Friday, November 10, 2006

A set back!

Well I didnt have chemo has been put off for a week due to my low neutrophil count.

A basic explanation of neutrophil:
Neutrophil granulocytes, generally referred to as neutrophils, are the most abundant type of white blood cells and form an integral part of the immune system. White blood cells or leukocytes are cells which form a component of the blood. They are produced in the bone marrow and help to defend the body against infectious disease and foreign materials as part of the immune system.

Generally after each dose of chemo, about 7 - 10 days the neutrophils will be at their lowest and you are more susceptable to infection. Chemo kills bad cells but also knocks over fast acting good ones like hair and blood cells. If the neutrophils dont go up....normal range is 2 - 6 (mine are at .7) chemo has to be delayed so the body is not weakened further.

The levels should go back up by next week. Hopefully I dont have to go on a 4 week cycle, that would certainly string things out for longer. There are drugs that can be given to get the levels up if it becomes too much of a problem. Sometimes hospitalisation is necessary to protect against infection. The scary thing with this is, I have felt so healthy when in fact my body is very vulnerable to infection. The only thing that can get the levels back up is rest....if I was any more rested I would be horizontal.

Another setback is that I have a wonderful thing called a Picc line in my arm to use for chemo administration and blood tests....I have shocking veins that like to hide, so this line saves digging around looking for veins all the time. Well now the thing is blocked. I have been to Greymouth today to have some drug put in that will dissolve any blockages. The first lot didnt work, so my nurse came round and put some more in...and we will see if the line is clear tomorrow morning. If it isnt I will have to go back to Christchurch again, to get another line put in. In the meantime I have to sleep tonight with all these pressure syringes hanging off the line in my arm...don't ask!!!!

On a brighter note, I have a wonderful friend who lives nearby but is from Canada. Her Mum sent us both some breast cancer awareness goodies. There is a pink cap with a pink rhinestone ribbon on the front, a pink ribbon brooch with pink sparkly stones and lastly a 25 cent coin that was issued for breast cancer awarenes month.

Also here are photos of my childrens entries into their schools pet day. There were alsorts of competitions to enter.

My daughter entered the Pet Rock section and won with her family of owls.

And my son entered the Art section and won with his pastel portrait.

I was proud of both of them :)

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