Yes, heartless Phil has abandoned me once again. This time he dipped to 560 neutrophils.
I’m busy canceling things I was going to do this week … $5 Tuesday movie (really want to see Hidden Figures) … a luncheon to honor my dear friend, Maureen Freedland with the Iverson-Frekking Ecumenical Award … Thursday night synagogue-sponsored movie and discussion at a friend’s house… and the Women’s Sister March in Deborah, Iowa. It was close enough and small enough that I thought I could do it, but Phil says no.
Alas … I’m still in good spirits, despite Phil’s casting a rude pall on my immune system. I still prefer this side of the sod, which means taking powerful drugs and hoping for the best.
Today was going to be White Cell Appreciation Day, but it was cancelled because so few showed up.
I am not Einstein, but I do think myself clever for referring to my treatment to build my bones “LIquid Wonder Bread.”
You know, Build Strong Bodies 12 Ways — I’m sure that slogan for Wonder bread includes the bones, right?
Nobody gets the joke. That doesn’t keep me from saying it though.
Funny or not, I have IV Zometa every four weeks, including today. It followed bloodwork that shows Phil, as in neutraphils, holding steady despite being my being back on the anti-cancer drug, which is not friendly towards Phil(s).
I feel control when I can find ways to poke fun at cancer, which I’ve long said is too serious not to laugh.
Things are cool here. Thanks to everyone for your continued support.
The most extraordinary thing happened today in a time of extraordinary happenings in my life. The woman who bought our old house in 1989 sent me a knitted hat and a letter with this story.
She said she was not sure how I would take this story but wanted me to know why she knitted that hat, which is beautiful and goes beautifully with my coat.
When she heard my cancer was back, she decided to knit me a hat, “But life got away with other circumstances.” Around that time, her house was creaking and making noises that she did not recognize. “But these noises were different – and louder. Even my dog was noticing, looking off in the direction of the sounds and looking at me, perplexed. Finally one evening I said in jest, ‘OK, Matt. I’ll get started on the hat.”
The noises went back to normal when she started knitting. After she finished the hat’s band, she went looking for more yarn for the band, a ball of yarn rolled across the room and stopped at her feet. She believes Matt picked it out for her and it was a perfect match to the band. She finished the hat several weeks ago and could not decide how to get it to me and whether to tell the story.
The noises came back. “So here it is, the hat I believe Matt wants you to have. As I said, all of this may be coincidental. But I think a loving son wants his mother to have this hat,” she wrote.
How do I feel about this hat and story? It’s a magical world and I love the idea of Matt communicating with this woman in the house where he lived before his death in 1986.
The biggest fear that parents have when they lose a child is he or she will be forgotten. In a very unlucky category of life, I am very lucky because Matt is remembered by many people 30 years later.
I loved the kindness behind this story. It’s extraordinary as the many supporters of me have been in the last few months. In another very unlucky category of life, I am lucky again.
I should take a photo with the hat on, but I take a terrible selfie. Trust me, you wouldn’t like the selfie – or perhaps vain me would not.
So thank you wonderful house buyer, who I have not seen in decades except perhaps across a room or across a street when I wondered if she remembered me. And apparently she wondered if I remembered her, which I did.
It’s a magical story for a magical world.
It was not the biggest shipment, but I now have 1,100 neutrophils, the most important form of white cells.
I don’t mean to brag or anything, but last week I had 750. It’s enough that I can start back on ibrance, the drug that is my primary fighter against cancer.
I still have “mild neutropenia.” And will have weekly blood tests to monitor the impact of ibrance on my counts. Still using Purel like it’s going out of style.
With my weekly bloodwork, consider going to the clinic my hobby, although I have other interests like reading, binging tv and playing Words with Friends and Scrabble. Oh, I also like to write stuff.
In the meantime, I have moved on beyond Blizzards – they are treats but not my primary staple of nutrition or lack of.
Cheers for white cells. Happy New Year to all if I don’t write again before the new year begins.
Bloodwork today did not have the increase we hoped for, but my oncologist does not want to quarantine me in the house. I should be careful, but not so careful that my grandkids (and their parents) can’t come.
If you have a fever, are throwing up, or have diarrhea, please stay away. But if you are sneezing and coughing, less so. Good hand washing is the ideal for all of us. If I have to bathe in Purel, so be it.
Let the festivities begin.
As far as my white cells not jumping back, it is not unusual with the drug I take. So I will be off it for another week and then the dose may be reduced when I begin it again if my counts are not higher. It is very common with this drug. Most patients have to reduce the amount they take. In the meantime, I will still take the other anti-cancer drug.
So be of good cheer – I am. I’m taking it as a sign that the drug, ibrance, is doing its job killing of the cancer cells. The healthy cells killed along with the bad are collateral damage. My oncologist agrees.
Thanks to all for your support. It really means a lot.
A wise woman once said, “let the festivities begin.” For sure. Let’s do it.
Yes, I am crying uncle. About what, you might ask? Writing thank-you notes to everyone on the planet, give or take a country to two.
I started out determined to keep up and when I wrote the notes, I received back a lot of comments that I didn’t need to do that.
After more than a hundred notes, I lost steam. People have been so kind and generous with their time and resources. I am one lucky woman to have so many people who care about me and want me to get better. (I don’t know if there are some who don’t. No one has indicated that.)
I am absolutely amazed by that support. I have received food, a tremendous number of cards, prayers, good thoughts, teasing (which I deserve) and other gifts as well, not to mention the amount of money people have shared to help me through this insurance and medical crisis. I have heard from people from my childhood and high school.
I must have done somehing right in my life to have all this support. Or, I have fooled a lot of people.
Please know that I appreciate everything that has been done for me. I’m sorry that I have not written notes to everyone.