The Stacey Report

August 4, 2006: Chemo Treatment #6

Posted in Uncategorized by ohthatdeb on August 4, 2006

Stacey’s sixth treatment at the Chemo Cafe went smoothly, only SEVEN hours as you read in the brief report. Yaaaaawn.

First Stacey checked in with TFDB, who said that her white blood cell levels continue to be good. This was a concern: they decided to skip the Neulasta last time, because most women don’t need it when taking Taxol. There was a chance that that decision would backfire, but everything looks good. This is important because if Stacey’s white blood cell count is too low, her chemo treatment has to be postponed until it looks better. The idea is to stay agressive, and giving the cancer time to regroup is not on the schedule.

Now on to the exciting Parade of Medications! Turns out there aren’t 3 or 4 bags of Benadryl, just one. There are 3 other pre-meds; one is Anzemet, which is an anti-nausea (just in case, I guess). Stacey couldn’t remember the other two, but she thinks they were to prevent allergic reactions. Then there was the Taxol, then the Herceptin, then the Zometa.

As we reported after the last treatment, we have launched an investigation into the mysterious process of “cooking the drugs.” We assumed that Newton Wellesley is not running a meth lab back there, so we had to do some investigative journalism to ferret out the real story. This investigative journalism consisted of Stacey, at peril of life and limb, um… well, ok, she just asked. But the nurse, it must be said, was strangely wary. “Why do you want to know that?” her expression seemed to say. Well, gee, you’re pumping this stuff into my blood stream every other week, I kinda want to know what it is! In her defense, it seems that no one ever asks — just us crazies.

So, here’s the story. For most drugs, the process just consists of injecting the drug into a saline solution. However! (and here’s where the intrigue starts) some of the drugs have to be reconstituted from powders, and others take a long time to disperse in the saline. Sort of like when you’re making macaroni and cheese? You don’t want to put the macaroni back in before you’ve stirred all the cheese powder into the milk, because then you get these dusty little blobs clinging to the macaroni? And they’re all salty and gross? Yeah, I hate when that happens.

Oh, right, Stacey. Anyway, she was thoroughly unimpressed with the cooking process, so we’ll try to come up with something more interesting to report on. On the other hand, we might not have a chance because there are only two more scheduled treatments. At that point, Stacey will have a mess of tests and review things with TFDB to decide what the next steps will be.

In the meantime, we’ve found out a few things about the effects of Taxol. Stacey overheard two women talking at the Cafe, and one said that her friend didn’t lose her eyebrows until her last Taxol treatment, but that they grew in a week later. Stacey’s eyebrows are looking decidedly scant these days — I asked what she was planning to do about it, did she want to try some makeup… well. Those of you who know Stacey well can imagine her reaction to that suggestion. She gave me that famous “oh, please!” snark: “If people are freaked out because I don’t have eyebrows, that’s their problem. I have more important things going on.”

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why IBC picked the wrong gal to mess with.

Coming soon to a Stacey Report blog near you: the long-awaited essay on the power of righteous indignation, and a report on a super snazzy surprise! (No, you don’t need your wallets. Yet.)

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One Response

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  1. JohannaDeeeeeees said, on August 7, 2006 at 2:23 pm

    I can hear the snark from here. It’s part of Stacey’s charm. So I found these eyebrows as an alternative to make up: http://www.mcphee.com/items/09510.html

    (You could probably just snip that moustache off unless you find it fetching.)–>


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