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2nd Post-Chemo Dr. Visit - (Journal Date: 4/12/05)

5/25/2005

My post-chemo visits include taking all my vitals, doing blood tests, and then I get an examination by my oncologist. It is an opportunity to monitor and evaluate how things are going and a great chance for me to ask questions.

So far my red and white blood cell counts have rebounded nicely and my blood chemisty is normal indicating that the liver and kidneys are functioning properly too.

We did discuss the following:

Sun Sensitivity: My eyes and skin seem to be more sensitive to sunlight. I was advised that this is normal during chemotherapy and that I needed to use a good quality sunscreen and wear a hat to reduce scalp exposure. Since I normally tan quite easily, I would probably do better than someone with very fair skin.

Hip/Shoulder Pain: Again, the Neulasta shot is stimulating blood cell production in the bone marrow. Pain in these larger bones is common and verifies that the shot is working. This is also why my blood cell counts always rebound nicely.

Prednisone Effects: I wanted to take less of this medicine or get away from it completely to avoid the hypersensitivity, water retention, weight gain, emotional swings, heartburn, and insomnia problems that I contend with for the five days after treatment. The doctor said this steroid was too important to my overall treatment to change anything.

Swallowing Pain: Sometimes I experience pain in swallowing or yawning real big. Because the throat region is where this all started, I guess I am easily alarmed. The doctor examined me and found nothing abnormal, but wants me to continue to let him know of anything funny in this area. In the meantime he suggested that I stop yawning....Thanks!!

CT Scan Results: Great News!! The scan showed that the two bright spots in the abdomen are GONE!! Either they never were cancer, or they were cancer and the first two rounds of chemo cleared them up. I know that the Lord is working his healing power in me and I so appreciate all the well wishes, cards, and especially everyone's prayers. I must be on prayer lists in about six different states and it is very uplifting!! I know that I am at the right facility, with the right doctor, and I feel all of those prayers are working!!

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