I last updated my life's adventures on Monday, I believe. Well, now it is Friday, and a whole lot has happened in the days between. Tuesday wasn't that exciting. I worked; I didn't have class; I probably napped. Wednesday, however, was the day of my first appointment at Dana-Farber. I found my way to Dana-Farber with time to spare. (I took a train, but you can also bus it, or take a different train, or you can walk. I walked home.) So first off, I walked up to the New Patient side of the reception desk. The nurse asked me if I was a patient new to Dana-Farber; I replied affirmatively. She then asked my name, which I gave as "Caroline Bridges." To which she replied, "Oh, Caroline! You've finally made it. Well, it's good to meet you." I am pretty sure my shock was fairly visible, but I took the papers she handed me and headed over to Phlebotomy to have my blood drawn. (haha, phlebotomy.)
In brief, blood was drawn, time passed, and I was eventually led to one of the examining rooms in the back where I would meet my new doctor. Blah blah blah, I meet my doctor, he's really nice, very intelligent. He asks me some general background health questions -- no I don't smoke; no I don't drink (although I want to); yes I do drugs, oh wait, you mean like hardcore drugs; no I don't do those. All in all, I am in good general health. Oh but wait, there's one small snag. My white blood cell count is extremely low. Still?? Yes. Still. But this time, my red blood cell count has fallen, as well as my platelet count. Basically, all blood cell-related counts have dropped (plummeted?) since the last time I had labs drawn, Two Weeks Ago. At this point my doctor went to go perform a spinal tap and then call my doctor at U of C to see what she had to say about my counts. He left me sitting in the examining room, wondering why in the holy hell had my counts not come up in the four weeks since I last received chemotherapy. Again, in brief, he eventually came back and said that they would redraw my labs, but I was to come in the next day for a blood transfusion and a bone-marrow biopsy.
Enter Thursday. Well, before we enter Thursday, let me just say that Wednesday evening was one of the more stressful evenings I've ever muddled through. Pretty much the whole time I was thinking to myself, "It can't have come back. There's absolutely no way it could have come back!" After which I would either cry or punch my pillow. Because, although unlikely, it could have come back. Okay, so Thursday. I went in for my blood transfusion, which went very well. And then it was time for the biopsy/aspirate. As usual, it always sounds worse than it really is. This biopsy was definitely one of the fastest I've gone through, and it wasn't really that painful. Okay, so I go home. I nap. A few hours later, I get a phone call from my doctor. Turns out, the preliminary lab results showed Absolutely No Sign of Any leukemia cells Anywhere in my marrow. Hooray! He told me that my body must just be extremely sensitive to the chemo I had gotten, as well as these pills I was taking that are low-grade chemo. So he took me off the pills, and we're hoping that perhaps things will start to grow within the next week. I go back next Wednesday to find out.
And now it's Friday. I think I understand why doctors recommend not going to school while still undergoing chemotherapy. I couldn't concentrate on anything the past two days, I was so worried about what was wrong with me. It was a reality check that I am still not out of danger yet with this chemo business. I am still neutropenic, and everyone is still worried about the many things that can go wrong. But I will be healthy eventually, and for now, I am just so grateful that I continue to not have cancer. Anyway, thanks for reading this if you read all this. Enjoy the weekend. Peace.