I completely forgot to give an update last week after my doctor's appointment! I was so distracted (and excited!) for the Light the Night Walk, that I completely spaced it. Sorry!
So, last week I had blood work done on Tuesday then followed up with the Nurse Practitioner at my oncologist's office on Wednesday. As expected, my white blood cell count was really low as was my red blood cell count. The good news was that my white cells weren't as low as they've been in the past and I didn't have to get the Neupogen shots.
Having low white blood cells means my body can't fight off infections as well - meaning I can get sick easier and could end up in the hospital since my body can't fight the infection. I have to take my temperature several times a day while my white cells are low. A temperature at or above 100.5 degrees would land me in the hospital. Thankfully this never happened! The main side effect I had was fatigue. I only ended up working a few days last week because I was so worn out.
My red blood cells were only a little low, resulting in slight anemia. Anemia causes fatigue and headaches primarily - both of which I experienced last week.
Your body makes new white and red blood cells every 24 hours, so by now my counts should be up quite a bit and will continue to get better every day.
As for the other side effects last week - it wasn't TOO bad. I definitely had some digestive issues as I've had in the past. As a result, I had a lot of pain last week. The Nurse Practitioner gave me some prescriptions and some advice, which helped tremendously! It's now Tuesday morning (a week after my last blood work and 2 weeks after my last chemo) and I'm still feeling some fatigue, but nothing like last week! I felt pretty good all weekend and even felt good enough to have a couple glasses of wine last night!
Aside from fatigue, I think most of my chemo side effects are gone! I've already been feeling better and I should continue to feel better and better as the week goes on. Unfortunately my doc says the fatigue will last another couple of weeks. My body is still recovering from the toxic chemotherapy and is working to heal itself from the cancer - so I'll feel tired for awhile. And then I'll start radiation, which causes fatigue as well... so I guess I'll just be getting used to being tired all the time! Thankfully I have an amazing employer PLUS another several weeks of short-term disability, so if I need to take a day or two off to relax and rest, I'm able to. One day at a time..... Almost to the end of all this madness!
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