Stopping the Ibrance, and a platelet transfusion today
Friday, July 17, 2015
It's been a long day today, but at the moment, I'm glad to be back in the comfort of my own home and in my pajamas.
My blood counts yesterday were not good. The hemoglobin was fine, it went up to 11.5 after the transfusion, but my platelets actually went down some more, down to 10. When I went to the cancer center for my Halotestin injection, I had to get a platelet transfusion. It wasn't bad; not much different than getting a blood transfusion, but it takes much less time, only about a half hour. And I was surprised that they were not red, like blood, but yellow, kind of the color of chicken broth.
If you've read my recent blogs, you know my feelings about the current treatment I am on, the Ibrance. I feel very strongly that I do NOT want to continue with it, even after the 7 day break. I wasn't able to talk to my oncologist today, but I asked to talk to the nurse practitioner/patient advocate. Her name is Sunday (and I was told she does not work on Mondays), but anyway, she was so nice, and so easy to talk to. I told her about my problems with the Ibrance, my misgivings about continuing with it, and the fact that my cancer has been metastatic for 8 years now and I've been on several different treatments, so this is not a decision I made lightly or out of desperation. Well, she is totally on board with whatever I want to do, and she assured me my oncologist would not be upset with me if I no longer want to do it. She said that they (meaning everyone including the medical staff) don't want any patient to feel they are being forced to do anything or do continue with a treatment they are not comfortable with. She is also going to talk to my oncologist, and that makes me feel better, because when I do see him again next month, I don't have to feel shy about broaching the subject.
I'm kind of a shy person, and not one that feels comfortable at times voicing my opinions, but I am so glad that I did today, and I feel so much better about things going forward. I did some crying while I was there too, but it felt good to feel free enough to be able to do so.
I told her I had no problem with staying on the Halotestin, as it was (before I started the Ibrance anyway) helping with my blood counts. I just feel when it comes to the Ibrance, it's not worth it to add just possibly a few more months to my life, when it's making me feel too crappy to enjoy life. It's not a cure; it's a just drug that is suppose to slow down the progression of the cancer. To me, quality of life is more important than quantity.
The social worker also wanted to talk to me, I've talked to her before and she is an awesome person also. She is going to make some calls, and I might be able to get free help with transportation for medical related things when my friends are not able to do it. She also thinks I might be able to have a home nurse come and draw my blood for my lab work every week also. But she said it takes time to get those things going, so it will probably be awhile before I hear back. But at least something can be set in place before my health gets worse.
Except for the pain issues, most of my problems right now are not from the cancer itself, but the side effects of treatments, both current ones and cumulative effects (like those with the bone marrow, which is why I'm on the Halotestin to help with the blood counts.)
My cousin took me to the cancer center today, and after that, grocery shopping. And I was a good girl and wore a mask into the store because of the low white blood count (it was .59 before the transfusion, and only went up to .61 yesterday.) I was told anything under 1.00 that I have to be very careful about germs and being around people.
But now I am glad this hard day; this hard week, actually, is behind me. Now I can just stay home until I get my CBC done again on Monday.