Chemo ReCap: Week 7/12

Maybe it’s mind over matter, but I’m back to normal after being slightly off-kilter last week.  If I still feel ok this weekend, all systems are go for Sunday’s half-marathon.

Weight:  No change from last week’s 120 lbs.

General condition:  99.99% of normal.  Truly.

Blood Tests (12/12 ):  I continue to be slightly anemic but my white blood cell count has bounced back up to a prechemo level.  My liver seems a bit confounded by the Taxol as demonstrated by liver function tests:  the ALT came down but the Bilirubin went up (if they both go up it indicates possible liver damage; I’ve no idea what it means if one goes up and the other doesn’t).

Hair Loss:  Head hair is going strong.  My right eyebrow is markedly thin (read:  almost gone) on the right side. I think the moleskin I’ve been putting on strategic locations on my head during Cold Cap use is inadvertently contacting my eyebrows and pulling out some hairs.  The difference between normal times and right now when the Taxol is killing hair follicles all over my body (but not on the scalp under the Cold Caps) is that those yanked out eyebrow hairs aren’t regenerating.

Body Aches:  None.

Peripheral Neuropathy:  Tiny bit of numbness in left thumb and forefinger again but for only an hour Saturday morning, just after I returned from a very cold walk outdoors.  It seems like there’s a pattern here.  Last week’s neuropathy also occurred after my fingers became very cold while I was outdoors for a long period of time.  I should probably pull out some ski gloves for when I’m walking or biking.

Nausea and Vomiting:  None.

Intestinal Upset:  None.

Mouth & Nose:  Some nosebleeds, exacerbated by cold weather and the house heater.

Nails & Skin:  The Taxol is doing a number on my nails.  A good chunk of my left thumb nail peeled off Saturday after I forgot to reapply protective nail polish for a few days. The nail damage, which was prompted by peeling some chestnuts we’d picked at a nearby farm a couple of weeks ago, was unexpected and quite impressive.  Fortunately, there was still some depth left to the nail so I filed it smooth and reapplied polish to prevent further damage.  Also, skin on my forehead and temples is blotchy where the moleskin has pulled off a few layers of skin.  I’ll have to assume this is preferable to frostbite damage.

Bilirubin, total 0.2-1.2 mg/dL 0.5 1.0 0.5 0.5 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.8

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