Infectious disease

Sorry blogland for my absence the last few days, after my post on Monday, I decided to make things a little more interesting and contract every infectious disease possible. Let me explain...

My first round of chemo was on 8/8. Because chemotherapy targets rapidly dividing cells (like cancer cells), it also effects your white blood cells (responsible for fighting infection). On 8/9, I got a shot called Neulasta which is supposed to help boost my white blood cells during chemo, but I will still see a drop in my white blood cells about 7 days after my infusion.

This would put my white blood cell count at its lowest, leaving me most prone to infection, on this past Sunday.

Which also just happened to be the day I thought it would be a great idea to take the girls to the Children's Museum.

I entered the museum with my family and a smile, and left covered with germs. When my counts were my lowest. In retrospect, this was a poor poor choice.

So I will let you enjoy the photos of happier times...

Because this happened by Tuesday....

This is me, laying on the waiting room couch because I physically cannot sit up. Stupid kid germs.

I woke up Tuesday morning at 4 am unable to keep anything down, even water. By 9 am, we called the onocology office thinking that I must be having some delayed reaction to the chemo. They had us head into the office, at which time I had lab work and a chest xray, followed by a visit by the nurse practioner and some IV steroids and hydration. During my chest xray, I could barely stand for the xray as my blood pressure was in the 80s/50s by that point. 

Once everything came back and I had a physical exam, the nurse practioner diagnosed me with the stomach flu (this was a give-in, my stomach was rejecting everything I tried to put in it), a sinus infection, an ear infection, impending pneumonia (my xray was a little cloudy but not terrible yet) and potentially strep throat or thrush (my rapid strep ended up negative).

I mean honestly, is it even possible to get that many things at once? Apparently, when you are dumb enough to take a cancer patient to a children's museum, it is. I should really be smarter...

The good news is after my IV fluids and meds and a lot of rest, I am feeling a million times better and I have learned my lesson. But to add insult to injury, my dear mother made me go IN to Dairy Queen with her looking like this:

I'm sure this is cosmic payback for something I did to her as a child. Touche mom, touche.

So, in the end, I definitely learned my lesson and will be much more cautious of my weak immune system. Today is day 12 after my infusion, so while my white count is on its way back up, today marks the beginning of when my hair will likely begin to vacate my head. This may seem odd but I am actually looking forward to getting this mop off my head, its crazy curly and dry and I just don't have the talent to style it.

So here's to staying healthy and enjoying the weekend before chemo round 2 on Monday!

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