The Good News
- My neutrophils (the “first responders” of my white blood cells) are the highest they’ve been since my treatment started. Before session #2, they were dangerously low (1.2) – to the point where if they got much lower (<1.0), I would have to temporarily stop treatment until I boosted the number back up. Between sessions 2 and 3, I started taking a combination of immunity-boosting supplements: astragalus, echinacea, and zinc; right before session 3, my neutrophils raised to 1.8. Between sessions 3 and 4, I started eating more. I didn’t necessarily eat *better* every single day, but eating *more* allowed my digestive system to handle more doses of the supplements, multiple times each day. This brings me up to yesterday, when my oncologist proudly showed me that my neutrophils were at a whopping 3.3. This would even be considered normal for a person who *doesn’t* have cancer!
- Dr. Curley was pleased with the rest of the results from my blood work, too; there were no sudden spikes or dips in any of the other numbers. He did mention that my red blood cell count continues to go down, but he said that’s normal when my white blood cell count is fighting so much. He said my RBC will probably continue to go down until my chemo sessions are over, and then they’ll slowly climb back up to normal.
The Bad News
- Even with significantly more eating this time around, I still dropped two pounds in the last three weeks. Since the end of November, I have lost a total of 13-15 pounds. I officially have a white girl booty, and I fear that the days of tight dresses and jeans are gone for good.
- On a more serious note (except my booty *is* actually an important, somber topic), I broke my fast. I went 24 hours from Wednesday to Thursday … but, for the first time, I drove myself to chemo this time around, and I just was not feeling well when I left. To be fair, I wasn’t feeling so hot when I woke up Thursday morning, and I could feel symptoms (headache, pain around my port area, and dizziness) creeping up throughout the six hours of chemo. By the time I left, I felt so weak and light-headed that I stopped for food before driving the hour back home. I got healthy vegan Asian food from Fresh Mint … and then followed it up with not-so-healthy dessert from Rainbow Donuts (I ate two. I licked my fingers afterwards and then left the box open so that I could inhale the donut smell for the remainder of the car ride.). Remember when I wrote in previous blogs that fasting truly makes a difference in the onset and severity of my symptoms? STILL TRUE. I’m back to fasting today, and the symptoms I had last night are now gone.