Thursday, May 3, 2018


I met with my MedOnc yesterday.  Well, technically I met with my nurse and then a PA because my (pregnant) MedOnc had an appointment herself.  I'm hoping she won't be put on bedrest because (selfishly) I don't want to switch to a new doctor partway through my treatment.  And on a truly-I'm-a-nice-person note, I'd hate for anything to be wrong with her pregnancy, so bedrest wouldn't be good thing for her right now.

Nothing to report about the appointment itself.  I had no questions, got a couple medication refills, and then got my bloodwork done to make sure my counts were high enough for this week's chemo - AC #2.  (I wasn't worried since I'd had three weeks for my neutrophils to come up after my first infusion.)

I got a call a couple hours after my appointment, though.  It was the PA, letting me know that my neutrophils were 0.68.  That's the lowest they've ever been, and definitely below the 1.0 needed to get my chemo infusion.  I was told we'd delay for a week and go through the same routine next week - appointment & bloodwork on Wednesday with chemo (hopefully) on Thursday.  I held it together on the phone, and then started crying as soon as I hung up.

For the first time since my diagnosis, I feel like the cancer is winning.

I made it through 12 weeks of Taxol with flying colors - no neuropathy and minimal side effects, with an 82% reduction in the tumors and no delays in chemo.  (The lowest my neutrophils got was the last week - 1.01.)  I came into AC with my expectations high, so this is hard.  It feels like I've been in the ring with cancer, getting blow after blow in, and just got a strong right hook to the jaw, leaving my head spinning.  It's hard not to feel like this week's delay is going to allow the cancer a chance to start growing again.  I'm a cancer patient; my job is to power through treatment and keep killing the cancer.  If I'm not getting treatment, what am I doing?

When AC started as scheduled, I assumed everything would stay on track.  We made all of our summer plans - scheduled surgery, the kids' summer camps, my monthly Xolair shots, and even a couple out-of-town trips - around what I knew the "set in stone" treatment plan would be.  With chemo brain causing white noise to permeate my thoughts, having the calendar set helped me feel a lot more settled.  Now that chemo is being pushed back (which delays my other infusions, which may delay surgery, etc.), everything is up in the air again, and I'm back to realizing how little control over all of this I truly have.

Two things have helped me through this.

First, I have the most amazing family and friends in the world.  I have so many people praying for me and loving me that I know I'll get through this.  And I have an amazing husband and mom who both endured teary phone calls right after the delayed-chemo news, and both calmly told me that this wasn't a big deal - that I was strong, the cancer wasn't going to start growing again, and we'd just play everything by ear and be okay.

Second, Jamie and I have a playlist that has helped me through this entire process.  I've been tweeting out the songs periodically and then listing them on the right side of the blog.  Most, though not all, are by Christian artists, because knowing that God is in control is the most reassuring thing of all.  I like to think I'm in control of my life, but knowing I'm not - since I can make a mess of things so easily - puts me at peace.  He's got this.  That playlist will grow throughout treatment; we currently have about 235 songs on the list and are adding more all the time.  If you're going through anything difficult in your life, listen to some of the songs on that list.

Another week of regaining strength and neutrophils, staying away from anyone remotely sick, and trying not to lose weight.  I can do this!

Partway through chemo, with most of my lashes and brows gone!
(I have eyeliner and brow pencil on here.)

Trish signature for blog


Mindy said...

Trish, I’m sorry this is so discouraging. I totally see how it would seem that way. But I’m just so pleased with how well things have gone so far for you! You are a champion. I know this seems like a setback, and in a way it is. But every journey has its bumps, twists and turns. Some even have strong headwinds. Just keep going along, and trust that He is with you for every step. And we are all cheering for you!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...