Wednesday, September 06, 2006

An Unwanted Journey - Day 0288 - Down Again

This blood count saga is strange.

Today, after having problems yet one more time drawing blood from my PICC line, the blood test results were disappointingly low. Two weeks ago, I registred some of the highest (read, healthiest) levels I've had all year. But today, with the exception of a steadily rising haemoglobin level, the white blood count, platelets, and absolute neutrophil counts were all dramatically lower.

I guess this dramatizes just how important it is that I take really good care of myself during these last three cycles of chemotherapy (and afterwards too). Still, the oxaliplatin and 5-fluorouracil will drop those blood counts no matter how well I eat, walk, meditate, reduce stress, etc. This is just the way it works.

If my analysis of the blood count trends means anything, I could just as easily rebound from these low counts by the time 2 weeks pass by as have them decrease even further. But the overall trend of the effects of chemotherapy is very clear. Even if the counts rebound slightly, they will continue to decline as long as I am receiving chemotherapy. But with only 2 more treatment cycles to go, I might just make it without another delay.


On a happier note, cancer research continues to produce results worth celebrating.

A new cancer vaccine could reduce deaths from cervical cancer by as much as 75% in the future. The protocol would involve vaccinating girls at age 12 with a vaccine targeting the human papilloma virus (HPV) which is sexually transmitted. Eventually, because the virus is transmitted sexually, boys would also be vaccinated. Cervical, anal, rectal, and penile cancers are implicated with HPV infection.

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