Last chemo today or so I thought. I have been a mixture of trepidation and joy all weekend. Trepidation because this would bring the surgery closer finally and joy because - well, do I really have to spell it out? Joy because my chemo would finally be over, thrown in the bin with nausea, depression and hair loss.
But a patient's relationship with chemo is like a dance, an energetic tango, an endless powerplay as chemo tries to constantly outdance your feet. First it strips your hair, your stomach and now, it has attacked my white blood cells. As most of us know, the white blood cells are the cells that attack infections. They, like the hair follicle cells, the digestive cells, and the mouth cells, and, of course, the cancer cells are rapidly dividing so they are attacked by the chemo. The doctors here refuse to give chemo when the neutrophil level, a component of white blood cells, is under 1.5. The normal level, just so you know, is level 5.
I have been aware for a while now that I have been skimming the surface of that level like a pelican skimming for food, but today, today I have sunk under it therefore putting myself at risk for neutropenia, an extremely serious complicaton which can, if ignored, end in death.
One can do absolutely nothing to bring this level back, only rest and really I am incredibly lucky that this is the first time that I have had this. A friend who began this chemo journey with me, is only on her fifth chemo as her neutrophil levels have been as low as 0.4 meaning that she has been hospitalised numerous times with infections.
It is reprogrammed for Friday instead, and although I keep telling myself how lucky I am that I have only been delayed for 5 days out of the whole 8 cycles, I am still disappointed...
Perfectionism anyone? *wry smile*
I was hoping the fat lady had sung...