Wednesday, August 10, 2005

TOXIC & Free to run!!

My appointment with Dr. Butler was good on many levels. I left feeling like I really understood where I am at. Nothing beats being well-informed!

My white blood count was still low (4.1) and my neutraphil (1.37) count has not budged. I guess I should be happy that it hasn't dropped more but I was hoping for a positive change. Some indication that my body was adjusting to the Interferon.

From an Interferon/Melanoma Point of View: Last weeks fatigue and constant upset stomach are symptoms that I am reaching a level of toxicity. Dr. Butler decided to reduce my shots from 10 MIU to 5 MIU for the next 3 weeks to see if my symptoms abate a little. The "goal" is to get me through an entire year of treatment so he is more concerned with finding the level of Interferon that I can tolerate for a year rather than giving me the max dose at this point.

As he so simply put it: "If I thought that nothing but 10 MIU was going to help you, I would tell you that these are your symptoms and I am sorry but you will have to get used to them but I don't think that is necessary in your case."

From there we moved onto my "exercise" questions. I told Dr. Butler that I really wanted to run/walk the Army 10 Miler and the Marine Corps Marathon. He got a giant smile on his face and said that is that is what I wanted to do to go ahead. From a medical point of view he said that training for the marathon has no direct impact on my Melanoma, my white blood cell count or my treatment.

His overall advice was to really make it a point to "listen to what my body is telling me" while I train. He cautioned me that the training will probably increase my level of fatigue depending on training volumes. He said to be very cautious of heat exhaustion and my hydration and thought that I will feel more exhausted after the Marathon than I would have if I wasn't undergoing chemo. He said he would make a note in my charts and keep him updated on my mileage and the fatigue levels.

Nothing beats having an Oncologist who ran a 10 miler to celebrate his 60th Birthday! Dr. Butler really does ROCK!

So this morning, I don't feel any better than yesterday - I'm still toxic and my white blood count is low BUT I am free to dream big and a run/walk will not make things any worse! Marine Corps Marathon/14th Street Bridge cutoff here I come! Living STRONG all the way!


Flatman said...

Great news, Holly! You are on your way, now!

nancytoby said...

Woo hooo, Holly! That is SUCH good news! Are you still recruiting pacers for MCM? :-) Say the word.... I'll be there!!

TriFeist said...

Yeah, Holly! It's just you and the course now. Go girl!

Oldman said...

that's great news that your clear to do the 10 miler... what's your training going to be like? any thots?