Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Those Pesky White Blood Cells

This week was due to be chemo week so I did a big shop, made sure there wasn't too much on at the weekend, organised a pick up from school for the kids, arranged for a friend to pick me up from hospital and got friends ready to do meals for the week.
Then I went to hospital to have my blood test and spent the morning hanging around to see the doctor...only to discover that my white blood cell count is too low.  So I have to wait and do it all again next week.

I must admit, I cried.  Actually I sobbed.  I think it is the realisation that I am totally out of control here: no matter how organised I am for each chemo, I simply cannot control how my body will react to the treatment.  That means I can't plan with any certainty.  My whole diary has shifted: a big night out now falls right after chemo instead of on a 'good' weekend, our half term holiday plans are in disarray, chemo has crept closer to Christmas and might even end up going on into the new year.

And it seems that this is a very common side effect, most people seem to find that they get delayed by a low blood count at some point in their chemo treatment.  There's not much you can do about it either (except take precautions to avoid things getting even worse with an infection while you are vulnerable).  If you Google, you can find suggestions of supplements that might help but with no real weight of science behind them, all you can really do is wait until your white blood cells recover by themselves.  Rest.

I hate that.

Of course there is also an injection that the docs can give you post chemo to help your white blood cells recover faster.  But I made the mistake of reading the cancer chats where people have reported the agony in the bones that can follow (always a mistake reading the chats, people never post when it didn't hurt).  So I'm now resting up, hoping that my pesky white blood cells will sort themselves out by themselves.

I'm learning that having Cancer means that I just have to be very flexible.  

I'm out of control... and clinging on for the ride.

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