Up until now, I have sailed through chemotherapy and remained reasonably healthy. I have given the credit to my regimen of supplements, good nutrition (when I can eat), hash oil, acupuncture, massage, and so on. I really do believe those things have supported my health along the way. Further proof of this is the knowledge that many start to experience complications by cycle 3 and I’ve made it to cycle 5 before experiencing a drop in white and red blood cells.
Last week when my labs came back I was sent home because my white blood cells were too low. I was given a week off in order to give my bone marrow enough time to generate new cells. I had my transfusion last Friday, which really helped with my red blood cell counts and my blood pressure. Side note – today my blood pressure was up to 116/72 – awesome! When my doctor walked in to the room today I was kind of taken aback when he told me my white blood cells were still just below the acceptable number. I had expected to get back on schedule today and this news really took the wind out of my sails, so to speak.
He told me that the new plan was to give me my 3 week cycle of chemo all at once, instead of spreading it out, and that I was going to have to have the white blood cell booster shot. Let’s talk about this shot for a minute. It costs $5000 and jump starts your bone marrow to create more white blood cells. I had decided I wasn’t going to have the shot unless absolutely necessary because the major side effect is that it makes your bones ache, like having the flu. It varies from person to person, but it was something I definitely didn’t want to experience on top of being sick from the chemo drugs. I’ve heard it described as horrific, but I am willing to wait and see how my body handles it.
I was sent home again today, so they could order up enough Taxol for me (3 weeks worth). I will be returning tomorrow and will be sitting through approximately 5 hours of chemo in one shot. I will then return on Saturday for the booster shot. I have shed a few tears today because I’m frustrated and disappointed in losing the little bit of control I had over the decision-making process. I’m also sad and concerned about the unknown, now that my schedule has been disrupted and I don’t know what all of this will do to my body. I’m hopeful that once we do this I will be able to stay on track for cycle 6 and will finish one week behind schedule, since I had to skip last week.
I want to add that I am aware every day how fortunate I am to have tolerated the drugs the way I have. I know I am close to the finish line and will not take my eyes off of the prize. It feels a bit like I’m being pouty in regard to all of this when I know how bad other people have it. I carry the knowledge with me every day that my aggressive cancer cells would have continued to destroy my body silently and I would have had a terminal diagnosis if not for the common cancer cells screwing up my reproductive system and prompting my doctor to do further testing. I know every day people are losing their battle with many different diseases and they don’t get a second chance like I have. I am grateful and if I have to do what I’m told, I will. The side effects are a temporary blip and worth it in the end. Let’s do this thing. xoxo