Friday, December 23, 2011

All Clear for Santa

Had my high resolution CT scan today.  And actually got the results today to, what a bonus.  The infection in the upper lungs is no longer there which is good.  Even better no sign of any lymphoma in the chest.  At the time of this news, I did not have the results of my blood work.  So later in the day I found out that the immunoglobulins have boosted my immune system back up to good ranges.  So my question was "why am I coughing so much?"  It is possible that the rituxan is being hard on my respiratory system in the way of tightening the air ways, which could cause me to cough as a reaction.  Being that I have been coughing for 12 weeks, it's possible that maybe I did not have the crud the whole time.  Don't have all the answers, but the onc wants to try an inhaler to help open up the airways.  Tonight I did my first dose, and I gotta say, it did help.  So let's hope this is a step in the right direction, and possibly a cause to all my discomfort.  I can hope right?  So thats how this year will probably end up, and possibly my first difficulty with treatment since this began earlier this year.  No complaints on that one.

I wish everyone a Merry Christmas, and cannot wait to ring in 2012!

Maintenance on hold

Talked to the oncologist again today.  Gotta say that the day started off good with a nice number on the scale, good blood pressure, but concerns over the coughs.  Yes, after 12 weeks, I am still coughing.  This past week I noticed a tightening of the chest feeling at times when I took a breath, and sometimes just not feeling like I was breathing well.  Not short on breaths, but just a very different feeling.  One of the side affects to Rituxan is lung problems and chest pains.  So my oncologist is going to put my Rituxan on hold right now, and send me to a pulmonary specialist to see what is going on with the lungs and make sure that the harshness of the Rituxan hasn't knocked me down too far.  So I have a High Resolution CT scan tomorrow morning, hopefully the infection is gone, but better yet not worsened.  I will go back in two weeks and have another round of immunoglobulins, bubbles as I call them, and see if it will get my immune system back on track.  Guess I now know what it is like to have a suppressed immune system.  While I don't feel awful, the cough is getting old, but the tight chest did get my attention, so here is to getting better!!

So not a lot of good cheer to go with this, but Christmas is soon to be upon us.  I will have a smile on my face, and look forward to a new 2012.  This year has been one that I will not forget, but I am very positive that I will continue to do well and am motivated to continue fighting this inconvenience.  Many people keep me in their prayers, and I am grateful for that, and is part of the reason that I stay strong in this fight!!

Merry Christmas!  iBelieve

Thursday, December 8, 2011


Today I have my treatment to help my immune system with the IV of immunoglobulin.  It was pretty easy to do, had the strange taste in my mouth common to the treatments I have had.  Hopefully I will feel better soon.  Wikipedia gave this definition, IVIG is given as a plasma protein replacement therapy (IgG) for immune deficient patients who have decreased or abolished antibody production capabilities. In these immune deficient patients, IVIG is administered to maintain adequate antibody levels to prevent infections and confers a passive immunity.  Gonna go back in 2 weeks and hopefully be strong enough that I can continue on with my maintenance treatment.  If not, more IVIG.  So for now, doing good, just hoping I bounce back from the infection they saw in my lungs.  Not sure why it had so many air bubbles, but this is what the bottle looked like once I was almost done.

Getting the immune system pump started

Friday, December 2, 2011

Maintenance Round 4 delayed

So like I cannot believe I have not added a post in almost 2 months.  Where is time going.  But I partially have a good reason.  I have been sick for 9 weeks now.  It started out as a cough sometimes congested head in the middle of October. So I started the over the counter meds, you know mucinex and vitamin c.  Yeah that did not get better.  So at the end of October, found out I did have fluids in my right ear, an ugly throat, and I got my first round of amoxicillin, and an inhaler.  7 days and guess what, not better.  Gave it a little longer but went back for more meds.  Got some cough syrup with codeine plus a nose spray.  10 days later, the improvement nose dived again and I started feeling like crap again.  The coughing was not suppressed with the syrup I was taking so I asked for something better so I could at least sleep.  So Oct 29th, my third trip in, got a chest X-ray.  Yeah, that was clear, my lungs sounded clear, but I coughed and hacked it up all the time.  So I asked how that could be with everything being clear, and was told that they may need to do a CT scan of my chest.  Guess you cannot se everything with X-rays any more.

So I asked my oncologists triage nurses whether there was anything to be worried about and what a CT scan would show that a chest X-ray wouldn't.   Apparently a good bit.  So, I got right in for a CT scan, and when I went in my my 4th round of maintenance, my oncologist decided we would delay and he wanted bloodwork.  Talked about my immunoglobulins and needing to see if they are low.  He wants to give me what I think is called an ivig, which google says is an iv with immune globulins from donated plasma.  So the bloodwork is taken and I will know more on the 8th.

So meanwhile, 4 days into the stronger antibiotics, and I don't feel any better.  The cough syrup which has hydrocodone in it, that makes me sleep pretty darn good.  Thats a life saver let me tell you.  I will see what Monday brings, but if I am not better, might be calling back to ask about the immune system and what the bloodwork looks like.  It's a wait game.  Not sure when Round 4 will be, so keep an eye out.

Don't forget you can put your email address on the main page to get an email notice I blogged.  That way if I totally loose track of time and haven't posted, you won't get tired of coming back to nothing. :)

I think this is such an awesome quote, gonna post it again!