Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Chemo #3 Cancelled

When we were kids, my brother used to joke that I was so dumb, I’d stay up all night to study for a blood test, then still fail the test. Well, I failed my blood test today – my white blood cell count was too low so I couldn’t have my chemo. Instead, I got an injection to boost my blood count. I promptly went out and had a protein lunch – lamb chops AND steak. I’m drinking a protein shake now and having steak again for dinner.

I need to go back to the doctor tomorrow for another blood test, so I plan to have eggs for breakfast. This is more fun than studying for an Algebra exam. All I need to do for this test is eat lots of protein. Of course, I might die of heart disease with all this red meat I’m eating. My body might not know how to digest it all, after a year and a half of a vegetarian diet. If I’d studied harder for Algebra as a kid, I might actually be able to work out the math of how much protein I need for the blood test versus risk of heart disease.

I’m trying not to think of the harm all this red meat might be doing to me. I cut all animal products out of my diet after my diagnosis because I’d read enough to convince me that they did more harm than good. I’ve felt better and stronger after I changed to this new diet and cut out all meat, egg, dairy, alcohol, caffeine, and sugar. Unfortunately, my favorite foods are all of the above. Cruel coincidence.

I had a hunch I would fail the test. I’ve been feeling weak and tired. Not the kind of tired you can sleep off, but down-to-the-bones tired. Hard to explain, but people say there’s no tired like chemo-tired so I guess this is it.

As far as I can remember, the only other test I’ve ever failed in my life was in elementary school – 5th Grade History. I had to take the test paper home and have it signed by a parent. I was so scared, I thought about running away from home. When I realized I didn’t have a bag to put my clothes and toothbrush in, I decided I couldn’t run away, so I showed the test to my father. He asked, “Did you fail because you didn’t study or because you didn’t know anything?” I think I just stood there and cried. He promised me he wouldn’t tell my mom if I studied harder next time. I wonder if he really kept his promise or if that was just a child psychology ploy.

I’ve eaten more red meat in the last two days than I’ve eaten all year. I’ve been “studying” really hard. I don’t ever want to see another steak, so I really hope I pass this blood test tomorrow. Wow, what a new world I’m living in – hoping for my bone marrow to make some more white blood cells so I can have some toxic chemicals injected into my blood. And THAT’s supposed to SAVE me!

No comments: