Sunday, May 15, 2011

50% done

Even though my second infusion (halfway mark) was over a week ago, now that I am through week one of infusion #2(the hardest post-infusion week), I am officially considering myself halfway done with chemo!!!!! You can pretty much look back at this post to know how I've been feeling this past week. But to summarize.....

This time around, because I kind of knew what to expect, my odd side effects were not as alarming. My worst days for fatigue were once again Sunday and Monday. I still had (have) the tachycardia although like last time it is improving. It is pretty annoying and a bit scary those few days when you can feel (what should be) your resting pulse racing throughout your whole body. My pulsating low back pain was not as significant this time around. I think I did not push myself as hard physically those first few days and I have also learned that Tylenol really does help:) My skin seems much happier this time around as well and even though my mouth got all yucky again, it doesn't seem as bad as last time either. Honestly, I'm not sure if my symptoms really were less this time around or if I have just learned how to manage them better. Either way....I am 50% done!

The one thing that remains a mystery is what my red blood cell count is doing. Prior to my last infusion, my RBCs were slightly low, meaning I was slightly anemic. We did an iron panel to make sure I don't have an underlying iron deficiency. The iron panel results are back and my iron and total iron binding capacity are within normal limits. Although, interestingly, my B12 and folate levels are high. B12 is actually really, really high. I am not taking any B12 supplement with the exception of my daily vitamin. My oncology nurse was not concerned about this, but I plan on talking with my oncologist more at my next visit. If anyone has any insights, please let me know! Keep in mind that my liver enzymes and WBC are all in the normal ranges.

As for physical activity, I took it a little easier the first few days of the week. Partly because I knew my body would come around and partly because I was trying to work and I only have so much energy this first week. By Thursday, I felt good enough to go for a road ride. I rode up Emigration Canyon with this girl and felt surprisingly good. I think the good company helped:) I managed to ride dirt with Shannon both Saturday and Sunday. I'm still keeping my rides to sub 2 hours, but it was a beautiful weekend and it felt so good to be out.


  1. I totally get waiting until after the side effects are gone to call it 50%. Woohoo!!! 50% done though!

  2. It's all downhill from here, and we know you love downhill!

  3. Congratulations Jen! Will you be available later this summer to give a downhilling clinic? You guys learned some great skills at that clinic last year. Bob was commenting on his new found DH speeds as well.

  4. Alison, I'd be game to do another 'informal' clinic this summer. I may be done with chemo before the weather breaks anyhow:)

  5. Hi my name is Allison. I'm a 34 year old female who was just diagnosed with breast cancer. I consider myself an athlete (although nothing on your impressive scale!). I have seen dr after dr and am reconciling myself to the mastectomy followed by chemo. The one thing that terrifies me is chemo's impact on my heart. I really need to believe that I can go back to running and be strong once I beat this. Would you mind sharing with me if your chemo regime includes an anthracycline? Were you given an option on what types of drug combos to use? I am grateful you elected to share your story. I wish you all the best and would appreciate anything you feel like sharing.

  6. Allison, I am so sorry about your recent diagnosis. My chemo 'cocktail' is taxotere and cytoxan (TC). No anthracycline. These are huge and tough decisions and unfortunately there is no clear cut answer. I would be more than happy to share with you our thought process for my decision. My email is You can send me an email and then we can exchange phone numbers if you like. I also have an athlete friend who went the anthracycline route. She is about 10 months out from her last infusion. I'm sure she would be more than happy to talk with you as well.

    Talk with you soon,