Tricia Lofman

My Journal (cont.)

April 2003


I'm back! Over the last six months, I've had another CT Scan, a bone scan, AND I've had my chemo port REMOVED!! There have not been any new growths! Praise the Lord!!

I have about 3 inches of hair (if you want to call it that!). It's not a pretty picture! I'm still wearing wigs...on purpose! The chemo stripped my hair of color as well as control. It reminds me of an SOS pad! BUT, the word out there will return to the way it used to be in a year or two (or three)!! We'll see!!

November 2002


I'm out of the holding pattern! I do NOT have to have any further chemos! Dr. C. feels that my immune system could not take it. After six weeks, my immune count is only up to 1.5 (the average range being 3.7 to 4.9). I will now be on maintenance . . . seeing my doctor every four weeks. Praise the Lord for His healing!

October 2002


Saw Dr. C again today. Blood work revealed no significant change to immune system; therefore, we are in a holding pattern. We may or may not do the additional three chemos.

The toxicity of the Taxol has caused neuropathy in my toes (numbing - nerve damage). As a result, if an additional three chemos are done, we will be using Taxotere (less toxic than Taxol) and a lower dosage of carboplatinum.


Went to see my doctor today and received some disheartening news. Dr. C wants to do an additional THREE chemos (total of nine). Statistics show that nine tends to hold off reoccurrence of cancer better than six. And I thought I was done! My doctor had actually wanted to tell me this prior to my vacation; but, bless his heart, he wanted me to have a great time.

The only problem that still remains is my immune system which almost four weeks after chemo is still in the tank. This may also be a result of the over-radiation in '73 on an area of the bones that produces most of my white blood cells.


It's been almost a month since my last chemo; and in that time, Scott and I have taken a wonderful trip to Quebec City! It was beautiful, and I walked more in two days than I've walked in two months. I'm still taking the Neupogen shots to help my immune system get back to normal, but it feels so good to be on this side of the chemo!

Useful Information: Three weeks after your final chemo (when your hair falls out for the last time), it was recommended to me to shave my head so that my hair will all grow back uniformly.

September 2002


6th (LAST) Chemo!! Praise the Lord...IT'S OVER!! No more chemos!!

Today, my immune system, as well as the white and red counts, were all within the boundary rates and I was able to take the chemo. I'll have one more month of numb toes, foggy brain, and hair fallout. By Thanksgiving, I may have some eyelashes back! J

This year I have so much to be thankful Great Physician's care, my supportive husband and family, and the prayers of the saints. I've been truly blessed! Thank you so much!


Once again, I was supposed to have my sixth chemo; but BOTH the white and red blood counts were in the tank. Therefore, I'm now scheduled for Tuesday the 17th.

One note of good news is that the results of my CT scan came back with NO new tumors. This is great news! If there had been new growth, it would have indicated that the chemo was not effective.


Today, I was supposed to have my sixth and (hopefully) final chemo; but after the consultation with my doctor, it was decided that we would wait until the 11th.

I have been having abdominal pain since the last chemo; therefore, I am scheduled to have a lower CT Scan on the 9th to check it out. My prayer is that it's just lesions from the surgery in February.

I have experienced something new since the last chemo...sore feet. I have very little feeling in them, and sometimes it feels like they've fallen know how it stings when you try to walk on them?

Also, there's an interesting side effect of chemo lovingly called "chemo brain." I will be in the middle of a sentence and suddenly not be able to remember the correct word I need to use! aarrrgg It's very frustrating, but the good news is that chemo brain goes away once you stop taking chemo! Can't wait!!

August 2002


I could cut and paste one of my journal entries below for this update! Went in for blood work this morning in preparation for my 6th chemo coming up on Sept 3rd. My immune system was in the tank AGAIN. The range is 3.7 to 4.9 and mine was .45! Not good. Therefore, I was sent home with four more Neupogen shots to hopefully get my immune system up by Tuesday so that I'll be able to have the chemo.


Chemo #5. Today's chemo started at 1 p.m. and I was the last to leave at 6:30 p.m. Scott and I had a very thorough discussion with Dr. C. We were informed that after the 6th chemo, we need to be prepared for a battery of tests (Pet Scan, CT's, etc.). One piece of good news is that the Primary Peritoneal Carcinoma is usually confined to the abdominal area, so we will be keeping a close watch over the organs in that area in upcoming years.


Here's one of those funny stories you never want repeated, but also never want to forget! I went on a two-day trip to San Francisco with Scott; and as I went through security in the airport, I was asked to remove my shoes. All of a sudden, the bells went off, cops came over, and the supervisor started writing down ALL my information! My shoes went positive for metals! I was asked if I was on any medication. Well...where do I start??!!

I explained to him about my chemo and that it might have been the carboplatinum (a heavy metal) that set off the machine. I am probably now on the FBI's most wanted list!! J

July 2002


Reactions, reactions, reactions! The past two days, I have been dealing with the itchy fingers and feet! This time, however, I had welts and my lips swelled up. After visiting the hospital, I was told to double up on the Benadryl. This week, I will be seeing an Allergist to see if I can get some help with the itching.


