too. I was told I couldn’t get chemo as planned.

Instead, during what turned out to be a 13 hour medical day, I received two bags of platelets by transfusion and one unit of packed red cells. I had never received platelets before. I had no idea what they looked like… they look like pale orange juice (shown at left).


This is a great opportunity to share a link to Sloan-Kettering’s online information about blood and platelet donation and eligibility criteria. I do not need designated donations at this time but I do rely on donor blood and platelets so if you are eligible please donate when you can! It’s a great way to help those with cancer for free.

Today (Friday) I was finally able to get chemo. We will see how I tolerate this dose but the plan now is that rather than receiving my next Carbo/Gem in 14 days, I will get it in 11 days to get back on schedule. This means I will have to do a few daily Neupogen shots next week to boost my white count.

There will be another book auction this year with proceeds going to my fund for metastatic breast cancer research. Authors you know and will recognize are donating signed copies in many genres. I will be sharing links here and on my blog Facebook page if you want to window shop or place a bid. That will be in October. Thanks to Erika Robuck again for arranging this; I know it’s a lot of work.

Wishing you all a good weekend, we expect a last burst of summer here in Connecticut.

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§ 27 Responses to Update 9/26/2014"

  • Joy Ann says:

    I so hope all went well today. Have a beautiful weekend.

    • Lisa Bonchek Adams says:

      Very smoothly, thank you. Should be my last in NYC, looking forward to writing about the new Memorial Sloan-Kettering building next month!

  • Joanne Firth says:

    I’m relieved that you were able to receive your chemo treatment today. The transfusion did its job and soon you will be back on schedule. My hope is that your body is able to tolerate today’s treatment and that the side effects will not be too severe for you.

    As always, thank you for the time you take to keep us updated. I’ll be close by reading your tweets hoping for the best. xo

  • Kathy Steepleton says:

    Please Lisa give me a word to live by!! That I can connect to you. Jennifer left me with “believe”. May be all combined will provide hope… For all

    • Lisa Bonchek Adams says:

      This is a great question. I am going to think about it. The first ones that popped in my mind are “persevere” and “onward.” But I’m going to keep thinking. I was looking at Jen’s photo a few days ago. She remains in my heart. Thank you for reading. It would be interesting to know what word my friends think is a good one!

      • Radhika Kamath says:

        To me you will always be about grace, Lisa! We should all learn to live life with the grace with which you do. Hugs!

    • Michael says:


      That is the word I use in relation to my Lori.

  • I admire your grace and frankness as you generously share your journey. I am so glad things went well today. Blessings.

  • Erika Robuck says:

    I’m so glad you were able to get chemo today. I will keep you posted on the auction link. I wish you a very peaceful weekend with your family.

  • You are on my mind and in my heart tonight.

  • pat says:

    I have brain cancer and live day to day. I whish I had a girl friend to talk.

  • Sarah Buttenwieser says:

    Heart with you — maybe a word when I think of you beyond the working ones like persevere is beauty, Lisa. Translated to a verb: cherish, possibly savor, and of course, look. You observe and that’s one of your amazing gifts.

  • darcy thiel says:

    hi lisa-
    i tried to leave a comment before and I think it didn’t go through. anyhow, i read about you in an article written my marcy westerling….
    i appreciate your blog and your welcome page; it is close to my heart; when my husband was diagnosed, we started writing on caringbridge, and i eventually made it into a book; my style is similar to yours- just raw honesty….
    if you are interested, check out my blog; many of them discuss how we were forever changed by the events in our lives; i don’t know if you’ve done any guest blog swapping, but i would love exchange posts with you if that appeals to you at all…
    i’m at helpforhealing.wordpress.com
    blessings on your journey…

  • Jessica says:

    platelets are always in short supply and giving them
    is hugely rewarding. Before I got
    Lymphoma I donated frequently and they treated me like a rock star. As
    a nurse I have gone to the blood bank and witnessed frantic phone calls to locate platelets at other banks because we didn’t have enough for the patients who needed them. And this is in a major metropolitan area. Anyway, here’s hoping the current regimen works for you, Lisa!

