Be Careful What You Wish For…

27 04 2011

Left to Right: My cousins Rhonda and Lori, me, and my Aunt Helen taking a breather between frames at the March 18 Bowling Benefit. Photo by Emily Sybert.

A week or two ago, I caught myself in the middle of the strangest daydream. I was thinking to myself, “Wouldn’t it be great if chemo was one week on, two weeks off, instead of the other way around?”

Then I stopped myself short and thought, “Wow! Is that what your fantasies have been reduced to as of late?! That’s the best you can do?”

I have to admit, I did laugh out loud at just how outrageous that whole scenario was.

Well, be careful what you wish for, because you just might get it.

After a long and wonderful break from chemo over the past 10 days, I’d geared myself up for the beginning of Round 5 early this morning when… I arrived at the hospital and found out that I won’t be having chemo this week.

My oncologist thought my white blood cell counts, which were low on Monday, would rebound by today. They didn’t.

Labwork this morning showed that several of my counts are still far below the minimum threshold, so my doc made the call — my body needs recovery time. No chemo.

Of course, my first reaction was panic. What bearing will this have on my treatment? I asked, imagining the cancer getting a stronghold while I’m off. I mean, much as I dislike chemo, I don’t want to go without and give my disease any sort of advantage.

But, whew! Good news on that front. Both the Clinical Trials nurse and my Aunt Helen — who is a nurse and was my chemo buddy today — reassured me there is still plenty of chemo in my body and it’s still hard at work, even if I am unable to get my infusions this week. My low blood counts are a reflection of that fact. Meanwhile, my medical team will be considering a dose reduction, just in case the doses I’ve been receiving since I began chemo Feb. 1 are too much for my body.

I will be getting Neutrogen shots this week for three days in a row, the first of which I got before I left the hospital today. That, and the additional time off, will help to boost my counts so that I can return to the chemo chair, ready for action, next week.

In the meantime, though, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t grinning ear to ear about this unexpected additional week off. Two weeks off in a row! For a cancer patient, that’s pure bliss.

So, be careful what you wish for, because you just might get it. But then again, if you do, it might work out just fine.

Copyright 2011, Amy Rauch Neilson



6 responses

27 04 2011

Hang in their my dearest, always remember, walk by faith and not by sight. Ur doing great, keep it up!!

27 04 2011
Deborah Ann Peters

Enjoy this week, but do get some rest so that your body can recover and you can resume with your treatments. Take care!!! xoxo

27 04 2011


27 04 2011
Amy Rauch Neilson

They sure are, Uncle Bob! Love you, too!

27 04 2011

Hey, this will give you time to eavesdrop on the washer and dryer again.


27 04 2011

Hi Amy.

Whenever my dad, Jim H, couldn’t get a chemo treatment, he felt so dejected. We’re not fighting the big C without a treatment! But the doctor and staff, each in their own way, taught us that the low count meant that the chemo was working. Dad’s body just needed time to get strong enough to withstand more “killer” treatments. Their encouraging words helped…and receiving blood to help him feel stronger helped, too.

Some common walks on the treatment path, I guess.

Enjoy your week “off” and may you feel really strong by next week!

Thinking of you often, usually picturing the photo of you picking fruit in the Keewenaw with my folks ~

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