The day before each course of treatment with Carboplatin, I have to have my blood drawn and I have a consult with the internist-oncologist or the case manager. We discuss whether the side effects are still acceptable for me. Second item on the agenda: whether the blood values appear to be good enough, or in other words whether the healthcare professionals think the next chemo treatment tomorrow is safe and justified. I realized today would be a short conversation of only a few minutes: the side effects are now quite manageable and I feel fit. Prior to the consult, I handled two more work related video calls, left a little too late for the hospital and chose to walk anyway, even though that had to be done at a sporty high pace and in the rain. With a positive mood and slightly wet, I entered the case manager’s consultation room.
On her screen she showed my blood values: an Hb of 5.5 and also too low a level of white blood cells and too few platelets. In short: irresponsible to start the chemo tomorrow. I looked at her in astonishment. The first thought that crossed my mind was that these must be someone else’s blood values. But I had been present when the stickers with my name and date of birth were put on tubes. Tubes I had just seen fill with my blood. There was really only one possible conclusion: how I feel, simply does not match my blood values.
And I’m not pleased with that.
To be honest, I wasn’t looking forward to tomorrow; the next chemo treatment with that lousy Carboplatin. But it seems to be badly needed to treat the cancer and now that it didn’t proceed, I felt disappointed. To raise a low level of white blood cells, the injection that I already received the day after the first chemotherapy can be used. But that is only possible one day after a treatment with Paclitaxel alone, so at the earliest in 9 days from now. And I most likely owed those severe headaches to that injection during that first course of treatment. To raise the amount of platelets, nothing can be done, the body has to restore the production itself. ‘Try to sleep well’, there is no other advice.
The heavy chemo with Carboplatin has been postponed (at least) for a week. A new measurement will follow next Thursday and if the values still do allow a green light, it may be decided to lower the dose of Carboplatin. The internist-oncologist had previously explained that it can sometimes be quite troublesome to find a compromise. Which was already the case – and there are three more treatments with Carboplatin ahead of me…
When I walked out of the consulting room, I realized that I simply can’t do anything about this. That thought offers me plenty of room to make the best of the new situation. Apparently I get a nice bonus week: making music, having a good time, maybe visiting some museums… Thinking about the tips and gifts from dear blog readers that I received for expanding my HITD list, I’m actually looking forward to it!