Wednesday, 26 November 2014

A third of the way through Taxol...and severely neutropenic

I'm on a downer today.

I feel as if I've done the tearful drive home from the hospital too many times.  And it always seems to be raining...  I went for my routine blood test this morning and my white blood cell count is super low;  severely neutroprenic at only 200.  So there's no question of having my weekly Taxol tomorrow and instead I need to have five once-a-day injections of Neupogen to boost my bone marrow.

It's not a big deal.  I guess I'm just not very good at coping with changes of plan.  It's another week's delay, so  it looks as if I'll be on chemo into the new year.  That's a bummer when I'd hoped to be done before Christmas.

And I'm a bit scared of this injection as I've read reports of people suffering severe bone pains - oh, I so shouldn't have Googled! 

On a more positive note, I've been coping well with Taxol.  The worst thing has been the lack of sleep: first of all I'm steroid-jittery for a couple of nights.  Then come the hot flashes that have me throwing off the duvet one minute, then pulling it back on when I'm all shivery again the next minute.  Then come the muscle aches. 

But none of the symptoms have been too severe.  I've been able to get on with life as usual, with just the occasional afternoon nap (though I did fall asleep in front of the computer once and woke up dribbling on the keyboard...). 

And I haven't been on a downward slope in quite the way I expected when they told me the symptoms were 'cumulative'.  Week two was my toughest so far with painful aches and lots of tingling in finger and toes.  Here we go, I thought.  Already this bad and still seven sessions ahead of me...  But Week Three has gone rather well with barely a tingle in my toes.  Perhaps my lovely friends who took me on a spa day made all the difference.  That sounds like a splendid excuse for a weekly spa date.

So it's only those pesky white blood cells causing the problem and there's not a lot I can do about that.  I just need to pull myself together and be grateful that it's not been worse.  And now I have tomorrow morning unexpectedly free.  Hmmm, perhaps I could fit in another spa?

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