I went in this morning for my third treatment. Before they can start the treatment, a nurse accesses my port and does a blood draw. We can’t begin until the lab results are back. This takes anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour depending on how busy they are. This morning the nurse tried to access my port, but could not draw any blood. She said that it’s a common occurrence and injected something in to dissolve any blood clots that might be blocking it. This solution had to be left in there for an hour so she send me to get my blood drawn the old fashion way. Ugh!!! Then I sat in the waiting room for a while until my nurse called me back in case all of the chairs filled up. My lab results came back shortly after that and my white blood cell counts have dropped considerably. This is expected because the chemo attacks healthy cells as well as cancerous ones. The reason that my treatments are every other week is to allow my body time to heal the healthy cells. Because my white cell count is so low, I could not receive a treatment today. It’s not dangerously low, but if I had chemo today it would go dangerously low. Instead I have a week to rest and we hope that my body will naturally produce some more white cells. Dr. Wong is not overly concerned. This is common – I just wish they would have told me that this could happen so early on in my treatments.
I have a scratchy throat today. With my white cells so low, I am more vulnerable to infection. A cold isn’t a big deal, but I have to monitor my temperature closely. I also have to avoid anyone who is sick.
With my free week, I’ll try to get back and post some details about my first two treatments.