Saturday, September 10, 2011

A heaping scoop of normal

It finally happened.

I am sick. After roaring through 2 semesters surrounded by students unscathed, I have finally succumbed.

This past Wednesday, a classmate who sits next to me in 2 consecutive classes came to school, plopped down next to me and proceeded to cough her head off. I held my breath. I averted my face. I emptied my little bottle of Purell. I developed a sore throat on Friday.

I saw my local oncologist's advance practices nurse after class. Her first inclination was to recommend a wait-and-see strategy. If things got worse, then I'd get antibiotics. She was very sweet, and very knowledgeable, but she wasn't my doctor's regular APN nurse. She was filling in and so she wasn't very familiar with my situation. I give her an immense amount of credit for knowing her stuff regarding transplant patients, though. She sees 2 long-time transplant survivors while assisting her regular doctor.

She knew about my GvHD of the skin, scalp, eyes, and mouth. She didn't know about the GvHD in my lungs. When I mentioned it after the wait-and-see diagnosis, she was surprised. She told me that I sounded too good. She's dealt with GvHD of the lungs and so she knows. Chris told her that I tended to be special when it comes to the presentation of special circumstances. I don't present normally. She conferred with my doctor and the decision was made to treat me aggressively out of an abundance of caution. They didn't want me in the ER over the weekend. I didn't want an infection settling in my lungs. My lung capacity is still diminished and the thought of trying to breathe through a chest infection made me twitch.

I started Z-pak yesterday. My throat is a little more sore today, but I don't feel any worse. Z-pak is a beautiful thing. I have several projects due Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, so I'll try to work on them between naps.

Before I forget, my doctor did order labs, so here are the results:

white blood cells: 10.6 k/ul (4.5-10.8)

red blood cells 4.03 M/UL (4.2-5.4)

hemoglobin: 12.8 g/dl (12-16)

platelets: 414 k/ul (150-350) I am a platelet making machine. I always tend to run on the high end, so no need for alarm.

absolute neutrophil count: 7.9 k/ul (1.5-10)

For all intents and purposes, my counts are perfectly normal for me.

5 comments:

stinkerbelle said...

I'm so sorry that you're sick but very happy you are being treated aggressively and aren't any worse. You wanted normalcy, you got it!!! Feel better soon, my friend. Take care of yourself!

Ronni Gordon said...

Sorry you're sick, but so glad that it is not "major" sick and that your counts are great!

lisa adams said...

I just thought of some revenge tactics but decided to delete those. Hope you have enough energy to finish your work. It's hard enough to focus when you feel well!

Nancy said...

Ann, I"m so glad that you and Chris discussed your situation with the Nurse. It was so great that she conferred with your doctor and decided to put you on z-pak, possibly saving you months of anguish, antibiotics, setbacks in school.... the list goes on and on. Good move and you and Chris' part! Live and learn, right? We have to be our own advocates... You are doing it perfectly! Get better soon and good luck with your studies. love, n

Laura said...

Hello!
I am a student at the University of St Andrews, Scotland and I am currently doing a research project on the role of online blogs for individuals impacted by cancer. I was wondering whether I could talk to you about your opinions.

I hope that my research will promote online blogging as a critical resource and increase its awareness.


Please email me back if you would like to take part.



Thanks in advance :)
Laura
Lke2@st-andrews.ac.uk