The hazards of having low immunity

Where do I begin?

Week 3 was meant to be a good week where I could perhaps regain some normality. Having spent 2 weeks avoiding everyone and everything, I was delighted to spend some time with family and friends and make up for living the weirdest life during my ‘no immunity’ stage.

Unfortunately, I managed to pick up a sore throat and cough towards the end of the week. I rang the hospital, as per the guidelines given to me, and was told to book an appointment with my GP to get some antibiotics. The cough cleared quite quickly and I was hopeful that chemo for the following week would not be affected.

Then at the weekend, my son became very unwell and had to go off to the urgent care centre. I felt terrible that I could not go and sit with him (due to the high risk of infection). Later on, he told me that they were sending him off to the main hospital for further checks. At this stage I did go and join him as I was terribly worried. Several ECGs, a chest x-ray and some blood tests were carried out which eventually revealed that he has glandular fever. This is awful for him as it can take weeks or even months to recover from this. I am obviously having to keep my distance from him as well.

This morning, I had to go for blood tests to check whether I was ready to take another dose of chemo. I told them I was on antibiotics but this didn’t seem to be a problem as my symptoms had almost cleared and my temperature was normal. However, at 6pm I received the phonecall that I was fearing, telling me that my neutrophils are too low and that chemo will need to be delayed for a week. I was very disappointed as I was mentally prepared for my session tomorrow morning. I will now need further blood tests next Monday and hopefully chemo will happen next Wednesday instead.

Have I learnt anything from cycle 1? Well, I need to be even more careful and avoid crowded places and people who are obviously unwell. I also need to stop planning ahead as I am now completely out of sync with where my ‘good’ weeks are and I was pinning my hopes on a few activities which will now no longer be possible. It is so disappointing but I have to keep telling myself that this is for 6 to 8 months and I just need to keep powering through it.

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