Chapter 17: Welcome back to neutropenia 👋

So this update is coming to you live from my cancer unit (oooh how exciting). They are playing Christmas songs today so I am happy! 🎅🏼🎄⭐️🎁 Thought I’d bring my laptop with me and try and be at least marginally productive rather than squinting at Youtube videos on my phone for hours, which is what I normally do. I’m in today for two bags of blood and a bag of platelets. I thought I might not need blood products as much as I did on my previous chemo regimen, but alas I was incorrect. I also thought (and hoped) that I might not be neutropenic this time but I am indeed back in neutropenia again. Sounds like a travel destination. Trust me, it’s not somewhere you want to visit. I feel like I’m now counting down the days until I get my first infection of the new chemo and end up back in hospital. I mean I really hope that it isn’t going to happen, but I had seven episodes of neutropenic sepsis over my first chemo regimen and so I’m not holding out too much hope for this time. We shall see, whatever happens, happens.

There was a lot of confusion between myself, my consultant and the staff at my unit as to what my management plan was; was my chemo going to be every three weeks? Every two weeks? It seemed like nobody knew. That has now been ironed out which is good; I don’t feel so unsure about what is happening to me and when. The plan is to deliver my chemo every two weeks if possible, rather than the standard three weeks, but that very much depends on my blood counts. Today (well, yesterday actually) should have been day one of my second round of chemo but all my counts have tanked so here I am for a top-up. I’m into double figures now for both blood and platelet transfusions and I still find it totally magical that you can take blood from one human and use it to top up another human. How great is science. This is another chance for me to say a massive thank you to all those who donate blood products, you really are saving lives!

In other exciting news, one of my closest and oldest friends, Emma, (24 years of friendship and counting) is going to be RUNNING THE BLOODY LONDON MARATHON!!!!!! She will be running for Bloodwise which is so amazing and exciting! She’s the fittest, most active person I know and she’s going to absolutely smash her training. If anyone fancies sponsoring her and therefore donating to the wonderful Bloodwise you can find her Just Giving page here.

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