4th Chemo. Had my fourth chemo today. I arrived about 8:45 a.m. and was escorted directly into my "bedroom" where they hooked me up to the chemo port and took out some blood. My white count was 2.02 (they will NOT give you chemo if it's lower than 2.0, so once again I was very fortunate). The chemo was given, and I was sent home with six Neupogen shots which I will administer to myself. I'm weak as a puppy and spent most of my day sleeping.

7/11/02 we go again! My white count was lower today than it has ever been. Therefore, I am back to giving myself Neupogen shots and antibiotics daily, and chemo number four has been rescheduled for next Thursday, July 18. I was also informed by my doctor that I am going to have at least six chemos total which will take me into September.


I go for my fourth chemo this week on Thursday. Over all, I've been doing okay...Only have about ten bad days and the rest of the month I'm back to my ol' self. :-)

The weirdest thing that I experience is itching. If I scratch myself ANYWHERE it begins to itch like a mosquito bite! My feet and hands itch the most. I can usually take a Benadryl (only when I have time to sleep because it knocks me out) and it takes care of this problem temporarily.

I actually had about a half inch of growth on my head this month, but it all of a sudden fell out again. This makes sense because the first time I lost my hair, it occurred about three weeks after my first chemo. The worst part is that I don't have ANY eyelashes!!! My eyes look absolutely naked!!!! I'm getting pretty good at putting on false ones, but what a bother. It is nice, though, not having to shave! There are blessings in everything, I guess.

June 2002


Well, my "infection fighters" are low again. I am now taking antibiotics and GIVING myself Neupogen shots!! I also cannot eat some of my favorite foods in order to avoid possible bacteria... fresh vegetables, yogurt, or "thin skinned" fruit.

I feel great, but due to the low immune count in my body I am at greater risk of getting sick from others and possible infection.


Useful Information: Prior to receiving chemo, several things are given to help combat the side is Decadron, a steroid. This week, after getting so sick, I was also given Decadron to take twice a day for three days to combat nausea.

Here's what happened next... I broke out in VERY itchy pimples all over my neck, back, and chest! (Steroids also have other unpleasant side effects such as major water retention and weight gain.)

Useful Information: My dermatologist told me that this type of acne is a common reaction to the steroids and he recommended some over the counter items that you might be interested in getting...Calamine lotion and Aveeno Anti-itch Cream (for itching). He also prescribed some Pledget pads (to help dry up the acne).


I have been so sick. Normally, a couple of days after chemo, I had one hurl and I was ready for the rest of the day. Not this time!

I threw up right before I left for my appointment, again when we walked into the hospital, again we reached the doctor's office, again while waiting for a shot to help the nausea, and again after picking up my prescription for nausea downstairs! Yuck!!'s the news from the Pet Scan.... NOTHING!!! There were NO MORE TUMORS!!!! Praise the Lord!!

Now the question remains, when is enough, enough on the chemo? I am now praying for wisdom on my physician's part and that the appropriate blood work will reveal when the time is right.

What a mighty God we serve! I am forever in His care! Love, Tricia


3rd Chemo. white count was acceptable today and I was able to have my third chemo. My count went from 1700 to 4300 (the acceptable range being 2000). The port worked like a charm and even cut the time down from 5 hours to 4. The session started at 9 a.m. and I woke up at Noon...left at 1 p.m.


Today, I had both a Pet Scan and an Upper CT Scan. A radioisotope was put in my body through an IV and it is like a magnet to cancer (which has a high concentration of sugar). The cancer will show up black on the scan.


3rd Chemo was called off this morning. My white count was too low once again. I'm due to try again on the 17th.


Surgery this morning to install a port in my chest to administer future chemo. It looks like a bottle cap under the skin.

May 2002


My hair is all gone and I have a new doctor! My new doctor is only 15 minutes away verses the other which was a 40 minute drive in terrible traffic. So for that reason alone, I'm thrilled!

One thing that Dr. C was VERY surprised about was that I was receiving my chemo through veins in my wrist. He said that they always used a port (about the size of a quarter placed in a "dedicated" vein on the upper chest) for safety. He also informed us that placing the chemo in the veins in the wrist could lead to ulcerated veins, and it is true that the first vein used for my chemo still hurts!

I have also had to take 7 shots of Neupogen during the month of May (administered in my home - one a day for a week) to help boost my immune system.

Lamentations 3:22-25 – The LORD'S lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail. they are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. "The LORD is my portion," says my soul, "Therefore I have hope in Him." The LORD is good to those who wait for Him, to the person who seeks Him.


Useful Information: I was told that a moist, hot mat would help for joint pains so I drove around looking for a big one! Thanks to my radiologist friend, I ended up making one. (See Resources for directions to make the mats.)