Thursday, May 10, 2007

I have reached a small crossroads.

Some people say that life is a road. Whether you live life with the destination in mind, or if you opt to live for the journey, is something that conflicts most people at one point or another. I'm not sure which dictum I subscribe to yet. I live in the present while thinking about where I'm headed. And I'm scared of what's ahead. I don't know what is going to happen to me tomorrow, much less five or fifty years from now.

But tomorrow. Tomorrow began yesterday. Yesterday, my white blood cell count was too low for me to receive my Campath injection. I received a hydration pack and the rG-CSF shot to help my counts come back up. I also saw my doctor. She told me that everyone is a little worried about me. Apparently, my reactions have gone above and beyond what is normal for this injection. My white cell count was not supposed to drop, especially into the neutropenia levels. So I was sent away from clinic with instructions to keep giving myself the growth-factor shot, drink lots of water, and come back on Friday. Today, Thursday, I grudgingly went to my volunteer job. Grudgingly because, basically, I felt like... well, I didn't feel well. Anywhoo, so I got home from work, ate some foodings, and settled down for my Thursday-night primetime. About 1/4 of the way into Grey's Anatomy, my doctor called. And she posed to me this option: I can choose to stop the Campath injections. The doctors are worried about how badly this is wearing me down, and they don't want me to get sick (haha). So she said I can stop it. No more tri-weekly chills and fever, no rashes, no unwelcome fatigue. But stopping it means I am stopping one more means of killing the cancer cells. What my doctor told me is that Campath, they think, works on the microscopic level. It kills any cells that may be invisible and hanging on, the ones that come back in five years, recurring in my spinal cord or brain. So do I think in the now, or do I consider the long-term consequences? The other thing is too, in terms of long-term, is if I do get sick or infected, that will delay my treatment. And, depending on which infection I get, I could just up and die now. Or option B may leave me with cancer cells floating through me, hiding behind bigger cells. So that's my dilemma. I'm leaning towards stopping the drug. I still have three more months of treatment, so there are plenty more opportunities to kill the cancer, hopefully. And right now, aside from getting an infection, my biggest concern is getting back to school in September, healthily. Anyway, so that's one of the many issues I've been tossing around lately. Hopefully everyone else's week has gone a bit more smoothly than mine. We'll see what tomorrow brings. Strength would be nice... Alright, peace.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

And now for a little Perspective.

I have been in a relationship with cancer longer than I have with any guy. None of my previous so-called "relationships" have lasted much longer than three months. And now here I am, stuck with this most unwelcome suitor. It's five months today. It's not really a big deal in terms of tracking relationships. Usually it's the six-month anniversary that calls for a card or a chocolate rose or something. But for me, every month is significant because it is one more month that I have knowingly lived with cancer.

Lately, I have been thinking too much about relationships. Obviously, I am single. And I know there's nothing wrong with not being with one person for longer than three months. I mean, I am still only 20. In ten years, I'll be worried. But this current relationship I'm in is seriously hindering my ability to forge other relationships. As a 20-year old, I'm supposed to be getting wasted on the weekends, hooking up with some random guy, shaking off regrets and laughing at it the next day. Or my romantic ideal: reading in a coffee shop when someone approaches me who turns out to be not random or regret-worthy at all. Not that either of those have ever happened to me (coughcough), but we all maintain foolish ideals. Basically, I fear I'm missing out on a crazy, fun life where I can make mistakes but not be held accountable for them. I know I'll be back to school eventually, but it will be different even then. I am forever marked by cancer. The mark is invisible, and most people won't know unless I tell them, but I know it's always there. Meh. This Campath is messing with my head. I'm being overly self-pitying because pretty much all I've done the past few days is lie in bed; I've felt like crap. Once I get out and moving again, these silly musings will pass, and all will be well again. Until then, another shot tomorrow! Woo! I'm interested to see how the reactions will be. Look for an update. Peace.

Monday, May 7, 2007


Remember those old TV commercials where the guys all called each other and said that? I think (maybe?) it was a beer commercial. It's funny how some things become big in pop culture, and others are just forgotten. I finally, last night, saw the "More Cowbell" sketch from SNL that was so huge almost ten years ago. They did it in either '98 or '99. That seems like such a long time ago, and yet, I still see people with t-shirts that say "more cowbell." I don't understand how a certain demographic of people can be so strongly influenced by what they see on TV. Which, I suppose, is why I didn't go into advertising.

Now that that is out of my system, I got my Campath injection today. The good news is that I didn't get the chills. I did, however, still get a fever. Also, my white blood cell counts are low enough that I am, once again, considered neutropenic. So it's back to the no fresh fruits and vegetables and stay away from people lifestyle. And my doctor is pretty upset: Apparently, if you're neutropenic, you're not supposed to get the injection. My nurse knew my counts were low, but she went ahead with the shot anyway. I know the biggest risk for me right now is infection, but I'm not exactly sure why that would stop them from giving me Campath. When I go back on Wednesday though, if my counts are still too low, they're withholding the drug. And really, that wouldn't be such a bad thing. I have no problem foregoing all of these stupid reactions. At least today my rash didn't pop back up. Otherwise, that's about it. I sat around, got my shot, sat around some more, came home and slept all afternoon, and now I'm going to bed. I feel terribly lazy, but I'm going to blame that on the drugs. Because I can. Hopefully tomorrow will be another good day. Cookies to anyone who knows what day tomorrow is... Alright, Peace.