Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Neutropenia, Vitamin D, and Taste Buds

Update on the nurse:

I called and talked directly to her yesterday. She didn't recall say "ugly cancer patient". She did say, tho, that it was a busy and choatic day. I should have called her on it when it happened so that it was fresh in her mind and the doctor's mind that she DID say something so very inappropriate. Thank goodness she isn't the one who puts in the needles!!

Here’s some information I found about neutropenia. . . . what I’ve been “in” since last Friday.

If someone is neutropenic—they may not show the "typical" signs of infection that medical staff are used to looking for. This is because the body is not producing WBC’s. Normally, when we have an infection—the WBC’s increase and this is what causes the redness, pus, and swelling that we are all so familiar with. The most reliable sign (and many times the only sign) will be a fever > 100.5 F.

Other symptoms include the following. I had 15 of the 18 from Day 9 through today, Day 14. This is sooooo old.

Increased skin temperature, Feeling tired, Headache, Body aches, Feeling dizzy or weak, Feeling warm or cold, Shaking chills, Sore throat, Cough, Stuffy nose, Burning with urination, Redness and swelling at the port site, Swallowing problems, Mouth sores, Sinus tenderness, Pain in the abdomen, Diarrhea, Rectal discomfort with bowel movement (left it on a good note, eh?)

I can finally call my self “A 10”. Are you jealous???

Per the Vitamin D Council and all the recent news stories, adults should be between 50 and 80. I’m a 10. Toddlers and older children, who do not go into the sun, should take 1000 – 2000 IU/day, depending on body weight per the Vitamin D Council.

Have you had your Vitamin D levels checked? Even those who live in sunny California?

Taste Buds
Since October 2nd, I believe I’ve had 2 or 3 days of taste buds, wonderful glorious taste buds. They have left me again with the Neutropenia.

I prepared a grocery list for Vic for everything that would slide down the semi-swollen throat, sounded good and might be a forbidden diet food. The list included frozen pizza rolls, egg rolls and tater-tots. I was in heaven heating all three items last night.

Anticipation, anticipation is making me late; Is keeping me waiting.

But alas, the three items tasted like packing-peanut material, but soft. Sigh. I did find one thing that was yummy – Jack in The Box’s Orange Sunrise. They are advertised as Real Fruit Smoothies. Sounds pretty darn healthy.

Wrong-o, buck-o. Second ingredient is High Fructose Corn Syrup, with 3rd ingredient, Corn Syrup. Oh, let’s talk about the calories and sugar. 431 calories (but if you aren’t eating anything, like me, this would be okay) and 86 grams of sugar (not okay under any circumstances). And here I was, planning to talk the manager into selling this sad looking. bald cancer patient a box or two of the mixture. I was going to add my protein powder and make my own Orange Sunrise at home. Guess again.

I am returning to work tomorrow, full time until the next treatment. The next treatment is scheduled for October 23. This could be delayed if my blood counts haven't come up by October 22's lab work. Pray that my body will build back up quickly!

I see the sun so I'm running outside for some Vitamin D. Can't wait to see me tall, tanned and skinny by Christmas!!!! Don't choke on that, okay? I don't recommend this diet to anyway, tho I've have great success with it in losing 13 pounds as of yesterday.

Blessings of peace to you and your family,



  1. Renee, I read your comment on my blog and smiled. I was definitely feeling a little snarky when I wrote that post :)

    Keep your chin up! If I can virtually hold your hand through this, consider it done. I'm in for 18 weeks of chemo, every 3 weeks (sound familiar?). Then a month off with 6 weeks of radiation. Then, if I'm not too sick of all my doctors, I just might let them reconstruct both my ta-tas!!

    My mother is a breast cancer survivor and just a few weeks ago, was diagnosed with lung cancer on the liver and lungs. We're battling this together with a vengeance.

    Your Vic sounds like my Bill. What a blessing!!

    Take care of yourself!!

  2. Hi Renee -
    It's Kathy, from Life is Sunny. I feel a kinship with you because Sharon (who I don't think I've ever met) commented on my blog, too, and then you commented the next day.

    Chemo sucks (but it saves your life, blah blah blah), losing your hair sucks (but is sort of cool), but how great are we?

    I love that you tap into your own Reservoir!

    You're losing weight; I gained weight. I'm back to where I want to be now, and we all look forward to where we want to be. Good luck in your fight, and know you're never alone. Never.

    Do you have triple negative? Me, too. I have two foul words for it...

    Thank you for everything,