This round of chemotherapy has been challenging. It started out pretty normal but then when I expected to start rebounding and regaining my strength...I didn't. I managed to catch a cold, that didn't help. I have never enjoyed having a cold but catching one when you have a white cell count of "zero" is a whole new experience. Wow! I am now very impressed with the importance of the immune system. After a few days and a fever and some chiding from my sister in law, I decided to call the doctor. They took a blood sample and after checking my fever they started wagging fingers at me as well. They wanted to know why I hadn't called earlier and I gave them a very logical answer "I didn't want to bother you" The nurse didn't like that answer at all and told me "It's guys like you that end up septic" Hmmm, I need to come up with a better answer for that question in the future. Maybe something like "I was being held captive by Taliban terrorists" would work better.
So, the nurse practitioner took a look and told me that my blood work was lousy. Basically no white blood cells and way too few red blood cells as well. I had been fainting the last few days and she said that was because my blood didn't have enough cells to get air to my brain. She was confused about why the drugs they were giving me had failed to bring up my blood counts like they were supposed to. You would think that since that shot costs $4000 each it would work a little better. I need to check and see if they offer a guarantee or something. She then sent me down for a chest x-ray to check for pneumonia and then told me that my lungs were clear but that I had two broken ribs. By this time I was wondering if they were really mixing up my tests with someone else. I told her, "I really don't feel that bad and my ribs certainly don't hurt." She showed me the pictures and told me, "Well you should feel lousy and your ribs should hurt, maybe your'e just used to feeling lousy and now you think it is normal". I'm not sure if that was supposed to make me feel better or not. Well, they shot me full of antibiotics and gave a shot of something called "Epogen". It's supposed to make your body make more red blood cells and will now disqualify me for the Tour de France for at least a year. Darn it! The next day they sent me to the hospital for two bags of "packed red blood cells". It looked a lot like ketchup to me but I'm taking their word on it.
|Where did I put my fibula?|
|Bald is beautiful....or something|
Well, every day since then I am slowly feeling better. My strength is returning, I have quit fainting, my appetite is improving, my cold is slowly getting better. On Friday we went to wound care clinic and the doctor looked at my leg and had some good ideas about how to help it heal. He picked up some cutting tool and said, "this is where I get even with dentists". Yikes! Little did he know, my leg is numb in the surgery site so it didn't hurt at all. I guess he will have to get even on somebody else. It was kind of gross to watch while he sliced away all the surface of my wound. Even though it was disgusting I couldn't quit watching. Morbid fascination I guess.
Today was Sunday and I felt great. I was able to help with a ward conference and attend all my meetings. I even did temple recommends this evening. I think I had four servings of dinner. I have two days to try and gain seven pounds. Bring it on! JoLynne won't let me eat anything that has less than 700 calories. It's really weird shopping with her. It's like I have been transported to a nutritional alternate universe. I'm just grateful to feel well. Hopefully this Wednesday I will feel well enough to get get chemo and get sick again.