So, quite clearly I failed horribly at the HAWMC. I was hoping that I’d be able to manage it, but unfortunately it wasn’t meant to be. I’d like to say I have a good excuse for my challenge failure…but I really don’t. After working all day, by the time I’d get home, the only thing on my mind would be putting on PJs an relaxing. Pretty pathetic that I couldn’t even work up the energy to write a daily blog 😦 Ah well…enough of my failure. Now on to the medical updates.
I haven’t been feeling too great lately, my platelets have gone up quite a bit, I’m tired all the time, and my belly pain has increased a bit. I had an appointment with my hem/onc on Wednesday. My platelets are 880K, up from 820K at the end of March (normal range is 150-450K). My white counts and red counts are also on the higher side of normal. My ferritin is 50 at the moment, normal range is 11-307. So not terrible, but not great either. Could help to explain the fatigue.
So after discussing my current issues (Belly pain, headaches, bruising, fatigue, dizziness etc) with the new NP, she did a physical exam, had a nice little chat about our mutual disdain for migraines, and then she went out to get Doc. After going over everything, and talking about our options, Doc told me that he would be most comfortable with starting Hydroxyurea again. I expressed displeasure with that, but he bargained with me, and I finally agreed to try it for a few months.
My previous experience with hydroxyurea was less than successful. My blood counts were not very responsive to the drug, it took 2 grams/day before my platelet counts responded. When they did, it wasn’t just my platelets that went down. All of my blood counts came down with them. In addition to this, I basically had constant feelings of nausea, and headache. So you can see why I might be somewhat reluctant to get started with this again. We made a deal though. I agreed to take the meds for 2-3 months. I will go for a CBC to check progress every 3-4 weeks and if we don’t see progress at the end of the 2-3 months, then we will stop. Simple as that. The dosing will be 1 gram/day to start. If he sees fit to adjust it over the next 8-12 weeks, then we will do so. But if by the end of our little experiment it hasn’t worked, then I would like to start the PegIntron again. It was successful, lowered my platelets to a very reasonable level, and despite the side effects, I still felt fairly decent on it. With the Hydrea every day, I had a basically constant feeling of unwell. The PegIntron was at least MOSTLY on the weekends that I felt icky.
Now for some basic info on Hydroxyurea. Hydroxyurea is classified as an antineoplastic or cytotoxic medication (Chemo, if you like) It is known by several names: Hydroxyurea, Hydroxycarbamide, Hydrea, Droxea.or Mylocel. This drug is used to treat many things including but not limited to Essential Thrombocytosis, Polycythemia Vera, chronic myeloid leukemia, melanoma, and ovarian cancer. Side note; some of the warnings on this med indicate that the use of it could eventually lead to acute myelogenous leukemia. Yet oddly enough it is also used to treat leukemia. Weird. Hydroxyurea is very toxic, and should NEVER be taken by pregnant women, heck, the bottle even says pregnant women shouldn’t TOUCH the medicine, much less take it. See?
Those warnings really make you want to swallow these suckers, doesn’t it?
OK, I’ve whined/Vented enough. Now I think I’ll continue enjoying this delightful weather with M, and my two furry writing buddies. I hope you are all having a good Sunday!
Remember, you are your own best advocate. If you do not stand up for yourself, who will?
Until next time,