Consolidation

Sometimes things don't go as planned.

I find myself constantly forgetting this and constantly being reminded. This last Monday at my outpatient clinic appointment, I learned that my blood counts were low for the first time since my diagnosis from the three new chemotherapy drugs that I was given on "consolidation phase" day one. It explains why, the previous week, I was feeling so run down, spending most of my time in bed and getting winded doing even the simplest tasks like showering. I'm also now neutropenic for the first time since my diagnosis, meaning we have to be very careful about my infection risk.

This also meant that my planned intrathecal chemo I was supposed to receive Monday would need to be pushed until next week - which my doctors told me would be just fine... assuming that I was COVID negative. Oh yeah, my blood levels had dropped low enough, that my doctors were concerned it might not just be from the chemo, but maybe I had somehow caught COVID. So I was tested for COVID on Monday and, thankfully, on Tuesday learned it was negative.

Also, in order raise my hemoglobin levels, I was given a blood transfusion on Monday as well. Thankfully, largely in part to that, I've had a lot more energy these last couple of days, allowing me to finally publish this blog (which I've been attempting to do since the first week of being home).

Things could always be worse.

This has echoed in my brain since my treatment started. As I write that last section, I realize how lucky I am especially compared to the stories I've heard in the last few weeks from other cancer patients.

I was only in the hospital for 10 days. I'm able to do my treatment as an outpatient. This was the first time things haven't really gone to plan in my treatment - after 6 straight weeks of things pretty much going to plan. Most of my symptoms have been fairly manageable. I haven't had to worry about my health insurance or losing my job.

I routinely am counting my blessings and knocking on wood.

Thankfully, Anna reminds me that on days which do suck, I'm allowed to be pissed. I'm allowed to wonder "why me". Everyone has good days and bad days. Lately, it feels like we've had more bad days than good, but it's all relative. There's always someone out there that's had a worse day and someone that's had a better day. The best we can do is remind ourselves of that without invalidating our own emotions.

And speaking of counting my blessings - to all of my family and friends reading this, thank you. Thank you for reading this, for thinking of me, and supporting me. I'm so lucky to have people like you in my life. We'll get through this, together.

One of the new chemos that's a part of this phase is given as a shot in my arm, which Anna has the luxury of doing! I'm told I need to be nice to her on these days.

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