Sunday, January 26, 2014

Waiting is a Four Letter Word

I have not posted lately because well frankly, cancer is not very exciting or glamorous. It is just a lot of tests, chemo, waiting for test results, sleeping off the chemo hangover, losing your hair, looking like crap, more tests, oh then the waiting... So what have I been waiting for? Obviously, every week there is the anticipation that my blood count results are going to keep me from getting the chemo I need to defeat this, but I have also been waiting for over a month on my genetic tests. These results not only impact me, but my entire family. I was tested for BRCA1, BRCA2 and Lynch syndrome. It is difficult not to think about those tests on a daily basis. And so I wait.

Last week I had a colonoscopy in order for the Dr. to check my bowel on the left side where the cancer had adhered and also to take a look at a 2cm nodule on the colon wall that was seen on the CT scan in December. Let's just say me and that stuff you drink for the colonoscopy do no have a very good relationship and I found the whole process to be quite displeasing. Ha. For those that must endure this procedure often I have great pity for you. Everything looked great until they got to the ascending portion of the colon where the CT had seen the nodule and yes, there it was. Lovely. But, the good news is the doctor said it is not colon cancer and she thinks from its appearance that it is benign. Nodule has been biopsied for ovarian cancer and I will get the results in a week or two. Right now I will remain positive and just go along with my doctors visual “benign” diagnosis and for the actual results, I wait.

I have my own little ritual for chemo days. I always stop by QT to get me a big drink. I have my bag with everything I might need and my blankie that Kristi made for me. I have labs drawn and if it is not my day to see the Doctor then I go into the infusion room and get settled in. They have to wait for my labs to come back and make sure everything is within range so I can get my chemo. To me, just a formality. Until last Wednesday. My nurse came over to access my port and said, You barely made it, right on the cut off. What? Just last week my counts were good, great is actually what I was told. So what is she talking about? I asked for my lab results and evidently everything had tanked. Uggg. I had been extremely tired the two days before chemo and I guess my body wasn't lying. Specifically, my white cells had dropped to 3.2 and the the neutrophils, our bacteria fighting white cells, had drop to 1.5. Anything below 1.5 and there are three scenarios: 1.The Doctor must sign off on me getting chemo. 2. I get chemo and must take a neulasta shot to stimulate my bone marrow and 3. I don't get chemo and just get the shot. Now I don't have a problem with shots. I get stuck all the time, but it must be given the day after chemo and in my stomach. It can cause a variety of symptoms, but mainly bone pain and sometimes extreme. Sorry, I just want to avoid all that. My nurse said that next week my white count could drop even further and so I guess we shall see. And so, well you know, I wait.


  1. Yes, Patti, waiting is a four letter word. The worst one I can think of. I just hope it helps you to know that I and all who love you are waiting right along with you. We are also praying for good results on the biopsy and your blood work. There may be some pretty rough patches ahead but I know you will make it through because you are too strong to let it get you down. Love, Mom

  2. I will pray for your test results and counts. Let me know if you want company the next time you go and I will bring a TLC basket with surprises. One day closer to being done (keep repeating). Love ya, girl!