Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Round 4

Hi everyone, hope Halloween was fun.  Thank you to all who gave great bald costume ideas.  I decided to go as a disgruntled sports fan.

Thursday morning I check in for round 4, which means that come Monday afternoon I will only have 2 chemo treatments left.  As I have talked about in the past, we are learning something new to improve the quality of my stay each time, and for this cycle I am going to make a bunch of sandwiches and bring a cooler full of food so that I don't have to rely on takeout and "patient dinning" for sustenance.  Also, when I saw the doctor last week during my fever weekend, I informed her of the weird day I had during treatment 3 when I became moody and then so weak I couldn't even keep my eyes open to watch football.  She said it could be due to the toxicity of on of my drugs, and they are probably going to change the schedule for administering it during the last 3 rounds.  Apparently this drug can really get to you, so if you begin to see signs such as those I saw, a change needs to be made. 

Since my last post after finally being let out of the hospital for low white blood counts, there was the possibility late last week that I might have to receive blood transfusions due to low red blood counts and low platelets.  They never called me to schedule a transfusion, so unless it is done via the internet I guess I didn't need them.  I guess red blood cells have a life span of 120 days or so, which means that mine were low because they were just now dying from the start of my treatment, and with the chemo running through my veins it was stunting the replication and thus resulting in a low count.  White blood cells on the other hand have a life cycle of about a week, so your count can bottom out and then turn around rather quickly after that, which is what happened in my case.

One of the questions I always get asked regarding this entire process is whether or not I've lost any weight.  Surprisingly, my weight has stayed constant, though I was noticing yesterday that I carry it a little different than I did before this all started.  I was working out a lot beforehand and I have totally lost any muscle tone I once had, to the point where I am a bit flabby.  Thankfully I have such great role models like Subway's Jarrod to help motivate me to tone it up a little bit.  In all seriousness, since I have been feeling so good especially during the week leading up to treatment, I have begun to push it a little bit more with some jogging.  I have definitely noticed a difference in my endurance and heart rate max between now and and before treatment.  If I had to guess it is a combination of the medicine's toll on my heart, and the lack of hard aerobic exercise I have participated in since this began.  Either way, I am going to take even more advantage of the days I feel good and start to get my body back in shape, because once I have surgery, I'm bound to need physical therapy, and I would prefer to go into that somewhat prepared.

My next post will be from beautiful Emory Midtown, so until then, have a great week!


  1. Glad to hear you are able to get in a little exercise. Good luck with Round 4.

  2. Emory Midtown--sounds so spa-like, doesn't it? Saw the article in Sunday's AJC. You continue to learn so much through this process that soon you will be the Mentor, helping someone just like your self (what am I saying--you are one of a kind!) get through this grueling experience.

    Chemo can take your hair, knock your blood count whacky, but it can never take your positive attitude, your sense of humor or the ability to turn dire circumstance into opportunity for triumph.

    All of your friends & family are praying for you! Including me!

  3. Does this mean I am as long off the tee as you are now? If so, let's get to Imperial Lakewoods and play!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. atta boi

    -Miller Gunn

  5. Stay strong for Round #4 Michael . . . and be sure to walk as much as you can up there on the 7th floor during your treatment!

    --Dave Novak

  6. Great blog. Keep it up my man. Thinking of you often.

  7. Michael, Round four......you've come so far....stay tough; the finish line is in sight. Sending hugs for strength and prayers that this cycle goes smoothly, with minimum side effects. Michelle on Westview.

  8. Eyes on the prize buddy! You're over halfway home!