October 26, 2018 Today I went for lab work to check my blood levels since chemo 8 days ago. I started the day felling the best I have felt all week. By 2 pm I was starting to feel really tired but I was hoping it is just a natural response to the drizzling rain we have had all day.
My appointment is for 2:30 pm. I am taken back fairly quickly. My weight is ok, my blood pressure, pulse and temperature are all good. Now I wait for the lab to complete the blood work.
Today I will see Jeff Harris. At the Georgia Cancer Center each doctor has a pod. That pod has its own nurses, nurse practitioner, etc. I will not always see my doctor. For simple things like blood work results the nurse practitioner is fine with me. Jeff and I meshed pretty well. He was very informative. I felt confident in his knowledge as he answered each of my concerns.
We discussed my appetite, the bone pain, the acne, all of my symptoms. He suggested trying a gentle antibacterial soap for the “acne” He said is isn’t really acne, it is a rash from the medication. He said women typically also get it on their arms. My arms are clear so far, but I think I would trade off the face for the arms.
He is calling in a prescription for the heartburn and acid re-flux. As a medication side effect he doesn’t want me to continue being miserable with it. It does slow down what I am willing to try to eat, I freely admit that.
The good news is their office has finally been able to get Blue Cross to approve the Neulasta at my next treatment. love that they kept at it working to get this for me.
The bad news, My white blood cell count is dangerously low. If I get sick I will probably end up in the hospital. (I blame this on Blue Cross, if I had had the Neulasta at my chemo treatment it would have helped my body produce more white blood cells) We go over all of my blood work results. I will not lie to you and pretend I understood all of it but I am sure I will learn more as I go.
I am to avoid fresh fruits and vegetables. Sounds weird right? The danger is you can only rinse them with water to try to clean away germs. This of all the people you see handling the produce in the grocery store. You have no clue what germs may be on their hands and a water rinse most likely won’t kill them. When you have a normal amount of what blood cells is not a major problem. You body just fights off the small stuff. I don’t, therefor my body can’t. This is one thing I had never really thought about! Germs on my produce. I can have them frozen, canned or package in any way that has been processed and sterilized of germs.
He gave me a few masks for use in public to try to avoid germs. He said he was also calling in an antibiotic to take daily as a precaution. I will return November 2 for a recheck on my blood work. We set up for my next chemo treatment which will be on November 9.
I did tell Jeff about my blog and asked if he cared if I named him here. He gave his consent and thought it was a neat thing. I have to say Jeff was pretty easy to talk to. I think I talked his ear off with questions and me symptoms to get his suggestions. Thanks for your patience Jeff!!!
A little about Jeff:
Jeff Harris, MSN, RN, NP-C, AOCN
Bachelor Of Science:
Double Major In Biology And Psychology, Mercer University In Macon, GA
Bachelor Of Science In Nursing:
Georgia College And State University In Milledgeville, GA
Master Of Nursing:
Kennesaw State University In Kennesaw, GA
Adult Nurse Practitioner, Advanced Oncology Certified Nurse
Jeff is a member of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, the National Oncology Nursing Society, and the Central Georgia chapter of the Oncology Nursing Society.