  • Connie taylor says:

    My dear lisa,even your name invokes memories. I know every step you are taking. My emotion for you is HOPE. It is a human emotion and means you never ,never give up!!! Our lisa was a beacon of hope to everyone. Something good is around the corner. You will find it. Keep hoping. Hugs,aunt connie

  • Barbara Shernoff says:

    Dear Lisa,

    Thanks for your very informative post. I remember having to give myself those Neupogen shots-and i hate needles!!-but it’s a great drug.
    Enjoy the beautiful week-end weather.

    Wishing you all the best,


  • Lynn says:

    Reading about these long days dealing with the chemo process makes me especially sad when I think about this. 90 MINUTES!!!

    man. our system is REALLY f**ed up. This is a great read. Another reason to move to France.

    Also thanks for the HV recommendation. I just finished High Maintenance and Bored to Death. Some unintentional similarities there…but both pretty funny.

  • Trevor says:

    Hi Lisa,

    I haven’t read your blog very much. My wife, Amy was a fan – she was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer at the end of 2010. It spread to her liver and spleen last year and sadly she died earlier this month on the 6th September.

    It’s probably a cliche to say that I’m in shock, but that’s the only way I can describe my feelings at the moment. Amy faced her illness with fortitude and strength and always put others ahead of herself. I went to the hospital earlier this week to catch up with the breast care nurse (who has been incredible throughout) and umpteen nurses stopped me to tell me how much they thought of Amy.

    Even though I was with Amy when she died I still keep expecting her to come in from the shops at any minute.

    We’ve got two small children, Audrey aged 7 and Elijah 5 and I know you’ve got kids of your own.

    Anyway, I guess I’m writing you this because just before Amy died I found a passage on death (of which there are obviously a gazillion on the internet) and showed it to Amy as I planned to read it at her funeral. It wasn’t a bad passage, just something vaguely spiritual and well meaning.

    In return she showed me your post ‘when I die’ and the poem you wrote which pretty much summed up how Amy felt about things. Your poem was 100% better than the verse I chose.

    Amy’s sister read it at the funeral. So many people remarked how appropriate and moving it was.

    I’ve put a website of Amy together (at Amyhickman.com.au) I hope you don’t mind but I’ve put the poem on there too (let me know if you do have an issue). I’ll put a link to this blog too.

    I’m so sorry to read about your platelet transfusions. I promise I’ll read more of your blog over the next few days it’s just at the moment it’s all feeling a bit raw for me. I hope you get to enjoy as much time with your children as you can. However it all ends up for you they are your legacy.

    All the best,

    Trevor (Canberra, Australia)

    • Lisa Bonchek Adams says:

      Trevor, I’ve been wanting to reply since the moment you posted this but I’ve had a hard week with treatment. I cannot tell you how touched I am by both Amy’s wishes and your strength and kindness in telling me that I was a part of her service. I’m honored and I don’t know if I’ve heard anything that has meant more to me than this.

      I hope you will feel that you can come back to read more someday here, but if you can’t, I understand. I hope that this reply will reach you. I will be looking at Amy’s site and holding you and your children in my heart. I am so sorry for your loss. Again, I can’t thank you enough for having the presence of mind to share your story with me during such a devastating time.

  • Elizabeth says:

    I am glad you were able to get your chemo. Hoping things start to improve for you.

  • nilufer says:

    I am always amazed how brave you are dear liza.I suffered from nausea and vomiting for a few hours last week. I felt rotten and I kept thinking of you and how you are coping with all the chemo sessions so bravely.
    Hope your treatment works well.

  • joe says:

    SO sorry to hear about these situations that my fellow man must suffer. I hope that you find comfort in your time of distress

    • Latrice says:

      Athletic29 octubre, 2008Menos mal un juego de dragon ball pero de la primera parte de la serie, porque ya ocn tanto superguerrero y tal uno se pierde con tantas trsfanormaciones. A la espera de que salga.

    • http://www./ says:

      a do euro nem acho que seja solução. Mas se explicar o que leva a propor essa medida, as pessoas vão ficar a perceber as circunstâncias.Fale radicalmente mas seja humilde nas suas conclusões. Afinal de contas, ninguem garante que você mude novamente de ideias daqui por 20 anos…

    • Posted on August 2, 2011 by Oh my. You people seriously have issues. *Laughs maniacally between the tears of hysteria.* You forgot however – the constant pain in the tail bone from prolonged disuse of the buttocks, as well as the frozen, somewhat twisted praying mantis claw fingers from mouse gripping due to editing.

  • James says:

    Very Sad situation to see here

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