Another day at the cancer circus.

Dropped the kids off at “Robot Camp” this morning and headed down to Emory for Chemo Day 4 (last day of Cisplatin).  We did labs, met with Dr. O’Regan who did a physical exam and said everything was great, then we headed downstairs to the infusion center.  While we were still in line, one of the clinical trial coordinators came down to tell us that Nicole’s white blood cell number was 990 and it had to be 1,000 in order to do the chemo.

1st Coca Cola in 20 yearsWe were shocked – the Neulasta shot Nicole took the day after the last chemo was “guaranteed” to keep the white blood cell count up.  So much for that!  They did say we could try again in an hour or so.  So, we checked with the folks who draw the blood to get their inside secrets and they said to drink a Coke and climb the stairs 4-5 times right before she did the labwork again.  So, off to lunch we went!  Nicole enjoyed half an omelet and some pancakes, plus a few cups of coffee, then we grabbed a giant Coke to go (her first in many years!) and hit the stairs.  Five reps of 5 flights later, she did the bloodwork and came in around 2,400 (up from 990!).

Trying for a blood cell count spikeSo, count us as true believers in the Coke and Stairwell combo.  About six hours later, we were done with chemo and heading home.  Bye bye Cisplatin and all your nasty side effects.  In three weeks, we will start on Taxol.   A fellow clinical trial participant and a great infusion center nurse tell us Taxol will be much easier (aside from the likely hair loss) than Cisplatin, but we’ll see…

4 down, 4 to go.



  1. OMG!! 5 reps of 5 flights of stairs. Whew!! Makes me tired just to read that. You are such a trouper. WOW! So proud of you and your family–Yes, Joey you too. :) Hugs and love, Aunt Edna

  2. Don’t know how you feel, but you look great in the pictures! I was wondering when we might get another update. Thanks to Joey.

  3. Judy Watkins says:

    Mmmm … there must be a way to make some money off of this lab secret since you’re living in Coca Cola World down there in Hotlanta. A new marketing campaign between Coke and the American Cancer Society? “Get your white blood cell count up — Drink Coke!”

    Sorry for the sick humor but I’m glad this round is over and prayers coming your way for a rapid recovery!

    Your cuz,


    • Should’ve titled this post “Chemo Goes Better With Coke!” That’s a headline from a student competition that a friend passed on to me. Maybe it’s not so secret, after all!