Steph's SLL/CLL Case History
Small Cell Lymphocytic Lymphoma / Chronic Lymphocytic  Leukemia




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January 4th, 2002 Steph's throat is starting to feel better. Chemo will begin Monday if all is well.

January 6th, 2002 Steph's throat feels better but she has developed a chest cold and a nasty cough. She does have a doctors appointment with Dr. Miller Monday but it looks like chemo is out of the question.

January 14th, 2002 Steph's cold is still present so she had to put round 3 of chemo off for yet another week. The fear is that it could possibly turn into pneumonia once the chemo has weakens her immune system.

January 17th, 2002 Steph is scheduled to begin chemo next Monday. She has almost kicked her cold (almost). Other than that all is well.

January 22th, 2002 Monday (yesterday) Steph only did the Rituxan portion of the chemo (which took more than half the day). She is having trouble shaking her cold. She may continue with the rest of her FCR regiment either tomorrow or next Monday.

January 28th, 2002 Steph resumed chemo today. Everything went well (infusion took four hours). Two more days to go this round.

January 30th, 2002 Steph finished her third round of chemo today. She is a bit fatigued but nothing like the previous two rounds (so far that is). Typically her blood levels drop on the days following treatment. So far fatigue and diarrhea is the only side effects.

January 31st, 2002 Today was quite a rollercoaster of a day. This started out rather calm. Steph was a bit nauseous but nothing too serious. I went to Dr. Miller's office to pick up NEUPOGEN® shots for the next week. When I came home Steph was feeling better and suggested I go for a bike ride on the Silver Comet Train (a rails to trails path). 10 miles out of town (and on my bike) my beeper went off. Steph was having trouble breathing, vomiting, dizziness etc... She called Dr. Miller's office who told her to go to the emergency room. Being that I could not make it home for another 30 minutes at best she called 911. An ambulance and two fire/rescue vehicles came to Steph's rescue and delivered her to the emergency room. When I arrived at the hospital they had no record of a Stephanie Denny so I started watching the ambulances arrive. Fifteen minutes later they found Steph's name in the computer and I was directed to a room. Steph was feeling better and breathing Oxygen. Blood work was done (everything was surprisingly normal). After 3 and a half hours we came home. Apparently this was a drug reaction with the NEUPOGEN® (a white blood cell booster). This is strange as Steph has done NEUPOGEN® for weeks without a reaction. We're hoping for a calmer weekend.

February 1st, 2002 We were prepared for another apparent drug reaction today after Steph's daily NEUPOGEN® shot. But surprisingly everything was normal. We think that the first NEUPOGEN® shot was given less than a full 24 hours after her last round of chemo. This could have possibly caused a drug reaction between the chemo intensely killing cells and the NEUPOGEN® stimulating the growth of different types of cells.

February 6th, 2002 Things are going fine. Steph has had no further reactions and feels good. If her blood work remains good she may be back at work next week.

February 13th, 2002 Steph is back to working half days. She feels good. Next round of chemo next Monday.

February 18th, 2002 Steph started her forth round of chemo today. Things went fairly well taking around seven hours for infusion of all three chemo agents. Two more days of Fludarabine and Cytoxin.

February 20th, 2002 Steph is feeling a bit weak and nauseas but finished the last cycle in her fourth round of chemo. Next week she will have her blood work done and perhaps a bone marrow biopsy to see if her bone marrow is free of cancer cells.

February 21st, 2002 Steph is fatigued and has slight flu-like symptoms. She has been in bed all day.

February 22nd, 2002 Stomach pains seem to be the big issue today. Steph has spent most of the day in bed.

February 24th, 2002 Steph was up and feeling much better today. Stomach and bone pain are at a minimum. Tomorrow she has a CBC blood test at Dr. Miller's.

February 25th, 2002 Steph's CBC showed low WBC counts but other levels were near normal. She is scheduled for a bone marrow biopsy next Monday. Neupogen shots will continue to boost WBC.

March 3rd, 2002 Steph's blood work indicated that she might be fighting an infection or a virus (Several levels were below normal). Her gums have been very sore for the past three days. A bone marrow biopsy is scheduled for tomorrow morning.

March 6th, 2002 Steph bone marrow biopsy went as well as can be expected (pain killers eased the initial pain). Steph's mouth pain is slowly getting better. We will find out the results of the bone marrow next week.

March 8th, 2002 NOT SO GOOD NEWS: The Biopsy results showed that Steph still has noticeable SLL/CLL in her bone marrow.

March 18th, 2002 Steph went in for her 5th round of FCR today but only did the Rituxan portion. Dr. Miller felt steph's neutraphils were too low to go though the full cycle this week. Steph will try to continue round five next Monday.

March 28th, 2002 Steph has been through 2 days of chemo and feels good. Her blood work is also good. She will finish round 5 of 6 tomorrow.

March 29th, 2002 Steph finished her 5th round of chemo yesterday. She has been in bed all day today with stomach pains. She is taking Compazine but still feels too bad to get out of bed or eat. Hopefully this is the worse of the side effects.

March 31st, 2002 Steph is feeling much better today. More as it develops...

April 8th, 2002 Steph's had blood work done today. Neutrphils, Lymphocytes, and WBC were low (Steph's WBC was 1.7 normal is 3.3). Steph will continue with Neupogen until level are all in normal range. Next chemo is April 22nd.

