Monday, August 8, 2011

Wishes Come True

I guess if you wish hard enough, sometimes your wishes come true.

Unfortunately, right now, that's a bad thing.

I kept saying I didn't want to do it. I kept hoping my next chemo cycle wouldn't come. I kept asking "Why do I have to do this?" I was scared and crying and begging not to go.

Now my tune has changed. I'm wishing I could have had chemo...because today, I couldn't.

I managed to wake up early and get to my 7:45 am radiation appointment, basically on time. When I was done, Jimmi, my mom and I headed up for my appointment with my medical oncologist, Dr. Gorsky, and then my six hour-long chemo treatment.

A new nurse took me back for blood work and vitals while my fan club stayed in the waiting room. I was on the verge of tears as the catheter was shoved into the vein in my arm and blood started flowing into the vials. My temperature was normal and my pulse and blood pressure were ok, too. This was the easy part.

I met up with my mom and Jimmi and we were taken to an exam room a few minutes later. I had a list of questions for Dr. Gorsky in my bag, which also contained movies, anti-nausea drugs, ginger chews, a healing shawl and a cell phone charger. The doctor came in a few minutes later with her typical sympathetic expression and asked me how I was feeling. I shrugged and told her about the nausea and she made a few suggestions about the order in which to take my drugs, but didn't prescribe any more. But the next thing she said caught me completely off guard. "So, I'm going to hold treatment today. Your white blood cell count is very low and we can't give you any more chemotherapy right now."



No, my treatments are perfectly timed so I'll feel well enough to get married in less than four weeks.


There can't be any change in the plan!

"What?" I asked because I couldn't make any other words come out. Dr. Gorsky knew about the wedding, and she knew how well I'd timed my treatments. "We can try again on Wednesday. If the blood is ok, we'll do treatments on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. That way we can at least save the week. But if the cells are still low, we have to wait until Monday. It's too dangerous and you could get a very serious infection and end up in the hospital." I nodded and fought back tears, "I need to be ok for my wedding." "I know you want to get married, but I have to do what's best for your health." I knew she was right, but that didn't make me feel any better.

"How low is my count?" I asked. "You're at 700 and we need you to be at 1000," Dr. Gorsky explained. "Is it possible it'll go up enough in two days?" Dr. Gorsky thought for a minute, "Yes, it's possible. But you should definitely be ok by Monday."

No! Monday is too late. It has to be this week.

"Is there anything I can do or eat or take to make the counts go up?" Dr. Gorsky shook her head, "All you can do is wait. There is a shot I could give you, but because you're having radiation too, it isn't a good idea." Gee, now I'm really glad I chose to go ahead with the radiation. Grrrrrrr! "Why did this happen?" I asked. Dr. Gorsky said, "It's the chemotherapy affecting your bone marrow. And the radiation makes it worse. It happens. It will come back up, but you need to watch for fevers and call us immediately if you have one."

Ok, now I'm really scared.

I had nothing left to say until my mom reminded me of the list of questions I was carrying, which now seemed trivial. I mean, one of my questions was about using self-tanning lotion for the wedding. Now I have to hope I'm well enough to even have a wedding!

This blows.

I spent four days crying because I didn't want to start another chemo cycle, and now I'm crying because I do.

I told Dr. Gorsky I'd see her on Wednesday, and we headed out to the reception desk. Since I hadn't been feeling well, the doctor had suggested I go to the chemo area and have them give me some IV fluids anyway. Can't hurt, right?

As soon as I was released from Sloan-Kettering, Jimmi drove me right home. I've been on the couch resting ever since. I'm resting my body and resting my blood. I'm willing the white cells to rise with my brain.

Don't laugh! It can be done!

When I was in labor with Dylan, my contractions were totally irregular and I was taking forever to dilate. The doctor started me on Pitocin, and Dylan's heart rate dropped immediately. They were able to get it back up, but I made them stop the Pitocin because I was convinced that was the problem. My OB agreed as long as I dilated 1 cm per hour from that moment on. So I set my mind to it. I concentrated. I thought about it. And I dilated EXACTLY 1 cm per hour until I was ready to deliver my little pumpkin.

So that's what I need to do. Mind over matter. I WILL get my white cell count up. I WILL have my treatments this week. I WILL be ok for my wedding.




But, if you can, some extra prayers wouldn't hurt either, please.

Thank you.

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