Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Nadir

The nadir is the period after chemo, or radiation, where your blood counts bottom out and you feel the worst. For your white blood cells and platelets, it typically falls in day 7-14 after treatment begins. I am definitely feeling like I am in this period. For red blood cells it comes later and sounds like for a month a will be very susceptible to infection, and more susceptible than normal for 9-12 months.

I am still struggling with high fevers (103F). When they hit I get nauseous and crazy chills like I have never had them. Luckily good old Tylenol works. Interesting I cannot have other traditional fever reducing medicines because they can thin your blood and I don't need that. Right now my blood transfusions are on hold until my fever breaks.

When my fever is going up or down I feel miserable but have had a few breaks in it. I have not been feeling like eating so they have started me on special concoction shakes. They actually don't taste too bad (I just wish they had not shown me the list of ingredients which includes frozen egg - that one makes me stomach turn).

I am feeling very weak, but luckily am still allowed to shower. I had a chair I had to sit in to shower. I am feeling far from my normal self....

A highlight of today was as surprise visitor. She is a mom of a boy in Margaret's class who is an oncologist at UC. Someone had told her about me and she was a chaperon on the field trip today and Margaret was in her group. Can't recall how I came up but Margaret told her I had hairy cell leukemia but had a fever so needed to stay in the hospital until the fever ends and I was getting platelets. Total proud mom moment, she asked Marg if she knew why this illness was called hairy cell and what platelets did and my little one knew:)... Last night Chad told the girls I had finished chemo but I had a fever. When he told them I finished chemo Margaret asked, "Did Mommy do a happy dance?". The girls continue to do well and help keep us in balance and tied to the facts.

So hoping for the fevers to stop and my counts to start to recover....


  1. Looking for a like button--both for Margaret and for you keeping perspective and focusing on small victories like tasty shakes and showers. Soon hopefully you will graduate to real McDonald's shakes :) Irene

  2. Hopefully this means there is nowhere to go but up for you. Hang in there Beth.

    By the way, did you and Chad know you were such good writers before you started writing this blog?

    XOXO Becky

  3. Beth,
    All the best...dont lose too much weight and look forward to having dinner with you guys in the future!