Tag Archives: dandelion tea

Mar. 10.

Will She … Or Won’t She…

Still trekking through forest, with the promise of a clearing ahead. Tomorrow begins chemo cycle 5—with a bit of luck.

Today I had my labs, and my white counts continue to drop … not excessively, but enough to make me under the doctor’s cut off point. No shot was given because they wanted to run the values by the doctor. Since I will receive the shot to boost my white counts on Thursday, the nurse thought it likely that the doctor would choose to wait. The values are not dropping fast enough to cause alarm, but they definitely need to be watched.

I have also slacked off on drinking the dandelion tea on a daily basis and it showed up in my liver function values. *crosses fingers* Hopefully the values will not have raised to the point where I cannot have chemo tomorrow. So if the liver values are too high, then I’ll be sent home after getting a shot to boost up my white count which is too low. Figures my body can’t decide which way it wants to be.

After giving me the CBC results, the nurse told me to get some rest. And I’ll try, but it doesn’t always work out the way I’d hoped. For one thing, the “spring forward” time change always messes with my ability to sleep. I try to adjust my sleep hours, but what usually happens is I end up staring at the ceiling and getting far less rest than I would have had we simply left time alone for a change.

Tomorrow will be an early day, so I’d best get back to my edits so I can at least try to get some sleep. Wish me luck on being able to move forward with chemo.

PS – the low white counts mean continued isolation. Can’t risk being exposed to the sniffles at this point.

Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Feb. 28.


Yawn! That pretty much sums up this week for me. I’ve been tired every single day. This should have been the week my energy came bouncing back, but instead of bouncing, it hit the floor and played dead. Every day has left me bleary-eyed by 5 PM, and that’s with taking a lunchtime nap during the work day.

I realized a few days ago that I had been so tired I forgot to have my dandelion tea, which is probably why I’m still retaining excess water. I don’t know if it’s the changing weather or just that the chemo is hitting me harder this month … but I do know, I don’t like feeling this tired. I want to crawl into the castle in the picture and sleep for about a month. And at the same time, I want to get things accomplished. Not once in my entire life have I ever accomplished more than dreams and ideas while sleeping. Which by the way, I don’t want to give up the dreams and ideas, they help fuel my writing.

Not to go on and on whining about my tiredness, I have had some bright spots to my week. Even late this afternoon as my energy level was plunging, I figured out a possible solution for something in the day job, so I’ll be ready to tackle it and see whether I can make it a reality on Monday. I’ve been doing some research for my newest story and found out some important information about my main character this week. And, of course, the brightest spot to the week was signing with Italia Gandolfo of Gandolfo Helin Literary Management.

Other than being plum tuckered, I’m doing well. My blood values remain good, and I’m feeling well—except for the fatigue. Yesterday and today have been marginally better energy-wise, but tonight I may just lean back and stare at the ceiling for a while (otherwise known as pre-plotting) 😀 .

Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Feb. 12.

Cycle 4, Day 2 – Chemo

My Status: Rested and hubs brought ice cream
Mood: Good

We had a little hiccough in getting started with today’s chemo … two hiccoughs. The first bump occurred with my port. When prepping the port for use, the nurse will first draw blood (and put it back in) to make sure there are no clogs or clots happening. One of the nurses is training to work with the ports because not everyone can work with them. She tried and no blood return. She had the line a little too taut, and the teaching nurse showed her how to do it correctly, but still no blood return. So they shot a little heparin in there and gave me a few minutes and voila, blood return. All in all, no big deal. We’ll see how things go tomorrow.

Interestingly, there was another patient who came in after me, and had the same issue with her port. Her daughter was with her and in her concern kept asking more and more questions about the “blockage”. She was worried, but she was also not allowing her mother to relax, so I quipped that it must be the day for it and explained that my port had the same issue. The daughter laughed and was able to relax after that and her mother finally relaxed as well. Maybe the purpose of my port not behaving was so I could provide perspective for another patient and her family. I was fine and laughing about the little problem so they could relax and gain confidence that the chemo would happen … which it did.

The other hiccough? Dr. Doogie was delayed in his arrival. Why does this matter? Because they cannot start chemo, even the pre-chemo cocktail unless a qualified doctor is there to sign off on it. So I had a couple packets of water going through the line, which gave the nurse a chance to ensure the port was working properly, and we got started a little later than anticipated. But all in all, no big deal on either issue.

Denny was my chauffeur for the day, and since I have chemo at the secondary facility on Wednesday’s under the backup doctor’s overview, there are very few other patients, so he came to the chemo room with me and stayed the full time because the other port-problem patient was the ONLY other patient. This has both good points and bad points. The good? Denny has a chance to feel more involved in the process and that he is there for me. He sees what I’m going through and when I’m calm about things like the blood drawback not working, he doesn’t get all het up and have the questions the other patient’s daughter was expressing—which he would have, had he not been present at the time.

