Today I visited the NCCC with Diane for labs and found out that I have an ANC of 0 and platelets of 23. This is as expected, but the ANC of 0 is a little disconcerting. When my count gets low, I feel a little like I have a low level virus (kinda raw throat, post nasal drip, tired, achey). This is scarey because how can I tell the difference between feeling like I have a virus because I am profoundly neutropenic and feeling like I have a virus because I have a virus? It's not really that I would do anything different if I had a virus except worry more and I seem to have that covered either way.
The rest of my counts were good. Hemoglobin of 11.2, liver, kidney OK except for the albumin is now 3.2. Because my platelets were low, Dr. Manno wanted to transfuse me, but they didn't have any platelets on site for me (remember the antibody thing?) so I will return tomorrow for them. I was really happy with this solution because it was a beautiful day out and I didn't want to spend it inside, looking out at the beautiful day outside. We went to The Bridge Cafe where I had well cooked bacon and eggs on an english muffin and then Diane, Ana and I went for a little walk at Massabesic Park. Some versions of the neutropenic diet don't allow eating out, but I figure how can bacon, eggs and english muffin when over-cooked as I requested be problematic? I could see not eating salads or things that were cooked ahead of time and kept around, but I feel like this is a pretty foolproof restaurant meal. I did eat out very selectively and carefully last consolidation too. The official statistic is that slightly more than half of patients end up re-admitted to the hospital with neutropenic fever. I don't know if this is per consolidation cycle or per patient, but so far I've done one cycle with no unplanned admissions so either I have been careful enough or I have gotten lucky. My guess would be both.
I worried about the potential for mold while out walking at the park, but it's not like I have filtered air in my house either. The windows are open, I spend time outside, I went for a couple of walks over the weekend. I guess the important thing is not be around activities that might aerosolize any ground mold. I'll have Terry plow the backyard this fall.
After Massabesic Lake, Diane and I returned home to have tea and then I had a little nap. The rest of the day was spent in sudoku, dinner and soon bed. It was nice to have a couple of days where I was feeling reasonably well and able to construct a sentence with a couple of adjectives and dependent clauses. I think I may be back to "Going to bed early tonight. May we all sleep well." as my most complex thought.