While we continue to wait I will share some of my new vocabulary words.
Petechaie – When platelets are low in the blood capillaries burst on the surface of the skin leaving red spots.
Tumor Lysis – Leukemia cells are rapidly dividing and spilling contents into the blood. This causes a change in the chemicals in blood which could cause damage to organs.
Neutropenic – immune system is suppressed even though white blood cell count is high. This is because the white blood cells are young and not fully functioning.
Nadir – This is the low point that occurs about 7-10 days after chemo when the bone marrow is wiped out for about 2-3 weeks. Bone marrow regenerates hopefully without the leukemia.
I am currently neutropenic which is why I have dietary and lifestyle restrictions. I’m on a low-bac diet. I cannot eat fresh fruits or vegetables or salad except for what comes from the hospital’s special sterile kitchen. I cannot have outside unsealed drinks or ice. I can only have sterile ice and water or unopened containers. No deli meat or sushi or anything with a chance of carrying bacteria.
I also can’t use a toothbrush for fear of mouth sores. I’m given sponge toothettes and biotene mouthwash. I can’t clip my nails or use razors. I was given permission to use an electric razor but then I somehow cut myself so that’s out. I also was scolded for putting on eyeliner because it could introduce bacteria. The doctor said if I must I can use a new eyeliner and dip it in alcohol. Of course, I said that I must.
Hopefully tomorrow will bring good news on the insurance/clinical trial quibble. We could really use some good news.
Here’s a pic of when Amira took me outside for a walk. I was allowed to be unhooked from the IV for 60 minutes but still had to wear a mask. I’m already bloated from the fluids they pump into me constantly. We still had fun.