I’ll post to this every week or two, the latest information will be at the top, followed by the evolving history.
It’s 14 days following my 1st infusion sessions, I noticed the following:
Weight: I have stabilized at 197lbs, +/– 3lbs. My appetite is good.
Headaches: Not so much now, if at all.
Body and joint aches: I take 2 200mg Advil in the morning and, other than a knuckle that aches, I don’t notice any.
Hot flashes: These have stopped.
Rest: I sleep 3-4 hours at a stretch, then get up for an hour or two before returning to bed.
Energy: I am at 80%. I don’t nap in the afternoon anymore. I go to bed between 8:00pm and 10:00pm.
In the 7 days following my 1st infusion sessions, I noticed the following:
Weight loss: I have gone from 206 lbs. to 193 lbs. My appetite is good.
Headaches: They come and go throughout the day. Nothing severe.
Body and joint aches: They show up midday and go away after a nap.
Hot flashes: 2 or 3 times a day.
Rest: I sleep 2–3 hours at a stretch at night, get up for an hour and go back to bed.
Energy: I am only at 60-80%. I take a short nap in the afternoon. That seems to help.
This morning I got up at 6:00 am, which is late for me. I felt good, for the first time since last Friday. I did some running around, had breakfast and spent time on Twitter. It’s noon and I’m getting tired, so a nap is in order. That’s all I have to report for now. I’ll update you all next week.
Update 2/11/2017 (hoping the year is relevant)
I have CLL, Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia, it is not curable, but is very treatable. It is a non-Hodgkin’s leukemia.
The prognosis is good for me. It has been caught before attacking any organs and is contained to my lymph nodes.
I am being treated with a broad-spectrum chemical (Bendamustine) that kills b-cells, the precursor to White Blood cells and a biologic agent (Rituximab) that is targeted to a marker (antigen receptor), specific to my cancer. I just finished day 2 of treatment and feel fine. My lymph nodes are shrinking noticeably. One on the side of my neck is 1/3 it’s size 2 days ago.
My next session will be in 4 weeks. A typical course of treatment is 6 sessions over 6 months, if I’m tolerating the therapy well.
Just before my next session, I will have labs done, to measure progress and side effects, then go over them with my Oncologist. At some point during treatment, I will have a 3D CT scan, to get a visual of my lymph nodes, to see how much they’re shrinking. My immune system is being reset, from the ground up. When the cancer is knocked back to a low enough level, for some measurable time, (6 months), I’ll stop chemo and go back to monitoring every 6 months. That seems like a lot of 6’s – (4) – and, I’m just happy to be over three.
The expectation is that the cancer will remain at a low level for a good long while, before I must treat it again.