Friday, November 16, 2012

Life as an Outpatient

So I walked out our front door yesterday with our nanny extraordinaire, Andrea, who was dropping me off at my appointment, and paused and thought wait something is not right. It took me a minute, but then I realized I was wearing the slippers that have been my "shoes" the last 5 weeks and thought, nope need real shoes today. Went back inside, made the quick change then was off.

Realize these appointments are going to be more like epic saga visits. It was 3 hours yesterday and I did not need any transfusions or IV meds. I just had blood drawn, my PICC line changed and saw the doctor. While I was waiting to get blood drawn realized that UC has in the waiting area its own crossword puzzle, word search and word scramble (never a good sign). All were clearly done by someone on the staff... wondered who got this job... and am sure I will learn how often they are updated. The crossword puzzle theme was vehicles and it was pretty easy. Hovercraft was the only one that gave me a bit of trouble. The word search theme was Hip Hop. It was not too bad. I was hampered a bit by not being that in touch with Hip Hop artists. Somehow I had never heard of Spoonie Gee, The Pharcyde, and many others... will blame it on living in China the last 4 years.

Now when I got to the word scramble I was downright stumped on many. I was worried it was cancer-chemo brain. Then Chad arrived and he could not get them either and I was greatly relieved. The ones that were easy were all food related. I thought that was the theme until I got "douglas fir" then realized there was no theme which made it harder. Below are the ones that stumped us. See if you can help us out (no I have not forgotten any letters or added any extra have triple checked that I copied them exactly).

rooneg sentouns

As for the appointment, my doctor answered all of our many questions. Unfortunately my blood work was not as good as we all had hoped. My platelets were up from about 30 to 50 which is good but still moving slower than expected. My hemoglobin (reds) was 11 up slightly from 10.5. I am still in the window that this could just be transfusion related so we need to wait until the blood draw the Monday after Thanksgiving to see if my body is making enough red cells or not. If so, I will get my PICC line pulled. The real disappointment of the day was the white blood cells at 0.9 (down from 1.1) and the neutrophils down to 440 from 668. So I am home bound and need to done a mask when I go out to the doctor since my body has less ability to fight bacteria than it did beginning of the week (and am on Oral versus IV meds that are not as strong). Monday I go back in for more bloodwork and may need some shots or different meds if my whites and neutrophils have not improved.

It will be early January before the definitive re-tests are done to know if we have a round 2 of chemo and when that will start. Chad and I are making the trek to the specialist in Columbus today to get his opinion on testing and re-treatment plan. We are also hoping to get some insight from him on why my counts have been suppressed for so long post chemo. My doctor here and his team have wrestled with this question and, sounds like, combed over the research and I am a bit of a medical mystery right now. Will see if we get some answers today....

Still feeling much better to be home than in the hospital. My doctor agrees hospitals are not good places and wants to keep me home if possible, which we are very glad to be aligned on!


  1. Beaver, will keep trying although I'm conscious that my boss reads this blog too ;-)

  2. Hazelnut - oddly enough this is the second word search this week I have helped solve. Mason had a school word search and one word stumped him - indian.

  3. Oregon sunstone (no clue what that actually is though)

  4. Sequoia U Team - as In Sequoia University???