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Jessica Clarke - Journal

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Posted 2014-05-29T11:27:01Z

May 29

Just a quick update on my progress this week:

I'm dealing with what I would call an "average" amount of fatigue and nausea. I've been really lightheaded in the kind of way that makes you see spots and feel faint when you first stand up. This is usually associated with anemia or low blood pressure I think. The good news is that my blood work Tuesday revealed that my hemoglobin level is in the 9's (remember I started at 11 and got as low as 6.7 before my transfusion) which is great. I have enough blood to finish this out on my own![...]

Posted 2014-05-26T09:49:15Z

May 26

Let’s see, the weather has been nice. That is a good thing.

Unfortunately, it hasn’t been a great weekend for me. Saturday I tried to get up and going in the morning but quickly realized that it wasn't meant to be. Just hanging out in the yard I was having lightheadedness and feeling pretty woozy. I decided to give in to the fact that it was a couch day. Levi and Campbell made it out to a family BBQ which was great. I was grumpy about missing out on stuff, but too tired to get invested in much emotion at that point. How many episodes of Diners Drive-Ins and Dives can you watch before it gets old? I’ll let you know when I get there.[...]

Posted 2014-05-23T23:42:35Z

So far, so good.

I arrived at Champlain Valley Hematology and Oncology (CVHO) today to a couple of surprises! I had a great conversation with one of the doctors. He first stated that like my primary oncologist he likes to be realistic and not give people false hope, but commented that my going into remission so fast is a great sign that I will stay in remission! We talked about the stats a bit and I pointed out that I must have had a better start than some of the people in these darn studies. He seemed to agree.[...]

Posted 2014-05-19T22:35:23Z

May 19

The doctor made the decision to increase the dose of all of my medications with the exception of the one (remember there are five in my cocktail) that causes the bad mouth pain. That one will not be reduced, but will stay the same as it was in round five. Today the nurse had trouble with my port. This is the third time that there has been an issue. She suspects that I have a clot causing the problem. They injected something called "clot buster" (which sounds to me like something you could pick up at Ace Hardware rather than like a medical solution) which seemed to do the trick. Hopefully, today was my LAST Rituxan treatment... ever.  We won't get into the "what if's" about the poor folks who do have recurring lymphoma tumors until this is all over. The odds are slim and the prognosis isn't great, so better not to think about it now.[...]

Posted 2014-05-18T13:06:25Z

May 18

Well, the last painful spot in my mouth is healing up... just in time to start treatment again tomorrow. Have I mentioned before that I have hair envy? I didn't care about losing my hair, but have found myself admiring everyone else's locks. The eyebrow and eyelash thing is really getting me down as well. I want so badly to look normal without having to pencil on brows. [...]

Posted 2014-05-14T16:55:36Z

May 14

I'm happy to report that I woke up without a rash this morning. I kind of expected to be full of life based on what everyone said about the transfusion. I wouldn't say that was the case. I still kind of dragged out of bed. After I got Cam off to school though, I had the energy to go out and dig old mulch out of the garden for an hour. I stopped myself - only because I've been told to do about half of what I think I can do in an attempt not to overdo it. I couldn't do 5 minutes of gardening last weekend, so this is a huge improvement.[...]

Posted 2014-05-14T01:02:05Z

May 13

I got my 2 pints this afternoon. As we were driving home, I started itching. We walked through the door and Levi confirmed that my torso is covered in a red rash. I called the doctor and he instructed me to take 2 Benadryl. I guess this is not that concerning because I'm not having any shortness of breath or anything. Of course, the Benadryl in my medicine cabinet expired in Jan of 2009.[...]

Posted 2014-05-12T19:12:05Z

May 12

I had blood work done today. My hemoglobin has finally gotten low enough. There was no conversation or decision to make. Dr. Unger said, "You need blood". The transfusion will be good for a couple of reasons:[...]