Just putting this week away…
I did think it was just going to be a week as usual – marking mostly that I’d gotten thru another treatment – ah, how wrong I was!
I did expect to feel bad – I knew that the Neulasta shot was going to give me some grief – it is, after all, designed to make your white blood cells reproduce at an accelerated rate – after a day or so of that, I really did expect to bounce back (well, maybe not ‘bounce’ ) to feeling my normal self. Next day was even worse than the first – and I was kind of blindsided. I remember clearly the bone pain getting those new cells made, but I did not expect my entire body to hurt – ears, head, throat, you name it, and it hurt.
I got through the weekend, and was hoping for a decent week – but it was not. Instead of getting slowly better, I was getting worse – and I remember thinking ‘what is going on here? I should not feel so really awful all over!’ By Tuesday evening I was running a low fever – just hoping to get some sleep – but woke up every hour or so in misery. By the time 9:00 am came around, I was feeling so bad that I woke Lucian up and asked him to take me to the ER. I sure did not want to go, but money or not, I just had to do something. So into the car, and off we went to Franklin and Southhampton Memorial Hospital. I could not tell them why it was that I hurt so, but hoping they could tell me. They got right on the phone to my oncologist, and meantime did some tests to eliminate all they could. They did tell me that my White Blood Count was 0.4, and my Platelets were at 17. Those are some LOW counts! Word came back that the oncologist thought that I was was having really severe reactions to the Neulasta. I had an appointment with him the following day, and he said to come in.
When I got to the oncologist’s office, they did my blood counts, and they were even lower! My White Blood Count was now 0.3, platelets were holding at 17, and my ANC (which shows how well you can fight off an infection – which should be around 4-5) was 0.12. I also now weighed less than I ever have in my adult life – Wow – those were not lows that I wanted at all. My oncologist came and talked to me and said that my body just cannot tolerate the full dose of CHOP, and these levels were from that. Going back to the ‘mini’ version with the next treatment. Went back to the oncologist the next day, so they could see if the levels were coming up – and thank God! they were ! Had to laugh at myself, me, the one who has been ‘on a diet’ since I was in the 8th grade, was getting on the scale hoping that it went UP! A real first there, and indeed, it was up too. Now just giving my body time to build up after this little episode, and be back ready to fight on by my next treatment later this month.