Yes, this round of chemo has been harder on me than some of the others. Yes, it could be because of the cumulative effects of multiple rounds of chemo (indicating that the next round will be the worst of all--yikes!). Or it could be because my sinuses have taken on some unwelcome microbial tenants, and fighting them off takes more energy than I have available.
I have been toying with a cold for over a week now, but on Tuesday morning I woke up with green snot blooming and booming from my nose. So I called it in to Dr. Oncologist's office, and they in turn called me in. One blood draw, chest x-ray, and CT scan later, I was diagnosed with a sinus infection and told I was lucky. It was of course not obvious to me how I was lucky, considering I felt like death two ways, so I asked for an explanation. Apparently my white blood cell counts were good, but if they had been bad, I would have been admitted to the hospital. I remind you that I'm supposed to have bad white counts 3-10 days after hard chemo (this is called nadir), and so I consider this stroke of white-cell luck to be further evidence that I have Wonder Woman-quality white blood cells. (I really want to graph them for you, but the data from Tue. and Wed. are not available to me yet.) My white cells and I, however, were ineffective at clearing the infection, and so Dr. O called in some troops: cefipime (IV) and amoxicillin + clavulanic acid (pill for 21 days). This is quite the eviction notice and then some; hopefully the pathogens get the message. Being on antibiotics for 21 days will not be pleasant for the beneficial microbes that live in my gut, so I will try to pump them up with yogurt. Sorry, guys, but that's the best I can do for you.
Today I am feeling markedly better. Still some nasal discomfort, still feeling chemo-fatigued, still a bit dizzy, but the corner has been turned. My friend Frank sent me a song to help me feel better, and I would be in trouble if this fantastic Stevie Wonder song DIDN't help me feel better. I love music.
I am really starting to dread surgery (don't ask for details because I don't know yet and I don't like to talk about it). To help me look past it, to see the end of all of this crud, my siblings and I are planning a Caribbean vacation for the end of cancer (and after I've accrued some vacation time at work, of course). Well, "planning" is a bit of an overstatement, but we're going to do it and we're shopping for destinations. I've never been to the Caribbean, but I think it will afford the perfect vacation for kids and adults alike. Pictured above is a beach on the island of Culebra, which is momentarily at the top of our list. Any suggestions from the audience?