As usual, I was asked for my name and birthdate when I checked into the cancer center Wednesday for my weekly blood test. They know me, but every step along the way you need to provide both to make sure you are the right person. And that, of course, makes sense.
For some reason, I posed the question with the receptionist about whether if I had another name I would not have cancer. She smiled and said that would be great for everyone there but she is not sure if it would work.
I then suggested she call me Edwina MacIntosh. I have no idea where that name came from, but it sounded like fun or a name of someone in her 90s. I also suggested using a different name to a nurse who drew my blood, saying, “Just call me Ed.”
Alas, they insisted on calling me Susan. We will never be able to test my theory if this keeps up.
I was hoping for higher counts this week, but that was not the case. I dipped further below the 500 Phils that is the potential danger point if I get sick. I was at .48 or 480 Phils. Where have those fickle neutrophils gone?
I was hoping to break out of the Big House this weekend to go to an Academy Awards Party, but apparently I am better off at home. I will have blood work again Friday to see if I have recovered enough to start taking my iBrance again (I’m on a week’s rest and due to start again Friday.). We will see when I can start again. It may be delayed for a few days or a week depending on what my counts are.
While I was writing this, there was a Coffee-Mate ad on TV with the theme, “Every day is a chance to stir things up.” It is described as, “We want to help you get ready for the big things and little things in life… Stir Things Up!”
There is a stir things up ad for commitment and I suppose other things. I just saw one for courage involving a woman with a bald head, presumably from cancer. But it could be for alopecia or baldness.
Anyway, the commercial starts out with a woman with hair going back to work for the first time after whatever happened to her. She takes off the wig and asks her husband he thought of that look “Bald is beautiful,” he tells her. She adds, “You should know.” We then see his bald head as they hug.
Stir up courage, the ad says. Okie dokie.
But, I don’t like coffee. What should Edwina do? We don’t know how gutsy Ed is.
You can check out the ad here: https://www.ispot.tv/ad/Ahoz/coffee-mate-every-day-is-a-chance-to-stir-things-up
Yes, it’s that time of the month. No not that time. That, as well as Elvis, long left the building.
The cycle I’m talking about is not menstrual, but drug-related. I took the last of my pills today. They fight cancer by cutting off the blood supply of those cancer cells. The collateral damage, also known as a side effect, is to send my neutrophils running away in droves. They are both fickle and gutless, of course I’d probably do the same if it were not my body.
I have learned, though, that a week or so later Phils will return, thinking it was all clear. We fool them, of course. After a week or so, I start taking those pills again.
Phils, be strong! Stay with me!
One other note, which I think is pretty funny. My phone kept giving me this notification of how long my commute is to my workplace. Apparently, I go there enough that the phone believed Mayo Health System was my employer. I went into settings and removed that so-called job location. I’m not working anywhere right now.
But for the record, it was seven minutes travel from where I live yesterday. I did have bloodwork there, but no one handed me a paycheck.
Still in good spirits. How can I be? Why not? I just do things that I like to do at home.
It was great seeing my big brother Andy, who came from Oregon last week to spend time wiht his baby sister. I heard some stories that I had not heard before and some explanation of events from his youth. Naturally I recorded them. I don’t think his grandkids need to hear them yet. But I’ve got ’em for his kids and mine.
Healthy visitors always welcome.
I have to say the last week was tough, waiting for my bone scan and CT scan Monday to assess whether the targeted cancer therapy I’ve been taking in pill form is working.
The jury is still out on my bones, but the “take home message,” according to my wonderful oncologist, is improvement in my lungs. That is what she most wanted to see. So she is pleased. Me, too.
The question about the bones is whether the cancer is dying and what is seen on the scan is related to healing or if the cancer has not been sent packing.
Normally, with this drug scans are done after three cycles, not two like in my case. My oncologist ordered the scans early to make sure the cancer was not out of control. It is not.
And with my white counts pretty good as of Monday, it is safe for me to go to a rally Friday in support of our Muslim neighbors and against the Muslim ban. My protesting days are not over. Clearly.
I have to say my life has been on “will see” mode for a while, especially the last week as I dreaded my upcoming scans. I was terrified by what the results might be, more scared than I’ve been for months. This is not an easy thing.
And yes, I’m human. I have fears that I try to keep at bay as best I can by writing, ranting and laughing.
Cancer, of course, is too serious not to laugh. We were laughing by the end of my appointment because it is what I do.
White cells are gonna clear up
Put on a happy face
Brush off the clouds and cheer up
Put on a happy face
Take of the gloomy mask of neutropenia
It’s not your style
You’ll look so good that you’ll be glad
You decided to smile
Pick out a pleasant outlook
Stick out that noble chin
Wipe off that full-of-doubt look
Slap on a happy grin
And spread sunshine all over the place
And put on a happy face
All that bashing of Phil last week paid off and my white cells are returning. I know Phils will go away in a few weeks. But for today, I can get out of the house!
Thanks Tony Bennett for this song. What else you got for next time, Tony? I certainly hope I don’t run out of songs.
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.