A little patience

I realized it has been awhile since my last update, so for those of you still keeping tabs on what has been going on with me, here’s the scoop.

I started my second round of chemo two Mondays ago (technically it’s the first round of my consolidation treatment, but to me it’s the second time being administered chemo). I went to my new home away from home (Regions Hospital Cancer Care Center) three days in a row for a 15-minute injection of Idarubicin. There’s something disconcerting about seeing a bright orange liquid entering your body; even more disconcerting when the nurse administering the drug is wearing googles, gloves and protective gown; and, if you didn’t think the medicine was potent enough, when they suggest you flush the toilet twice during the days that follow… well, you catch my drift.

Now that the three infusions are finished we wait. My blood counts started to drop on Monday. By Wednesday I was back to being neutropenic and Friday I received another transfusion of platelets. I kind of wish I had kept track of the amount of blood products I have received over the course of my hospital stay and now during these rounds of consolidation… you could probably start measuring it in gallons. It certainly has made me a more outspoken advocate of blood donation. In fact, let me just restate my request to those of you who have asked what you could do during this time… give blood!

The silver lining in all of this is that I am still at home. As long as I don’t get an infection, I can continue to hang out and wait for the cell counts to start increasing again. But, waiting starts to become more like sitting around the house and getting grouchy. I’m not sure how Virginia puts up with me, but she does. More than that, she takes care of me so much that I feel like I’m probably getting spoiled.

So, as we make adjustments to our schedules for our tri-weekly visits to the cancer care center, wait for the marrow to start making non-mutated white blood cells again, and do a lot of other rearranging of priorities, we require patience and a little bit of flexibility. Some days are better than others, as this is not the most forgiving way of developing patience.

Tired, to say the least

I’m forcing myself to stay upright for a little while, since my M.O. has been one of a horizontal position. The last couple of days have been a blur of sleep, vitals, blood work, mushy food, sleep, measuring pee, more sleep, and visitors (did I mention sleep?). My parents made the trek to be with me for awhile and my dad did the honors this afternoon of preemptively letting loose my mane. So, monkish I sit before this laptop, wrapped in white cotton.

Virginia has taken it upon herself to make sure I don’t lounge around in bed all day. We went for our first walk outside the room yesterday, but I made a quick retreat after seeing all manor of coughing and general illness in the public hallways. Hey, I might have roguish tendencies, but I’d rather err on the side of caution while my immune system performs a reboot. She’s also named my inspirometer Babar, and boy does he want to play all the freakin’ time.

Tonight will be the last bag of chemo for this first round (called induction), then it’s dealing with side effects (intended and unintended)¬†and waiting for my white blood count to start to go up enough to leave.

That’s about all I’ve got energy for. Until next time… take a moment to breathe in some wonderful, outdoor, springtime air for me.