October 29, 2010

Bad news

Good day/Bad Day?: see above or below...

I thought about minimizing and downplaying for this post, and then I thought better of it. It's time to just be with the fact that having cancer and going through treatment is crappy and that I'm a little short on good news lately.

So here's the long & short of it. For starters, I haven't been to work in 2 weeks, in between the hospitalization last week and the ups & downs of this week--it's making me feel a little rudderless.

I'm neutropenic. Today. For those of you not familiar with the term, it means my white blood cells, specifically my neutrophils, are not abundant enought to fight off infection right now, so I'll be susceptible to a lot. Handwashing, handwashing, no being around sick people, limiting raw food intake, plants/flowers, etc. Not quite bubble-boy status, but I need to be careful. Hard to do when my adorable germ factory comes home every day! My platelets are also a little low, so my bleeding risk is up. All this transpired in the last 24 hrs, because my counts in the ER were actually okay. *More about yesterday--it was really just the fever, and my L armpit is a little tender in the area where I had that fluid collection (that reaccumulated/reswelled), so trying to determine other potential infection sources. The ER was really going in to draw labs, check my blood for infection (blood cultures), urine, any other symptoms. So they got that stuff and sent me home.

Neutropenia also means no chemo. No infusion today, no daily oral chemo (they stopped it during my fever in the last couple of days) for at least the next week. Good news is that the fever went away and hasn't come back today.

I still had a long clinic day today. There was a lot of talking this through with my oncologist, then waiting and waiting for a chest and abdominal CT to rule out a few more things she was concerned about, then going to try to draw fluid out of the L armpit-thing again (they couldn't get anything out, but the good news is there's no pus there! Ew.). The CTs looked good, too, so I guess that's good. Still means we don't know where the fevers (this week or last) came from except for assuming I caught a virus or 2.

As I've been saying, I'm trying to rebuild, but I also found out I lost about 9 pounds in the last month. Hmm.

I guess overall, if you can't tell, I'm frustrated. Knowing the duration of my treatment protocol ('til March), I guess in my own head I was telling myself that I'd expect to be knocked down sometime during the course, but I kept thinking it would be a winter thing. This is earlier than I was prepared to be derailed.

So what's to come? The next week until Friday will be laying low and trying not to get sick. I think that may mean I have another week out of work, too. Next Friday I'll have my blood counts done again and they'll make decisions about my treatment plans. Likely looking at changes in doses. One other bright spot--I don't have to "make up" chemo rounds and get my end date pushed back--I just miss the weeks I miss. So at least the end is the end.

Okay, well I'll let you chew on that, and maybe we'll work to post an Olive pic to liven this up a little...


ee said...

It can't always be rainbows and lollipops. Thanks for being real with us. Love you, Shug.


Anonymous said...

I'm with Erica on this. If you tried blowing sunshine up our collective asses we would know better. We can feel how sick you have been in our bones. Rest assured we will hold hands (after washing) and stick together when it's bad, and when it's good we'll party like its 1999! Thanks for the lesson in medical terminology, it helps to understand...

Sonja said...

It sucks, Jenny. Wish I could take the cancer (and neutropenia, fever & headaches) for a week and give you a break.