April 16th, 2002 Steph had her blood work done this past Friday. WBC, RBC, and neutraphils were up but other infection fighting components (such as monocytes) were low. Steph has to continue to steer clear of germs and disease. Final round of chemo next Monday-Wednesday.

April 23rd, 2002 Steph did a full round of Rituxan but not the full course of Floudarbin and Cytoxin. One again (similar to the 18th of March) here WBC and Neutrphils were too low for a full cycle. She will try again next week to complete her 6th round of FCR.

April 30th, 2002 Steph started the last 3 sessions of her final round of chemo today (as her blood levels were a bit better than they were last week). She feels good today (as expected).

May 5th, 2002 It has been four days since Steph last round of chemo. Steph had strong stomach pains Friday and Saturday but is feeling better today (Sunday - Cinco de Mayo). We'll see how her blood level is doing later in the week.

May 6th, 2002 Note from Steph... I am soo happeee!chemo is over. We will test again in a month, but I believe all those pesky b-cells have been deleted (fingers still crossed tho, please).  The whole experience wasn't as bad as I had feared, and there were some boobs got bigger (well, I gained 15lbs.), I got a cool new haircut, and my heart is twice as big thanks to all the love and prayers I have been soo blessed with. Thank you all soo much, for all the smiles and warmth, that made this nightmare sufferable.  An especially big shout out to my dear hubby for keeping this journal, which has helped a lot of people. He's such a sweety. See you all soon, it's seems like forever since I've seen most of you. Can't wait. Love and Hope, Stephanie.

May 14th, 2002 Steph had another round of Rituxan today. As it turns out the FCR regiment Steph is on includes two single days of Rituxan. Steph's lymphocyte levels are low. She also had a Procritt shot to boost red levels. Steph is medium-to-low on energy and is taking it easy.

June 3rd, 2002 Steph completed another round of Rituxan. She felt slightly nauseous but didn't get sick. She may have her port removed in the near future.

June 11th, 2002 Steph had her blood work done today. Blood levels are doing better but not all components are normal. Hopefully by the next set of blood test Steph can return to work.

July 9th, 2002 Steph has her blood work done yesterday. Things are pretty much the same as the June 11th levels. Just below safe levels to return to work. Steph really wants to get back to work.

July 22th, 2002 Steph's lymphocytes are still below the safe level for returning to work. She'll have more blood work done later this week.

August 6th, 2002 Today Steph had a bone marrow aspiration/biopsy at Dr. Miller's office. Steph asked for an extra dose of pain killer as this procedure is incredibly painful. This test will see if SLL/CLL cancer cells are still active in Steph marrow after many months of chemotherapy.  Steph current blood work indicates that her CD4's are up which means her immune system is nearing the safe level so she can soon return to work.

August 9th, 2002 Today we got the results of the bone marrow biopsy following Steph's chemo. The results were not what we were hoping for. The cancer is still present (and may possibly be transforming into another form of more aggressive cancer). The Lymphocyte count is at 60 which is way above the normal range. Steph physically feels fine and has no apparent symptoms. One horrible part of this is receiving results that are in a very high level medical jargon and having no one to explain the results. Steph is not scheduled to see Dr. Miller for another month. This will be a hard time to wait mentally.

August 20th, 2002 Steph finally went back to work yesterday after 10 months of chemotherapy and recovery. She feels good and is trying to keep busy. We got some results from the flow cytometry of Steph's bone marrow biopsy that said that the sample was too small for an accurate readying and that no detection of trisomony chromosome arm mutation (which Steph previously had in other tests).

September 10th, 2002 Steph had a CT scan today. Results will be back in a week.

September 16th, 2002 We got good news today as Steph had her first appointment with Dr. Miller since finishing chemo. The results CT scan looked good (we hoped and expected this). Dr. Miller said she believes the flow cytometry results from the bone marrow biopsy looked pretty good (maybe not a complete molecular remission but good). Steph will have another round of Rituxan in December of this year.

October 2nd, 2002 Steph had her port removed today. It took about 45 minutes of out-patient surgery. The procedure was not too painful but apparently a bit more painful than the installation of the port. In other health new Steph will have a basil cell cancer removed next week. This is a reoccurrence of skin cancer she had removed several years back.  

October 8th, 2002 Steph had a Basil Cell skin cancer removed today. It took three layers of skin to fully remove it. Her stitches from her port removal appear to be healing fine.

November 11th, 2002 Steph had her blood work done at Dr. Millers today. Everything looked pretty good. Lymphovytes were low but almost normal again. A good report.

November 18th, 2002 Steph got results from another mole on her neck. Once again it was positive for Basil Cell cancer. She will have this removed in the next week. She believes that is a result of the effects the chemo has had on her immune system.

December 10th, 2002 Steph started her first maintenance round of Rituxan today. It took the nurse 3 time to hit her vein (not fun) as the port has since been removed. Steph will return next week for another round (and will have 2 more rounds of Rituxan in the new year)

December 17th, 2002 Steph had another round of Rituxan today (all went well). Her blood counts were all looking much better with the Lymphocytes at 1.1 (1.2 being normal). Other than that Steph has a sore throat/ear ache. Merry Christmas to all!

     Go to Steph's 2003 treatment page

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