Ok. Two posts in one day. One could assume this must mean either something really good or that this will be a brief post sharing of bad news. BUT lucky for you and ME it is not the later.
I left the hospital a few hours ago and received good news that my white blood cells came up from a dangerously low .03 (Basically I had none yesterday) to 1.4 today. Whew.
So the shot they injected in my arm yesterday, helped my bone marrow do its work and build up my blood cell count. Hence the bone ache. My immune system was so low that the sinus/cold infection I got did not stand a chance at going away as long as I had no immune system to fight it. So with a lot of vitamins, cold medicine, good food and rest I am hoping that this is a thing of the past and I will be on my way to feeling better. I did go in for hydration which left me in the infusion room for about an hour. Hydration as I have mentioned before is simply a bag of salt water that makes me feel so much better so I am grateful for that.
A few things I observed as I arrived at the cancer center today….
- I was not charged my copay ($100.00!) because well the truth is I have been going in so often that my doctor waived it today. I did not even know they could do that, but they did and I am so grateful. As you can imagine I am quite used to the 100.00 doctor visit co pay because I pay it so often but it does not make it any easier on my bank account.
- I feel like I moved from the rookie squad to the all star team at the Rocky Mountain Cancer Center. I know the drill and the coaches (nurses) they know my name. I am a regular. Walk in, get on the scale, check my temp, check my blood pressure, draw some blood. It ain’t no thang anymore (except it still kind of is, because none of that is very fun).
- My weight. Something I have not talked about a lot on the blog but it has been all over the place. It goes up, it goes way down and then back up again. I have learned (learning still) to let it go. My body is doing what it needs to heal and the best thing I can do is give it a lot of water, a lot of good food and rest to do what it needs to do. The weight, the number. Something my doctor needs to know because it often parallels with my counts but something that is of no importance to me.
- Walking in with people vs. Walking in alone. Both serve its purpose. Today I went by myself, for the very first time. While laying in my chair, with my feet up and IV in I listened to music and read. It was relaxing and let me take a few deep breaths. The room was not that busy today but still quite a few people that appeared very sick. I am grateful that I have only one more round.
- The hair growing pains are about to get very real. I bought Biotin today and have a few other things on my list to help my hair start to grow back….. You know that time you wondered if you could pull of a pixie cut but don’t have the guts to give it a try? Well today I realize that I will get to have my shot at rocking the pixie and every other length of hair for that matter. I am sure there will be a lot of future posts about this. Needless to say I look forward to celebrating new hair growth.
- I have not shaved in three months! Yes you read this right. Hair is not growing anywhere so I have not touched a razor at all. On top of that I just use a bar of soap atop my head. Showers are about the most uneventful things these days. But they are also beautifully simple.
And that brings me to the reality that a week from tomorrow, assuming my counts continue to rise and I get rid of this crud, I will be having my last round of chemo. It brings tears to my eyes knowing that. Although the last round on Thursday is only the beginning of a week or so until I start feeling better, knowing it is my LAST one is even hard for me to comprehend.
Next weekend (yes right after chemo) I will be flying with my mom and dad to Houston, Texas for the Houston Rodeo. Friends and colleagues of my dads at Caterpillar are flying me there to fulfill my bucket list wish of attending the Rodeo. It is sure to be a great weekend celebrating this part of my cancer story being done. Sunday evening the three of us are going to the Luke Bryan concert and I am so excited. The weather in Houston should be warm as well which will make for the best post chemo recovery weekend.
Another thing that had me thinking ahead today was the warm sunny day that Denver had. Which can only mean that spring is on its way in and winter is on its way out. I so long to take a long run outside, drink a cold beer on a patio with friends, attend two dear friends weddings this summer (one in Austin, Texas and the other in Mccall, Idaho) and welcome my nephew to the world in May. There is so much to look forward to. But before all of that I need to get better, so I am back in bed writing and resting.
My body has made it clear it is tired and the only thing (besides good medicine) it needs is some rest. So the trail running can wait. The patio drinking can wait. There is much more time for that in the days ahead.
I am encouraged and grateful for each of you.
A dear friend sent this to me this morning and it resonated so much with how I have been feeling the past few days….
The deepest need that you and I have in weakness and adversity is not quick relief, but the well-grounded confidence that what is happening to us is part of the greatest purpose of God in the universe—the glorification of the grace and power of his Son—the grace and power that bore him to the cross and kept him there until the work of love was done.
So while I long to feel better, I also am not naive enough to think this time is not being used for something. I will go back in to the hospital tomorrow to make sure my counts are still going up and for more hydration but hopefully the sick part of this will be moving its way out.
Hope this finds you well on your Wednesday.
Blue sunny skies this morning.
My poor right arm. I am not able to get IV’s in my left since they took my lymph nodes out of that side.
The infusion room has snacks and yesterday I ate Annies honey bunnies, today I stepped it up and had the chocolate ones.
The picture below is from a few years ago. I love this one because I was hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park, my hair was back in a ponytail and it was so long it came around on my shoulder.