The bad? Oy. I take things with me to do during chemo … otherwise I’d be bored silly, since I can’t seem to sleep, which is what most patients do. Today, I was focused on working on my secret project and making some good headway with it. Before starting on the secret project, I did spend the first hour or so chatting with Denny and the nurses. So I didn’t completely neglect him. When I was ready to work, I put in my headphones, announced I was putting in my headphones, and Denny told the nurse what that meant … I was not to be disturbed. Or as he puts it “I can’t talk to her then.” Here’s the problem … it didn’t stop him from flashing magazines at me and sharing car pictures, etc. For me and interruption to the work is an interruption—whether verbal or non. I was good … I didn’t huff or get angry, I just nodded and went back to work. I would have preferred not to have the interruption.

He is my chauffeur tomorrow as well, but there will likely not be any extra chairs, but I also have covered myself by telling him I’ll bring the Kindle so he can read a book he’s been wanting to read for a while. Any little bit helps.

The picture of the dandelion is two-fold for today. I thought the symbolism of the flower sprouting through decaying wood a metaphor for taking the bad port situation and turning it around for the other patient and her family. The other reason the dandelion is significant is that since not being able to have chemo on my appointed week because my liver enzymes were high, I have been drinking dandelion root tea to help my liver function … and (knock on wood) it is working. Since then, my liver levels have been very good. Dandelions and dandelion root tea is beneficial for more than just the liver as well. Shortly after drinking the tea with positive results, I had a discussion on Facebook with several folks about the benefits, and will link to this article on 11 Health Benefits for additional reading if you’re interested. Briefly, the eleven benefits mentioned are:

    • Digestive Aid
    • Kidney
    • Liver
    • Antioxidants
    • Cancer
    • Diabetes
    • High Blood Pressure
    • Cholesterol
    • Gallbladder
    • Inflammation
    • Immune System

Ultimately, the tea is good for me to help with my digestive system, liver values, cancer, inflammation, and my immune system (and I’m drinking some while writing this post). I actually notice a difference in my body, water retention/inflammation in particular, especially on chemo days, when I forget, or don’t get around to having a cup. It has been added to my daily routine and I think may continue past the chemo life cycle.

And once again, my friends have proved their worth. Last night, after my marathon day of chemo, I was a little more than fuzzy-headed and question whether I should work or watch a movie. In every single response the result was movie. You guys ROCK!!! And Practical Magic was just the ticket for me. Tonight the muzziness is not too bad, but I came home and took a nap after having some lunch. And now… on to the ice cream Denny brought home tonight after picking up my meds for me. 😀 (Oh and sorry about the screen shot below, I wanted to embed the FB status, but FB says it no longer exists… funny how I can take a screen shot of something that doesn’t exist, eh?


Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Dec. 19.

Cycle 2, Day 3 – Hydration

My Status: Feeling okay
Mood: Good mood in progress

Today was pretty smooth, only 4 hours (supposedly 3 hours per my scheduled times, but we’ve had to throw the general time frames out with me). Nothing but hydration and the injection to boost my white cell counts. The injection is to help boost my immune system and hopefully keep me from getting sick after the treatments. But I have to watch for any sort of reaction, especially after this round of chemo, because it could cause difficulty breathing, flu-like symptoms, etc. So for the next couple days, I have to monitor my temperature and call in if it goes above 99F. And since some of the symptoms of an allergic reaction are the same as what I’m already experiencing from the reaction on Tuesday—puffy face and eyes, mild shortness of breath, etc.—it may be a bit difficult to distinguish whether the reaction is still residual or coming on for a bit. I’ll get it figured out. And I did do well with the injection the last cycle.

The worst of it should be joint and bone pain, and here’s hoping the knee doesn’t blow up again. I don’t want that to look forward to each time I go through a chemo cycle. Especially since the way to control the knee pain causes issues with my liver. Speaking of the liver, as soon as I can get some, I’m going to try drinking at least a cup of dandelion tea each day. Dandelion tea is supposed to help increase liver function, and I have okay’d its use with my doc. I certainly don’t want to do anything that will hinder this process, so everything, down to herbal remedies will be confirmed before consumed.

As with the last cycle, by the time I hit this morning, I was carrying approximately 7 extra pounds of water weight. The water retention because of the steroids is going to be an ongoing battle. I am doing my part by drinking as much fluids as I can … alternating tea and water. Each day during the chemo, I drank a huge thermos full of tea and at least one 17 oz. bottle of water. The longer I was in the chair, the more water I drank.

This cycle I have noticed a definite difference in my energy levels. I’ll be going along fine, and then I’ll hit the wall, and when the wall is hit there is NO keeping my eyes open. I have to lay down before I fall down. Part of that is likely due to the reaction to the drug on Tuesday, at least I’m hoping so. I normally am the sort of person to want to power through dips in energy, but I am listening (as if I had a choice this time) and getting the rest when I need it. Fortunately, an hour does the trick to rejuvenate and I’m ready to roll again for a few hours.

I don’t have my schedule yet for January, so we’ll have to sit tight for another week or so to know when that’s happening, and I’ll have to go in right before hand to have the port to put in to make things a little easier for everyone with my small, deep, slippery veins. One woman in with me today had similar issues with her veins, and the port was suggested, but she declined. She’s on her (hopefully) last chemo cycle and didn’t want to go through it. But for me, with still two-thirds of the way to go, it simply makes sense.

The picture at the top was a seasonal snowflake in honor of hydration day, plus I thought the color was fabulous.

Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,