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Thursday, November 20, 2008

Counting Down The Days......Again.

As you have probably read already, my scheduled chemo treatment for yesterday was postponed. Talk about a total let down. Ryan and I had been out the night before for a wonderful "celebratory" dinner at P.F. Changs and then to a movie. We were both glowing at the thought that I had finally come to the end of my chemo treatments. Yesterday morning my appointments went as scheduled. First I had my labs drawn. Then is was off to see Dr. Ellis where Ryan and I both expressed our joy. We couldn't believe the day was finally here. After looking over my paperwork, of which did not include my labs, Dr. Ellis looked at me and said "See, you made it. Time flies when your having fun, right?" He then looked at me and said, "Congratulations, your considered cured." It felt amazing to hear those words. Before he left the room I had a few questions I wanted to get answered. He suggested I get dressed and then we would discuss whatever necessary. As Ryan and I sat there waiting for Dr. Ellis to return, all we could think about was getting over to chemo and getting started. Then, Dr. Ellis walked in with a piece of paper in his hand and gave me a slightly disappointing look. I immediately asked him what was wrong. He sat down and bluntly stated that my white blood cell counts were to low and that they were not going to treat me this week but rather next week. Ryan and I could not believe what we were hearing. I immediately burst into tears. I was devastated. If given time, I think Ryan would have burst into tears as well. All of this positive energy we had poured into the previous days, all the encouraging words, all the emails congratulating me on my last treatment, were gone. I kept thinking that surely he was just joking. Ryan and I tried to convince him of letting me take my treatment on Friday or even Monday, but he wasn't having it. How could my counts be so low and I feel so great?

After regaining my composure, which wasn't easy, Dr. Ellis showed me the lab work. There are about 20 different counts they check, but the one that really matters is the Absolute Neutrophil Count. A normal Neutrophil Count is usually between 1.8 and 3.6. Yesterday, mine was 0.2. Not Good. Our Neutrophils make up almost 75% of our white blood cells which is what fights off infection. Because mine are so low, I am at an extremely high risk for developing an infection and am very susceptible to germs. If I were to get sick, my body would have no way of fighting off the infection, which is extremely dangerous. Not exactly a comforting thought seeing that it is cold and flu season! Because chemotherapy lowers your white blood cells to begin with, there was no way I could get treatment yesterday. In the words of the nurse, "It could be fatal." Great. So, with all that being said, Ryan and I got in our car, slightly disappointed, and headed home. I am now quarantined in my house for the next 6 days. I won't be able to leave without a mask and that is not exactly the next best accessory. However, I guess it beats being hospitalized.

I do want to thank all of you who prayed for me yesterday and the days before. Please don't stop praying now. I would ask that you all pray that my counts return to an acceptable level by next week and that I would remain healthy until then. I want nothing more than to get my last treatment next Wednesday.

1 comment:

Anne said...

Ok, that just totally bites. I thought about you all last week! Considering that this is gunk season, you certainly don't want to get your LAST chemo treatment and then be down for 2 months! I am trying to get over bronchitis, I have had it for over a week. I could definately not be around you now...see? Enjoy your week and dont let the waiting get to you too much. Remember Thanksgiving is a time to eat as much as you want, without an excuse! Also, to give THANKS, which I know we will all do this year!