Monday, April 5, 2010

FOLFOX Round 4: Neulasta lasts an extra. extra. extra long time

My fourth round of treatment started with the usual routine: vitals, blood work, and a quick exam.  I managed to gain three pounds since my last visit, so eating all that garbage paid off.  I eat burgers, pizza, and, when the cold intolerance subsides, I scarf down a couple of Klondike bars (dark chocolate shell).  Of course it's bad for me, but I have to get my weight up so that I can lose it again.

Unlike last year's chemo, when my taste buds were very sensitive, the drugs in this round have really mucked up my taste buds.  Everything I eat tastes like the dry chicken breast that you have at corporate banquets.  Every meal I have is a disappointment because I can smell the food, just not taste it.  Mrs. 270 says that if everything tastes like cardboard, I might as well eat healthy stuff.  But then I play the weight loss card.
During the last treatment, when my white blood cell counts dropped, the nurse gave me a shot of Neupogen.  This time, my WBC counts are low again, so they're giving me Neulasta.  Neulasta contains the same cytokine as Neupogen, but it's mixed with polyethlyene glycol (a relative of antifreeze).  This acts as a slow-release depot for the drug, hence the "last" part of the name.  Those pharmaceutical nomenclaturists sure are clever.  The effects are supposed to last longer.  I suppose that's true for the side-effects too.

The cold intolerance is, to say the least, inconvenient.  At my house, school day breakfast for the kids usually consists of something processed and frozen (waffles or toaster strudel).  As the executive chef for breakfast, it is my duty to take these items from the freezer and put them in the toaster over.  This requires gloves and tongs.  So the next time you see someone using oven mittens to take something from the freezer, he or she may have peripheral neuropathy, not dementia.

As I was returning from treatment, I noticed that my can accrued over 100,000 miles sometime in the last two weeks.  I knew it was coming up and had plans to pull over and phone the odometer (it's a guy thing).  But I forgot and now it sits at around 100,500.  What a lost opportunity.  They should really install an alarm for this.  This is the second car I've had to reach a century of millennia.  When I was in grad school, before Toyotas were spontaneously accelerating, my Celica reached 100,000 miles.  But, the speedometer cluster had broken somewhere around 90K.  Fixing it was not a priority (back then, our stipend was roughly $12K/year), so I had to gauge my speed by the gear and the tachometer (another guy thing).  Also back then, we did not have digital cameras on our cell phones because we did not have digital cameras and we did not have cell phones.  Next time I have a car that hits 100K miles, I'm sure the car will send you all tweets.


  1. What if you drove backwards for say 500 miles, will the odometer get back to 100,000?

    Import a car from Canada, it'll get to 100,000 (KPH) in 38.5% less time.

  2. Would someone take a screen shot when the blog counter at the bottom right turns 1,000.

  3. Damn fine blog. You clearly exercise restraint and don't post every thought that comes into your mind, like I do. Sounds like you are doing well! What an experience, eh? I kind of wonder what I'll do when I run out of things to write about on mine, even tho I hope to hell I'm nearing the end of this particular experience, at least except for periodic followups!!

    Dan (

  4. Some readers of this blog would say that I do post every thought that comes to mind, which is why I only post once a week.

  5. Has this blog noted one songwriter's attempt to do for National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month what he did for Chanukah?

  6. I saw that one. It's good, but I like this one better.