I finally have something to update!
So it was taking me a lot longer to “recover” from this last treatment. Usually by 1 week I’m up an about as usual… but this time I was still dragging. In fact I was really dragging, my throat really hurt, and I had bad congestion. I still soldiered on and even pushed through last Saturday that started with dropping Ella off at Bounce U for a Birthday party at 10:00, watching Abbie at her end of season softball event, then watching Tommy’s team win a game toward the minor league championship, spending time with Krista, Brayden and my parents, with the day ending going to a very hot and humid BreastFest fundraiser… oh boy this would exhaust anyone, so when I got home I collapsed on the bed and said I’m done. I had the chills but thought it was ‘cause the air conditioning felt sooo good. But when I took my temp. it read 100.7.
I threw off the blankets and waited 20-30 minutes…
I knew I had to call the on-call Onc as any fever is a bad fever when on chemo, especially as this was day 10 of my chemo cycle where my count was the lowest. The Dr. did not hesitate and off to the ER we went. I could write a whole blog about what we saw (and smelled) at Jefferson’s ER on a Saturday night but basically, after only 6 hours in the ER, I was admitted for neutropenic fever … which is low white blood cell count combined with a fever. I was swabbed, cultured, examined from head to foot, repeated my story and symptoms a million times, all to find the source of this infection. It is a very serious thing to get an infection when you’re neutropenic. I was given IV antibiotics, fluids, medicine for my throat (which turned out to be thrush) and put on precautions (when everyone and anyone has to wear a mask and gown to get into my room). After two days of negative results, they gave me a shot to boost my WBCs (this is typically given after each cycle but since it can cause bone pain, and I was otherwise healthy, my Onc did not prescribe it for the first few cycles). Well it worked- my WBC’s went from 1.1 to 5.2 (normal is >3), and my neutrophils went from 381 to 2862 (normal >1500)! And the results of the virus panel came back that I had Rhinovirus … although this sounds horrific, it’s just the common cold! So I was sent home Tuesday.
I feel so much better. Amazing what a few WBCs can do! So I’m back on course, treatment #6 is next Wednesday. This hospitalization reminded me to center on the positive, be grateful I am tolerating the treatments so well, as many others on the unit were not so fortunate. I will have many ups and downs, and this will not be my last hospitalization, but today I can say I feel terrific. And if you remember- I am just taking all this one day at a time, living in the present, being attentive to the now.
“The mind is everything. What you think you become.” - Buddha