My Brush with Neutropenia

Neutropenia is not a word someone with cancer wants to hear.  When your neutrophils (a type of white blood cell) are under a certain amount (usually 1500), then you are more apt to get an infection, which means, for me at least, I could die.  I never even imagined that I had neutropenia when I went to the ER tonight.  If you read my last few entries, then you know I have a UTI, and am absolutely miserable.  But, then I looked at the neutropenia symptoms, and they fit much better than UTI symptoms ever did.  Who knew?  There was a bit of bacteria in my pee, but it’s not like it was a few weeks ago.  So, I have both.  I spent the majority of the night in the ER, and they wanted to admit me upstairs for a few days, but I declined.  So, I signed the form that said (in effect), “I understand that I’m doing what you don’t want me to do.”

I was given a lot of blood last night (I’m type A+. but they gave me squeaky-clean O for cancer patients), plus antibiotics, lots of fluids, pain killers, anti-nausea meds, etc.  I’m really tired right now, but not like I was.  I actually slept, too.  Amazing, I know.  But, they catheterized me, and now my bladder says “OMFG Thank you!”  Unfortunately, it feels like I’ve cleaned myself with steel wool down there, so even if I don’t have to do, it feels like I do, and it’s still a mess.  I wish those pain killers lasted longer than they did, dammit.  I took percocet when I got home around 7ish (thank you, Jason, for sitting with me and taking me, etc!), and that helped a bit, but now its wearing off again, and I need something.  Maybe more Advil?

This is really the first major complication I’ve had, and it kind of scared me.  My hemoglobin was at 5.5, my white cells too low, and they never told me my platelets.  I was so careful!  Oh well, no chemo for awhile so I can get over this.  Hooray!


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