Quick Note: I have heard from a number of people who are worried because I haven’t posted for a while. My bad. I have three articles in the works and with the activities around the holidays, I enjoyed being lazy. All is good! 😍
Haven’t heard the term Spoonie before? It was a first for me too. My friend Anita McSorley commented on my post titled Emotional Changes with a link to an article which describes the Spoon Theory, a term which originated with a chronically ill young women by the name of Christine Miserandino.
Definition: The Spoon Theory is a way to help healthy individuals understand what it feels like to be chronically ill.
- Healthy people wake up to a day filled with an unlimited supply of possibilities.
- People like me engaged in treatment for a chronic disease, whether curable or not, wake up with the same unlimited supply of possibilities.
- Think about these possibilities as a handful of spoons, say twenty.
- With each new daily challenge, both you and I lose a spoon.
- The difference is that you’ll be able to replace the spoon during the day; a luxury I no longer enjoy.
That may be an over simplification but it’s my interpretation. All of us battling a disease like cancer are Spoonies.
Today, Wednesday, January 13th. is a chemo day. I got a week off in December as my original date was the 23rd with bottle of on the 25th. Without the break, I would have to go to the hospital on Christmas Day to have the Baby Bottle disconnected. After a chemo treatment is when I feel the side-effects the most. With each new day following chemo, the side effects dismiss and I feel a little better so this rescheduling made for a healthier Christmas. Yee Ha!
Prior to every Chemo treatment, I have blood drawn to track of my levels. There are lots of tests done but the four important values are Neutrophils, White Blood Cells, Hemoglobin, and Platelets. If you click on any of the titles in the “Test” column below, a new tab will open with a summary of the role of each blood component listed.
|Test||Units||Normal||Nov 9||Nov 23||Dec 7||Dec 29||Jan 13|
|Neutrophils (Neut)||Billion/Litre||2.00 – 7.50||1.49||1.45||2.13||1.71||2.98|
|White Blood Cells (WBC)||Billion/Litre||4.50 – 11.00||2.53||2.77||3.26||2.60||4.36|
|Hemoglobin (HGB)||Grams/Litre||140 – 180||81||89||84||97||93|
|Platelets (PLT)||Billion/Litre||150 – 350||117||74||71||104||63|
In almost every case my counts are below the normal and that’s to be expected. These are the four values of importance to the experts at the clinic and if any of the four drop below a critical level, there would be adjustments to my meds or I’d be advised to take a break to allow my body to recover naturally. So far I’ve never reached that point and I’m tolerating the treatments better than anyone expected.
I am at the end of my scheduled chemo treatments. On January 19th I meet with my Chemo Oncologist Dr. Wojciech Morzycki. I haven’t had a CAT scan which is the test to observe active cancer cells and determine the effectiveness of my current treatment. I expect he will have me back on bi-weekly treatments in the near future.
I am gaining weight, working out, riding my bike trainer, eating well and last night I had the best sleep I’ve had in years. My diarrhea is off and on so that’s an improvement. It is a known side effect of my chemo drug Oxaliplatin. These side effects are like dominoes; the diarrhea results in a drop of the potassium levels in my blood which is an important electrolyte which transports nutrients to cells and removes waste. As I write, I’m in the chemo clinic attached to an infusion pump. In addition to the Oxaliplatin, today I’m getting potassium. My body is a state of chaos but I still feel good.
As always, it is good to have you as support pillar at my side and I’m thankful to have God holding my hand in such a tight and comforting grip.💪🙏👍