Piia Pauliina
  • scissors
    March 22nd, 2010

    My blood counts were good again, so I had the first part of the second cycle (they call it 2A) of this new chemo today.  The boosters seem to work.  The chemo went really well, I had no reaction this time, no hot flushes, and no nausea.  And, I finished at 4.30pm, and managed to avoid the rush hour.  Michael and Ruth could not pick me up today, but it was fine, the journey back on the tube was not too bad today.

    Oh, I have not mentioned, but I am off to Playa De Los Pocillos (near Puerto del Carmen) in Lanzarote, Spain next Tuesday after my chemo on Monday!!  My mum and step dad are off there for a two-week holiday, and mum said they have room in their bungalow and invited me to join them.  I asked my medical team about going, and to my surprise they said yes!  They do not like me traveling far in case something goes wrong, but since I am only going for 5 nights, they said I can go, but I will have to take my boosters, a letter from the doctors explaining what to do if I get ill, and some prophylactic antibiotics if I get fever.  I am so excited about leaving London again, and going somewhere warm and sunny!

  • scissors
    March 19th, 2010

    Hello everyone!  Long time no blogging.  Sorry about that.  My computer hard drive died so I was without a functioning computer for a little while.  I have a new hard drive, and an external hard drive for backing up, thanks to Geoff, Suzie’s ex.  He saved me.  Sadly, I lost my pictures and my music, as I had not been backing up my computer.  Very bad of me.  Well, I have learned my lesson.

    So what has been going on…  Quite a bit.  Here is my little update.

    I petitioned for bankruptcy on the 24th February.  I had had enough of Lloyds hassling me.  They sold two of my debts to two different debt collectors, so I had both of them calling me every day, and sending me threatening letters.  There was no way of settling it with Lloyds.  I had tried, very hard, to no avail.  The bankruptcy was my best option.

    I had to go to the Royal Court of Justice to file my bankruptcy!  What a day.  I have to say the hardest bit of it was to navigate my way in the massive, maze of a building.  Other than that, it was pretty easy, and in the end I was granted my bankruptcy!  Result.  The good news is I should be free from bankruptcy in six months time.  They are ‘fast tracking’ me, as my case was pretty simple.  The best thing is, I do not have to worry about evil Lloyds ever again!

    On Monday the 1st of March I was meant to have my Day 8 GEM-P-R chemo.  At my clinic appointment, my consultant delivered the news of my latest CT-scan.  My case had been discussed at the multidisciplinary lymphoma meeting, and they had noticed a slight progression of my cancer on the ‘paratracheal area’ whilst the remaining cancer sites being stable.  Basically, my cancer was growing in a new place and the GEM-P-R was not really working for me.  Therefore, the best option was to change my chemo immediately to PMitCEBO chemotherapy with Rituximab.

    The drugs used in the PMitCEBO chemo are: Mitoxantrone; Cyclophosphamide; Etoposide; Bleomycin; and Vinblastine.  The Cyclophosphamide and Vinblastine I have had before with the R-CHOP chemo.  It is a weekly chemo with no breaks, and it is split into two parts.  Day 1 I get Mitoxantrone, Cyclophosphamide and Etoposide, and the following week the Bleomycin and Vinblastine as well as the Rituximab, my bonus chemo drug!  I no longer need to take the horrid Methylprednisolone; I am on the basic Prednisolone, 50mg instead, although ongoing (i.e. not just for the 1st five days, I will have to take it every day).  Maybe, my bloated face will start to go down a little.

    I had my first part of this new chemo on the 1st March.  It went well, except I felt ever so sick afterwards.  I have not had that bad feeling of nausea since the treatments began.  It lasted about two days.  I have been fine since.

    I have also been very neutropenic.  They could not give me the second part of this new chemo the following Monday as my neutrophils were practically non-existent.  They were so low that the machine could not record them, and my white blood cells were 0.5.  It is funny, I felt pretty good on that day!  I was also anaemic, which could explain why had been so breathless for a couple of days.  Instead of chemo, I was given a bag of blood, which made me feel much better!  Must have been some good blood.

    Because of my low white blood cell and neutrophil counts, I am now on ‘boosters’ every week.  I have to inject myself with G-CSF (granulocyte colony-stimulating factor) to stimulate my bone marrow to increase the production on neutrophils.  I do not want my chemo to be delayed because of low neutrophils count; I rather inject myself with G-CSF everyday.

    I managed to go to the Homegame festival in Anstruther, Fife, Scotland last weekend.  This was my first proper mini break since the Homegame festival last year April.  A long time ago.  I was worried, I was not able to go since my neutrophils were so low on the Monday, and I woke up with a sore throat on Tuesday morning, but in the end the boosters and rest did the job, and I was fine on Friday when we took the train up north.

    It was such a LOVELY weekend of sea, sun, friends, music, fish and chips, dancing, chilling out, and forgetting about cancer for a couple of days.  I really need to get out of London more, and have these mini breaks, as they seem to cheer me up tremendously.  Also, these trips motivate me to keep myself well and strong, as I want to be able to go.

    My chemo was moved from Monday to Tuesday this week due to my trip.  My blood counts were excellent, better than they have been for a long time.  The boosters and the blood transfusion must have done the job.  Or maybe my cells were still happy from my mini holiday to Scotland!  So, I had the part two of my first cycle of this new PMitCEBO chemo.  They also had got funding for the Rituximab again, so I had that too.  Every time they change my treatment, they need to re-apply funding for the Rituximab.

    The last couple of weeks have been very stressful, but I am beginning to feel positive again, particularly after my trip to Scotland.  Also it really helps that the weather has improved and it is almost spring.  It is amazing not feeling freezing all the time!

    Me in Anstruther, Fife, Scotland.

    Me in Anstruther, Fife, Scotland.

    Jon, me and Emma outside our lovely B&B.

    Jon, me and Emma outside our lovely B&B.

    This view was near our B&B.  So pretty.

    This view was near our B&B. So pretty.

    Minna eating the famous 'fish supper' from the be

    Minna eating the famous 'fish supper' from the 'best fish & chips shop in the word', The Wee Chippy.

    Sun bathing outside our B&B.

    Sun bathing outside our B&B.

    Minna and I.

    Minna and I.