October 25, 2009

low counts...

so, friday was supposed to be treatment three, but my body wasn't having it, and my blood counts were too low to proceed with treatment. the way it works is: blood is drawn prior to each treatment and your oncologist decides, based on white blood counts, if it's safe to go ahead - if your counts are too low, treatment doesn't happen. ABVD (the chemotherapy i get) is given in cycles...each cycle is two treatments, given on day one and fifteen (two weeks between each one). my oncologist doesn't hold a day fifteen treatment, but will hold a cycle (or a day one).... since this is the start of a new cycle, he's holding it for a week to give my bone marrow time to recover and my white blood cells time to get their act together.

what does this all mean? well, one thing is for sure - my body does not like ABVD. some people, apparently, cruise right through it.... i, on the other hand, require ridiculously expensive meds for nausea and a little jolt to get my bone marrow to produce enough white blood cells in the two week window. add that to the list of things to get me through treatment (current count: four chemotherapy drugs, one anti-nausea IV drip, one steroid IV drip, two types of anti-nausea meds, and numbing cream for the port)...and, this one comes in shots that i have to self administer. fantastic. you'd think after everything i've had done that i'd easily tough this one out, too. no way, i think this may be right up there with bone marrow biopsy on the 'things i do not like' list. but, i'll do what i have to do, and one day i'll stop whining about it.

of course i was quite frustrated that i didn't stack up to the expectations to hold on to my counts for a little longer, and that treatment would, without a hitch, happen every other friday for not a day over six months. i don't take failure of any sort very well. i will, someday, find a way to accept that all this cancer is not something i have any control over. and i'll trust that if everything happens the way it's supposed to, this, too, will work itself out. i'll hold onto the thought (thank you forum friends) that low counts, hair falling out and nausea are a sign that this ABVD stuff is doing what it's supposed to...all out destruction of fast growing cells...and so long as cancer is included in that destruction, i'll hold on to the 'can do' attitude. at least that's one thing i can control.

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