It has been 11 days since I concluded round 6---the final round---of FCR (fludarabine, cytoxin, and Rituxan). At the moment, I am feeling pretty darned well, but it took me a bit longer after treatment this time to be able to say that. No doubt about it: It knocked me off stride a bit more this round.
Again, not to appear to be whining, but just to be clear to any fellow CLL patients who might be wanting to hear it straight---my "normal" smooth sail was a tad stormier (but not terribly so) in this final round.
No problems whatsoever on days 1, 2, or 3 of the chemo treatment. Out shoveling non-stop snow each day.
No problem on day 4, which was just a visit to N.Y. Oncology for a Neulasta shot, a sort of booster for the immune system. That night I started feeling very tired, wiped out.
The morning of day 5, I threw up and immediately started feeling better, but still very tired. I pretty much stayed horizontal all weekend, watching the Olympics (some comeback by the U.S. hockey team with 20 seconds left!) and reading. I also gained, and still have, a 4" by 6" patch of super-sensitive skin just above my elbow. Not unheard-of. I hope it fades away.
By day 8, I was back on my indoor bicycle and gaining energy each day. Day 12, Nancy and I went snowshoeing at nearby Charleston State Forest (what a great place that is. What took us so long to find it?) and back again the next day for about five miles of cross-country skiing. (Darned tired after that.)
Day 14---today---I have to say I feel better than I did before I began treatment back in September. I have more energy. I am sleeping better.
What's next? On March 21 a more-or-less-final CT scan to measure the reduction in lymph nodes, and March 25 another blood test to see how the various kinds of white blood cells are doing. Then we start monitoring every few months to see how well the remission holds.
Then I hope it will be a very long time before I have to re-open this blog.