Round 3 – this time it’s for real
Gosh where has the time gone. One week has zoomed at a blink of an eye. After the wait and see approach and taking iron tablets to address my anemia, it was time to get another blood test done to decide if I am medically fit to go ahead with round 3. Aside from the haemoglobin the other key indicator the oncologist is hoping to see some improvements is my white blood cell count. I kept my fingers crossed while I waited patiently for the results. In the meantime, I fed my tummy with a nutella and banana sandwich for breakfast.
An hour and half later, the results are back. There was good and bad news. First, the good news is that in 5 days, my haemoglobin level increased and fall within the “normal” category. I was no longer anemic. The bad news is that my white blood cell count specifically the polymorph level has not changed from last week – this is also known as leukopenia. With low white blood cell count it means that my body is not as strong to fight off any infections. So what does this mean? My doctor said that I have 2 options.
Option 1: go ahead with the chemo session with the same dosage but I would have to inject myself with Neupogen, is a man-made form of a protein that stimulates the growth of white blood cells in your body.
Option 2: Wait for another week with the hope that the white blood cells improve. I did ask if I could eat or do something to help. Unfortunately, there is very little I can do in this case. Should I wait a little longer to do chemo, there is a possibility that I may encounter some cramps in my stomach because the cancer cells are working their way into my guts. Not a pretty picture and nor do I want to wait and see if the pain comes back.
With no other obvious symptoms such as pain or discomfort, there wasn’t anything to prevent me from continuing with the treatment. Since I am not keen to have any stomach cramps, I chose the first option. I would rather have the injections.
By now my body is attuned to receive the chemo and most of the common side effects are manageable. One of my least side effects is the nauseous feeling. Despite the anti-nauseous medications I am given prior to each chemo session, it still lingers around for 4 to 5 days. I hate it! It is having the hangover feelings without the alcohol. Somehow, I fought the feeling and survived it.
I have officially completed a quarter of my treatment. Hooray!