Penny’s Blog

Awaiting the crash?

Posted on: October 27, 2008

I’m very curious about how this week is going to work chemo-wise:

  • After taking steroids for 5 days, today’s the day I stop taking them. I’ve heard all kinds of things about what happens when the body stops getting its dose of Prednisone: “That’s the day you don’t get out of bed,” “You’ll just cry all day,” “You’ll want to bite someone’s head off,” and “It’s really no big deal.”
  • Mid- to late week is when my blood cell counts are at their lowest in the cycle, and I’m supposed to avoid being exposed to anyone sick, and stay away from crowds. This is the one bad thing about going through chemo in the fall and winter–there are lots of people dripping and sneezing and coughing out there already. I’m taking a bottle of Purell to work with me today.
  • And I’ve developed a weird side effect, I think from the Vincristine component of the chemo: Spasmy pain at my jaw joints. It’s not killer pain, but it just feels like someone’s pulled the tendons tight on my face, or like I’ve tasted something very sour and my jaw has contracted.

But otherwise… so far, so good. I’m happy to report that I haven’t yet barfed a single time, and that I generally feel okay, so long as I don’t overtire myself. I’m spending more time on the phone lately, and am rediscovering that I actually like talking to people.

My friend Marion has offered to organize a food-bringing, cat-walking, etc. volunteer calendar, so I’ll let you know when that’s up and going.  (She’s just getting back from out of town, so it may be a few days.)  Thanks for all the offers of help!


5 Responses to "Awaiting the crash?"

Cat-walking? You walk your cat?

I am so glad to hear that things are going OK with all of this. From what I hear, attitude has a big effect, and yours seems outstanding. You go, Penny. I’ll be happy to sign up on that volunteer calendar, too.

Penny this would be a great place to post foods that you want brought to you. I know that when people ask me a specific question about what I would like it’s hard to think of it at that very moment.

I know you are smart enough to follow doctors’ orders, etc. This is indeed the time of year for crowds, germs, and the shock of cold/hot/cold when entering/exiting buildings.

Hope you’re allowed to eat ice cream.

Love, Alyson

Penny, I second Casey’s suggestion that you post your food likes and dislikes. Actually, dislikes might be most helpful, IF we can assume you like everything else but those foods.

Hey Penny,

Let us know specifics of things that might be helpful as you think of them. Take good care of yourself and let others take good care of you too!


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  • dswope: I just happened by after my I received an email from a close colegue that he was headig for IVPalooza. All I knew was that it was a form of chemo.
  • Brian: Hi Penny; When I was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma I found your site. Reading about what you went through was incredibly helpful to me. Tha
  • Tricia: Still here; still caring; still rooting you on!


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