Thursday, 28 January 2010

denied. again.

I'll keep this short-ish, as we've been here before.

I went for chemo session 3. They took my blood. I was sent home. Not enough white blood cells.

Annoying, but not totally unsurprising as I'm feeling run-down at the moment - I have a coldsore, a few mouth ulcers and a background sick feeling.

But I've learnt a new word today - Neutrophenia ... I shall quote from my latest booklet

"Following chemotherapy there is a risk of infection from bacteria or fungus in foods. This is for two reasons: 1) The white blood cells (neutrophils) that would usually fight food poisoning bacteria are at a low level. This is referred to as neutropenia. 2) The gut lining acts as a barrier between bacteria and the bloodstream. Chemotherapy and radiotherapy damage the gut lining making it easier for any bacteria to cross this barrier.

During neutropenia, the following guidelines will help to reduce the risk of food poisoning whilst still allowing as varied a diet as possible. There is no single agreed definition of neutropenia or severe neutropenia; the levels quoted below are very widely used but if a doctor uses different levels patients should be guided by those. The type of advice to be followed is dependent on the number of white blood cells in the bloodstream: this is known as the neutrophil count."

Link to booklet

And there is then a few pages about what you can eat and what you shouldn't. Fairly basic stuff that can be boiled down to things like, don't eat raw eggs, don't eat cheese that you find in the back of a gym locker, don't defrost your chicken, stuff it with melted ice-cream, refreeze it for a few hours, then leave to defrost on your toilet seat before having for dinner. Also, don't suck on a cows teat, dont bite the heads off gerbils and wash your hands after playing with your own faeces. Or someone else's faeces.

Slightly hacked off that I had to go through another round of 'find the vein' and wait around, before being sent home - but on the plus side I do have another week off to play Modern Warfare 2, my latest 'alternative to real life' distraction.



lisijay said...

Nah toilet seat should be ok, less bacteria than the average kitchen side.

RC said...

I'm thinking of designing a T-Shirt that say's "I've been Neutropeanic". What size shall I put you down for?

Jen said...

I did an assignment on neutropenia when I was nursing cancer kids - I got a B and officially became a chemo you spence xxx