Where have all my white cells gone?
Posted December 13, 2016on:
Back when Matt had his bone marrow transplant in 1986 for leukemia, there was a time when his immune system had been obliterated through radiation and chemo that we were on tenterhooks waiting for the white cells to come in along with rebuilding the rest of his immune system.
Our good friend Nancy Weiss sent a small plastic case filled with hole-punched white cells. It made us laugh and was much appreciated, along with anyone willing to do the White Cell Dance with us. However, it took a few more days for those white cells to actually work.
And they did.
Why am I writing this? First Matt would have been 39 on Sunday and I feel bad that I didn’t write anything about him that day, although I certainly felt it. As I frequently say, in an unlucky category of life, we are quite lucky. We may have lost him, but he is still inspiring to kids (and adults) thirty years later.
The other reason is where the heck are my white cells? They have all but vanished, thanks to the chemo I’m taking. If you know counts, you know 17,000 white cells is not exactly high and the same for 900 neutrophils.
I prefer to think of it as a demonstration that those fancy drugs I take are working than to panic over how low my white cells are (but will recover during my week off from one of the drugs). Not being able o go out and party for Christmas is an inconvenience, not a calamity.
My mom used to wonder after hearing the expression, “Now is not the time to panice,” how we would know it IS the right time. Would we get a memo (or email or a text)? None have arrived.
I have never been a great partygoer anyway. Staying home and binging TV, reading, and writing make me happy, aong with being with friends and family.
Until my cells recover, keep your germs to yourself – don’t come see me if you are sick or think you may be coming down with something. I don’t want to get sick before January 1 when my new insurance kicks in. It’s good to have illnesses on a schedule and I wish I had planned accordingly this year. Timing, my friend, is everything.
I will write again before the holidays, but whatever you celebrate, I’m hoping you enjoy it. A lot. Party hearty for me.