Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Waiting for "The Pop"

My white blood cell (WBC) count this morning was 0.4k, which is around where it's been and not near the 1.0k I need it to be in order for WBC production to be considered to have begun.

Mother's Day was Day 30- the day by which we thought we'd see that magic pop. Today is Day 33.

The oncologist says I should not be worrying at all, and that I need to be patient. (I decided not to explain to him my Impatient status, though he might have picked up on it...). He said their last APL patient was also late with his Pop, and they went through the same frustration and tears with him. For some reason, it's comforting to know a guy in my position cried too.

The oncologist ordered another five days of the Neupogen, which is the white blood cell stimulator delivered through needle injection. That should help me, and he'll add more days if it hasn't worked by then.

Today, I am really trying to be positive. I'm trying to block out the fears. Instead of taking one day at a time, I've decided I'm going to take the next five days as one block. Five days for the Neupogen to work, five days to see the Pop before I let myself worry again. Need to breathe deep and think high WBC thoughts for five days instead of worrying each morning as I await the blood test results from the 4am draw.

Once the WBC count hits 1.0k, the second prerequisite to moving forward is that half of those cells are Neutrophils, which are the main white blood cells that combat infection. Right now I have too few total cells for the lab to count this subtype.

Nonetheless, it would be nice to have some of them. The word reminds me of something you'd find in the skincare aisle at Walgreens. If only it were that easy: "Honey, do you mind stopping on the way home and picking up some Mylanta, Diet Coke, and Neutrophils? I think there's a coupon for the Neutrophils in the glove box."