zen.org Communal Weblog

May 11, 2011

Click, Click, Click Goes the Counter

Filed under: — brendan @ 20:29 GMT

Yesterday, my neutrophils (the ones the doctors care about) were at 0.4; this morning’s blood samples showed them at 0.7. When they reach 1.0 (for two days in a row, I should mention), the growth stimulating hormone shots will stop. In interesting timing, yesterday I did the shot myself for the first time, with the guidance of a nurse. Tonight I applied the second one myself. They sure hurt a lot less when you’re doing it.

In parallel, my white cell count was 0.6 yesterday, and was 1.0 today.

Fingers crossed this team keeps growing.

Dermatology 101

For a long time now I’ve suffered from psoriasis, a skin condition which appears (usually on my scalp) as red patches of skin with what looks like dried skin on it. I use dandruff shampoo which isn’t made for psoriasis in particular, but does a decent enough job most of the time.

A couple of weeks after my first round of chemo, I lost most of the hair on my head. But my scalp was perfectly clear, not a patch of psoriasis to be seen. It turns out one possible side-effect of at least one of the meds used in my chemo treatment has a side-effect of making psoriasis go away, albeit briefly.

Recently we noticed patches were coming back. This could be related to the fact that my white cells were coming back into being. My doctors asked me about my history with psoriasis, and today a dermatology consult (and then she with her boss) came to give me a look-see. I’ve now got prescriptions for a tar-based ointment (for my scalp) and some hydrocortisyl skin ointment (for the few places elsewhere, like under my arms).

Apparently I’m still learning about the ways a chemo treatment can affect your body.

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