So I thought I’d write something today again, and I have just spend the last half hour writing about me and my problem with accepting help and that I have to learn to let things go for a bit, bla bla bla. But when I read it all again, all I thought was that this all sucks. Cancer absolutely f*****g sucks. I hate what it is doing to Vega, to me, to us, our whole family. I hate that I have to even think about who is going to look after Alys the next time Vega needs to go to hospital for a transfusion. Who is going to pick Lyra up on Monday. How to explain to Vega that she can not go to the playgroup this week.
I am a positive person at heart, but this is a challenge- it is really hard. Sometimes it is so hard I feel like I can’t bear it. I sometimes sit having lunch with Alys and Lyra and Vega is sleeping so her chair remains empty. I nearly crack up over that. I well up with tears looking at the empty chair. I know all the stats and I don’t even want to talk about it because Vega is a person not a number and she will beat this. I know. But just having to face the word cancer and the label “life threatening illness” and having to let it be part of my life, our life, hurts.
But on we go, hurting or not, and some days are really not that bad. Really. Like today, and this is what I did start to write about earlier, our dear friends Beccy and Barney looked after Lyra and Vega, while Ray and I took a sleeping Alys to a greasy spoon and had lunch. Our first undisturbed meal together since, well since ages! It was lovely and very replenishing.
Back to Vega, blood results from yesterday were good. Good for someone on chemo that is, meaning that finally her red blood cells and platelets seem to have started to recover by themselves so no more transfusions this weekend. Her white cell count is still rock bottom, so she is still neutropenic. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neutropenia) So no closed public places, playgroups, cinema, public transport or playdates with snotty friends, any food that you can’t peel and bio yoghurt (just to name a few things).
Vega’s blood counts 13/04/12
Vega’s counts first, average in brackets behind.
HB (red blood cells)- 12.6 (9.5-15)
WBC (white blood cells)- 0.86 (4.5-11)
Neutrophils (infection fighting part of the white blood cells)- 0.02 (>1)
Platelets 361 (150-450)
Neutrophils are the important ones here. Anything under 1 means she is neutropenic condemning her to isolation due to high risk of infection. Above 1 but below 3 puts her at increased risk of infection, but not neutropenic.
Since leukaemia is a cancer of the white blood cells the lowering of the WBC and neutrophils is expected, a desired effect of chemotherapy. Many of her drugs actually lower red blood cells and platelets too, a side effect, which unfortunately has kept us busy with transfusions this easterbreak. I am sure you will hear all about it next week as next round of chemo commences on Monday. I might even put up a link for her chemo protocol for anyone brave enough to look!
Thank you for all your messages! X