Monday, September 26, 2016

Low blood counts delay chemo

Dear family and friends,

Well, tomorrow was supposed to be chemo day, so this morning I went in for my pre-chemo blood work.  This afternoon I received a call from my oncologist's office saying my neutrophils are too low to get chemo this week.  Neutrophils are a type of white blood cell needed to fight infections.  We meet with the doctor tomorrow to discuss shots I will begin getting daily to help my bone marrow produce more neutrophils.  Hopefully, I can get chemo one week from today.  Please pray for more neutrophils!  And meanwhile, I need to be extra cautious about being around anyone who is sick, or who has been around a sick person.  With low neutrophils, an illness for me could cause an infection that would spread throughout my body, into my organs (sepsis), and that would be a very bad thing!

The other problem in my blood work is very low platelets.  Platelets are not little plates, such as those used for salad, appetizers, or dessert.  Who am I kidding?  I would never use LITTLE plates for dessert!  Seriously though, platelets are the cells that allow your blood to clot.  I have to be very cautious right now to not fall or injure myself in any way, producing both the kind of bleeding where you get a cut and the blood comes out of your body, and the kind of bleeding that makes bruises when you bang into something, like your steering wheel in a fender bender.  For example, I am prohibited from riding my bike now, as a fall off my bike with low platelets could be very dangerous.  So please pray for more platelets too!  And always use big plates for dessert!

Overall, I think I may have been doing too much lately.  I try to cram as much into a day as I can, knowing that my days may not go on forever, but this doesn't allow me sufficient rest.  For example, today I went to the hospital for blood work, dropped something off at a friend's house, went to my Bible study at SPU, walked with a friend, vacuumed, swept, and did dishes, went to the grocery store and pharmacy, had a mom, infant, and two-year-old visit me for 1.5 hours, and 15 minutes later, my childhood best friend showed up to have dinner with me (a real treat, by the way, as she lives way up north). This is too much in one day for any person, and especially for a cancer patients in chemo with low blood counts!  I am just as exhausted writing all that as I was doing it all today!  New resolution: no more than two main things in a day.  For example, a) I'm going to get some exercise today and b) I'm going to have coffee with a friend.  That's it!  Two things!  I need more rest to help my body recover between chemos.

Speaking of rest, I am now, at last, after this much too busy day, going to put on my PJs and watch a new fall TV show before bed.  Aahhh...sounds heavenly.  May you, too, find more rest in the rhythm of your busy days and weeks.  "Be still and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10

With gratitude for your love and prayers,

Gabrielle

P.S.  Here are some examples of restful things!

Naps with your favorite bear.

Being at Cannon Beach.

Playdough.

Boat rides.

Reading.