Word for the day is: Neutropenic
You can look it up online, but essentially it means not having enough white blood cells in your body to ward off infection or illness. It’s the result of having received a heavy dose of chemotherapy which not only attacks the cancer in your body, but also the healthy red and white blood cells coursing through your veins. (Coursing…that’s another cool word!)
I’ve dealt with this condition before. It happens after I receive my chemotherapy treatments. After my first round of chemo beat up my body so badly, this condition put me into the hospital for six days as doctors and nurses pumped antibiotics into me along with bags of red blood and something called platelets (it helps your blood clot). During this time, I had no working immune system. A cold, an infection or food poisoning (which happens more often then you think — it’s usually when people say they’ve got “a 24 stomach bug”) could mean big trouble for a cancer patient that is neutropenic.
My blood counts this morning (red, white and platelets) were very low. Low enough, in fact, that’ I’ve been officially deemed to be neutropenic. It means I stay in the house, and if I absolutely have to venture out I’m wearing a mask and hoping people won’t notice. When they do give me more than a quick glance, I usually joke with them by taking off my hat, which then displays my chemo-caused bald hairstyle and tell them “The mask comes with the haircut.”
Damn, if you can’t laugh about cancer, then bite me.
Thanks for stopping by.