Day 2, Cycle 4: Hemi-Cycle

Cancer constellationDuring Cycle 3, I developed an unpleasant abscess which ended up with me at the Emergency Room. Since then I’ve been checked regularly by a surgeon and seen my oncologist a couple of times. The abscess is healing well but my oncologist wanted it to get a chance to finish completely healing so Cycle 4 is a half-treatment: yesterday I received Herceptin and Perjeta, which don’t depress white blood cell counts, so I won’t need to take a WBC booster this cycle and I will continue healing without the two-week interruption I would otherwise face.

Playing Mint Tin Pirates during chemo
Playing Mint Tin Pirates during chemo

This means that a seventh cycle will be tacked on at the end (should be mid-August) to give me Carboplatin and Taxotere and reach a total of six doses each. (See here for the write-up on this cocktail of drugs.) I’m not thrilled about having a seventh session, but it does buy me a little break in the middle of the course of treatment.

White cat stretched on my legs
Dr. Valentine, Chief Felinotherapist, is on the job

I also received good news of two kinds. First the oncologist examined me and agreed that the tumour was reduced (it can’t be located by touch anymore), which is why she was willing to give me the half-treatment cycle in the first place. Yay! Chemistry is working!

Second, I just got my Medi-Cal benefits card. This takes a huge weight off my shoulders — though sadly, I have developed the reflex of immediately wondering what will go wrong to ruin good news.