I had a lot of blood work done recently and picked up the results this week. I haven't had a consult with my oncologist or any other doctor about any of it yet but (if you know me well you already know) I will.
In the meantime, my ongoing fatigue makes more sense (not that it didn't already -- nine months of pounding does take it out of your body!).
My hemoglobin and red blood cell counts are both low, which is not unusual post-chemo. These low counts cause fatigue, and, interestingly, a low RBC count can also cause a higher heart rate, which I still have, in spite of being on two heart meds. Bone marrow cells, which produce RBC's, get zapped by chemo the same as every other cell in your body, and they need time to recover. I think on that score I mainly need to be patient. I'm not overly anxious to get on any of the meds that can help this, and it's something that I think will heal on its own.
My TSH is high and my T4 is normal. Translation: mild hypothyroidism, which, as you probably know, causes fatigue as well. It can also contribute to high cholesterol, which has nothing to do with fatigue, but I have a "borderline high" LDL (not good) and a very high HDL (very good), which push my total numbers up to borderline high. I'm not worried about it since my HDL is so high but I'm thinking now if I can get my TSH under control, that might help with the cholesterol and keep my cardiologist happy. The cholesterol is something I know I can control without meds but if the thyroid issues are contributing, and I get that under control, so much the better.
The thyroid issues may be age related but are most likely caused by chemo damage. Meds for this are simple and relatively benign and I will be more than happy to take them to help get some of this fatigue under control. Three hour naps just take too much out of the day!
I also am now in a search for a primary care physician. The doctor I saw when I lived in the area previously has retired so I have to find someone new. I have someone I know of who I listed as my PCP and who has been getting all my reports (for a year now!) but I haven't yet been in to see him -- but with all the various parts and pieces of things going on, I think it's time to have a PCP to help with oversight of everything. And now I have the time and energy to deal with breaking in another doctor :)
In spite of these fairly minor issues, and ongoing fatigue, I do feel better than I did even a month ago. My spirits are great, I've had lots more emotional energy, and my one week post-heart cath restrictions are over, so I'm released to get out there and do whatever my body will let me (although the lymphedema restrictions are life-long so I have to be careful about those!). But all in all, I'm one happy camper!! So, since yesterday was my last day on exercise and other restrictions, if you want to find me, you'll have to look for the crazy lady in the woods, happy-dancin' with the wildflowers!