Remember how, last Thursday, I wrote a blog post from my bed? ... Yup. I'm still here.
I was out of bed (and dressed in actual clothes instead of pajamas) for about two hours yesterday, so I could head over to MD and have my blood tested.
It turns out that I'm anemic, my white cell and platelet count have tanked, and my iron and phosphorus and potassium levels are also low.
Yeah, so... my blood is bad. No wonder I'm so tired.
Because the levels are right where they should be able to be corrected through diet, I'm not going in for an infusion this week. This is both comforting (nothing grosses me out like seeing a bag of blood hanging on an IV pole does) and incredibly frustrating (I literally cannot eat more than I'm eating, and I am really conscious of what I DO eat - spinach every day, and a meal of black beans on a wheat tortilla has become a staple around here, Judy looks at iron counts as much as fiber counts on everything she buys at the store). I'm trying really hard not to put anything into my body that won't help it get stronger and feel better, but I'm fighting this insidious drug that's determined to tear not just my body, but also my blood, to shreds.
It's exhausting. And I'm not just saying that because I am anemic and EVERYTHING is exhausting.
There are food groups that are high in iron (steak... pork chops... even chicken) that I would love to be able to eat and spike that iron count... but I'd have to be able to digest it. And my digestive system currently struggles with toast.
And don't get me started on the week of mouth sores, and how that impacts both my options and ability to eat actual food.
(I read last night that having low iron can make a person more irritable. Ya think? ... This post is something special.)
I'm just a little tired of feeling like I'm gonna fall down every time I try to get up.
This morning, I ate scrambled eggs in bed, lying on my side. Judy had to get the last two fork fulls for me because I couldn't navigate the fork against the food any more. I don't know how she's taking care of me without bursting into tears. It appears that she is not only a saint, but also a rock.
This thing (cancer, chemo, low blood counts, digestive issues, constipation and/or the exact opposite of said constipation, you name it... any of it, all of it) is not for the feint of heart.
I'm so grateful that I have my mom here with me. It's hard enough when I have someone else to do my laundry and wash my dishes - oh, and feed me the last two bites of scrambled eggs because I can't lift the fork. I have no idea how I'd be able to do this without her. (That said, I have absolutely no clue how anyone does this when there are other people they have to take care of. My hat is off to all the men and women out there who are both parents and cancer patients.)
Chemo is hard. Really hard. And I hate it. ... But I live in hope that it's not just killing this tumor, but also changing my body, so the cancer will never come back.