I'll Show You My Neutrophil Count If You Show Me Yours

I know, that's just silly but I have cancer so back off. 

The last couple of days have  been (drum roll.....) GOOD!  I was able to work both days, not so sure I was productive, but I did make an appearance and go through the motions, so I get props for that. 

Since Tuesday-and my night from h e double hockey sticks (hell if you're slow), I've had some residual achiness from the Neulasta.  It's almost not worth mentioning it's so insignificant compared to Tuesday night's horror show.  I seem to get fatigued a little faster than normal but nothing too bothersome.  I've also noticed how important it is to eat balanced.  I battled a bit of a low blood sugar issue today, but fixed it right up with a Jamba Juice and have been good to go. 

I had my first post-chemo follow up today, which was important because they were going to do some blood work to see how my body tolerated the treatment last Thursday.  This was my first experience having blood drawn through my port, and it's all very fascinating.  I had Jeff take pictures for no apparent reason (other than to share with you all).  After blood draw, I had my appointment.  The doctor asked some general questions about how I was feeling (fine), any concerns (Neulasta can go to hell), any other issues (the port was a pain in my ass), and just an overall "what do you think" kind of pow wow.  In general, I seem to be doing really well with the treatment.  I wanted to fly across the room and strangle him when he told me that he recommends getting the Neulasta injection after each treatment, but after some discussion (screw you doc), we came to an agreement. 

Here's the deal on this whole thing.  The main thing they're looking for when they check blood is what your "neutrophil" levels are.  Neutrophils are the type of white blood cells that fight infection.  The normal range for neutrophils in the average healthy person range from roughtly 2,000 to 8,000.  If the neutrophils get too low in a cancer patient, they can't do treatment until they can get them back up.  The purpose of the Neulasta injection is to boost the white blood cells so the neutrophils stay high enough and don't affect your chemo schedule.  Well, when they drew my blood before my first treatment, my neutrophil level was 7,000. Great, high side of normal, should be good to go.  When they tested them this morning...29,000.  Yep, AFTER chemo, 29,000.  Hellooooooo Neulasta!  I'm so proud of my bones for working so hard!  It's almost like childbirth, now that it's over and I see the results, I have a certain fondness for the event.  So here's where we're at.  When they draw blood before my next treatment on January 12th, if my neutrophil levels are still high (around 15,000), I don't have to have the injection.  Even if I DO have to have it, I've been promised narcotics.  Thank you.

I should theoretically be on the upswing now from my treatment, and will probably continue to feel good until my next infusion.  This is all good and I'm very pleased.  My port is feeling better, and I feel pretty normal...YAY! 

Check out the card Kimberly gave me.  Love it!  Go Honey Badgers!


  1. Hey there Libby - Since you've already posted an Oatmeal card I jut have to gie you an Oatmeal link for cancer: I also apologize in advance if you have readers that have no sense of humor. And, I also apologize for the amount of time that your readers are going to lose once they get to if they didn't already know of it!!

    Huge hugs and CONGRATS for kicking some ass on those numbers. That's FREAKING AWESOME NEWS!!!


    PS - You MUST stop at Jamba Juice on your way over on Monday - a boost for you and one for me!!! ;-)

  2. Yay for no booster shots. My wimpy white cells failed me during treatment so I am soliloquy happy you rs are working hard for you. See you tomorrow at Fight Like a Girl bootcamp!