Baldies' Blog began originally in the UK by a 26 year old journalist with a blood cancer on a mission to inform the world about bone marrow donation.

He has since died, and I took on the cause of making cancer care more transparent for everybody.

Cancer is a disease that will touch everybody through diagnosis or affiliation: 1 in 2 men will be diagnosed and 1 in 3 woman will hear those words, "You Have Cancer."

I invite you to read how I feel along my journey and
how I am continuing to live a full life alongside my Hodgkin's lymphoma, with me controlling my cancer, not my cancer controlling me.

I hope that "Baldies' Blog" will prepare you to handle whatever life sends you, but especially if it's the message, "You Have Cancer."

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Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Getting Out

I have finally made it to the conclusion of my stay.
Don’t celebrate yet. I’m not out. Nothing is in stone until I am out the door.

Thank goodness because if I had to handle anymore television to pass the time I think my brain may have turned to mush and leeked out my ears. I don't want to hear anymore news, watch anymore home improvement shows, or comedy sitcoms.

I think that about covers everything. I just can't take another day of it.

This is a good sign. I must be getting better.
My counts dropped the last two days due to my chemotherapy.
My ANC was around 680-720.
The ANC or absolute neutrophil count is a calculation based on all of your neutrophils or white cells.
It is easily found through calculators online. See on at
This site also differentiates what certain numbers mean.
For example, I couldn’t receive my chemo as per the plan yesterday since my count was 720, which is less than a thousand.
The nurses and I set up a goal anc for today of 1200. We were going to prayer and visualize and meditate on the number.
Today my ANC is 1600!
I have always been an overachiever.
I will be getting my therapy.
There is no need to freak out about me having a low ANC. What this means is that I have a heaightened infection risk and that the chemotherapy I am taking is working! This is the desired effect to beat my immune system down a little.
Having a low ANC is a known desired side effect.
Good news is: I am feeling better.
I have pneumonia. I am still experiencing some shortness of breath. Things like walking and talking at the same time are difficult, but I am still doing them.
The best thing for pneumonia (besides anti-biotics) is deep breathing. Activity facilitates deep breathing.
Keep it moving people. Your body does scream holler and make you want to lie in bed and suffer.
I was walking about a mile a day until Weds (when I did finally give in and lie around). A mile of walking is the goal activity for transplant patients.
I don’t know if it’s generally a realistic goal, but I really thought I was experiencing regular side effects that I just had to plow through and wait out.
I had a little trouble this morning. My blood pressure dropped and the nurses were worried I was “desating,” that’s my oxygen saturation in my body was lowering.
My sats usually run 100% and they dropped to 90%.
That got me some oxygen in the nose.
Good morning to me.
Then the blood pressure got me a lot of attention, but I was sleeping. My pressure tends to lower while sleeping. I guess it lowers to 80/50. This is the blood pressure I came in with. When I wake up and get moving it gets higher.
I still find it difficult to worry about a blood pressure of 80/50. This mindset is absolutely from my Bronx ER days when I was too busy to intervene on a patient with blood pressure of 80/50.
Our explanation for ignoring this: the patient has some pressure. There is still plenty of time to intervene.
At least I’m comfortable with these numbers, but I am pretty happy my providers aren’t.
I’m getting chemo and will hopefully be getting out this afternoon to rest at home. I’ll stay in close touch with my team.

I'll get my PET scan on Friday and meet with my team on Monday or Tuesday.
I’ve been kept comfortable. Thanks for all the emails and the visits. Lots of Love to mom, dad, Jon and Xander who made sure I had everything I needed to get better. I still think I’m a lucky girl. I have a great family.


andyson said...

Keep getting better and we'll keep reading. Although, if your treatment has you in the hospital again, we'll keep reading then too.

Shoot, now I can't make improved health an incentive.

- B

Jennie said...

I'm reading and praying, too. Keep singing those Christmas carols and Don't give up!
You are amazing.