Those of you who know me will nod enthusiastically when I say I have a lifelong obsession with arriving anywhere late. But even I was disappointed with myself when I was sent home again today from the chemo ward and told to return next week when my white blood cells are up to the job in hand!
Yes, I am afraid I am neutropenic again. It’s becoming such as regular event that I don’t even need to check the spelling. See, another unexpected benefit, new vocabulary to help me win at scrabble!
It would be charitable to say it didn’t hurt too much when the deputy vampires tried 3 times unsuccessfully to get blood out of my portacath this morning when doing the normal checks to my blood levels prior to starting chemo (sadly my favourite vampire, Dr Needles is having a nice long lie in until the 3rd Jan). But after an hour or so plugged into the saline drip, the results came back with red ink all over them and a note to try harder and I was hurried out of my chair before the stampede of patients could take part in what has become a regular game of musical chairs.
There is evidence mounting to suggest that my neutrophils (these are the white blood cells that foreign bodies usually run into first) are pacifists and are no more interested in fighting these cancer cells than I am in going to the Boxing Day sales and would rather sit on the sofa with a nice cup of tea. So in addition to the bone marrow injections I now enjoy to encourage activity, I can add selenium and resbid tablets, 2 cups of green tea a day, a partridge in a pear tree plus a diet so high in protein that I expect to get automatic membership to the WBF shortly!
But looking for positives, I have a week off to spend with the kids before they go back to School feeling relatively normal. Then I need a serious word with my oncologist to decide on the path of lesser risk; delaying each cycle for another week or reducing this early on to chemo for cowards? I think even he will relent from his usual “see how it goes” response and dream up some new delicious sounding chemicals to test drive, and I would have to be an idiot to refuse an offer like that wouldn’t I?
This all leaves me a week to concentrate on starting my challenge number 2, putting bowel cancer on the map by applying for planning permission for an enormous giraffe sticking out of my roof. If anyone has any ideas or drawings to submit, please send them to Rachelbown12@gmail.com. I only have the shark in oxford for inspiration so far!