One pill makes you larger
And one pill makes you small
And the ones that mother gives you
Don’t do anything at all
Go ask Alice
When she’s ten feet tall
– Jefferson Airplane, White Rabbit
My first round of chemo is over. I should be going home for at least a few days’ respite before I get the second batch.
Except I’m still here. In the same room that I was admitted to five weeks ago. At the moment I’m trapped in the looking glass, playing the waiting game. Waiting for the white blood cells and the neutrophils to get their skates on and move up a few notches.
The chemo killed off all the unruly cells, and left me with nothing for a while. As I was given such a high dose, they’re being a bit slow to recover.
I just wish they’d hurry up a bit. At the moment the old neutrophils seem to be oscillating between 0 and 0.1. They went up to 0.1 for a day, then back down to 0 the next. I need 0.5 before the powers-that-be can unleash me on all the glorious bacteria and infection of the outside world.
The consultant was typically benevolent on the wards round yesterday: ‘We may possibly consider letting you out at 0.4. If you’re practically climbing up the walls with frustration by that stage.’
Luckily there’s all the magic of wondrous pills and concoctions to help me on my way. The nurse on duty (one of my favourites) popped in yesterday brandishing a particularly large syringe.
‘You can either have it in your leg, your arm, or your tummy! Your choice.’
‘What is it?’ I asked.
‘Oh just the growth hormone injection! Haven’t they told you?’
As it turns out they hadn’t.
‘It just gives your bone marrow a good kick up the backside and a push to get moving and producing cells. Healthy cells! Now lean back and breathe out.’
Unlike Alice I didn’t cry. Nor did I end up over nine feet high, or collide with any ceilings. I just got quite a bit of pain in my lower back. Which means it’s working, apparently. The white blood cells were 0.3 today (up from 0.2 yesterday) and the neutrophils are back at 0.1.
So it’s just a matter of waiting now. It’s okay though, I’m sure they’ll be up soon (I hear Pippa’s praying for me.)