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Whispers - Wendy Will Blog
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Whispers | What Do They Mean?

June 27, 2012

I’m worried the universe is speaking to me in whispers and it has me worried.  Last Wednesday, I went in for a quarterly checkup with my oncologist.  I expected the appointment to play out as it usually does.  Well, you know what happens when you have too many expectations?  You get blindsided with news you didn’t see – or even fear – coming.

At every appointment we review my blood counts.  Historically, my platelet counts have been low and she’s always maintained that it’s a long term side effect from chemotherapy.  But, I stopped her when she mentioned that my white blood cell count was low too.  Hold it there, lady, what’s the exactly mean?

The answer I got was “It’s nothing to worry about — now.  Let’s just wait and watch it.”  Again, what does that mean?

I needed to know what having a low white blood cell count meant in the best and worst case scenarios.

  • The best case scenario is that the count is low due to long term side effects of chemotherapy.  Counts can also dip to lower than normal ranges from an infection (this might be my silver lining…remember, I had shingles about four or five weeks ago).
  • The worst case scenario is that it could be leukemia (cancer of the bone marrow or blood) or myelodysplastic syndrome (white blood cells do not reach a mature state and stay in the bone marrow, these eventually out number the healthy cells).

Now the whispers.  Good Morning America host and breast cancer survivor, Robin Roberts, just announced that she is undergoing treatment for myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) suspected to be caused by her chemotherapy treatment.  MDS is very rare but you know what…being diagnosed with breast cancer at 33 years old with no family history is pretty rare too.

And more whispers…Dr. Susan Love – the founder of DSLRF and and driving force behind Army of Women – just announced she is undergoing treatment for leukemia.  More random whispers…a flyer at my gym advertising a blood and bone marrow drive.  And finally, writer Nora Ephron passed yesterday from leukemia.

While I know that none of these events are related to each other, or even me, the coincidences kind of freak me out.

So we wait.  In two months, I’ll have another blood test done and we’ll go from there.  What else can I do, except enjoy my summer, right?

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{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Steph Calvert June 27, 2012 at 10:39 am

Well, shit. Shit, shit, shit. I can see why you’re freaking out a little. All I can do is offer up a big squishy virtual hug and the knowledge that we’re all pulling for you and thinking good thoughts for the best case scenario.

And we really should plan another fancy coffee Friday date.

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wendy June 27, 2012 at 1:15 pm

Thanks, love! And yes…coffee…when???

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OCMomActivities - Katie June 27, 2012 at 10:43 am

Hugs! I will keep you in my prayers and thoughts! I know all too well how Chemo can take it’s toll on the body. Just do your best to take care of yourself, your body and soul! It’s the best medicine.

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wendy June 27, 2012 at 1:14 pm

Your advice is so true, Katie! I really need to stress less, sleep more, eat better, and exercise more — and have fun — and that’s my plan until my next blood draw! Thanks for the love!!

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Nicole June 27, 2012 at 11:33 am

I hate your blood cells. “I want to punch them in the stupid face.”

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wendy June 27, 2012 at 1:13 pm

Let’s hate the cancer, chemo, and radiation! I need you to love on this blood cells and tell them to do what they are designed to do! #projectwhitebloodcellcountUP! Too long? :-)

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Nicole June 27, 2012 at 1:33 pm

Oh, OK! See…I need that cancer-pedia we were talking about.

I hate cancer, chemo and radiation. I’m going to “punch them in the stupid face!”

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Anne Louise Bannon June 27, 2012 at 12:25 pm

Prayers/good thoughts/whatever your preferred way of supplicating the Universe going out to you now. And sometimes, coincidences are simply that. The waiting to find out simply sucks, but there are some fun things to do in the meantime.

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Wendy June 27, 2012 at 1:18 pm

You are absolutely right, Anne! Thanks for commenting!! xo

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Sara @ Periwinkle Papillon June 27, 2012 at 1:35 pm

Ok. I understand your whispers now. I still recommend standing on a chair and yelling at the universe and dancing. I still recommend that.
Sending your blood cells positive thoughts to get the f*ck up.
That is all.
xo

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Margot June 27, 2012 at 2:36 pm

The thing about whispers is that its sometimes hard to tell if the universe is talking to you or to someone else. Sometimes you never do find out! In the meantime, I will bet the house on it being a residual thing from shingles. And I look forward to finding out that I’m right :-)

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Sharon Greenthal June 27, 2012 at 4:33 pm

I can understand why you would be a little freaked out at the moment. But how about if you look at it from a different perspective – if you can – perhaps all of these people having illnesses related to a low white blood cell count means that they are canceling out any possibility that YOU are ill…in other words, the more people who already are sick, the less who will become sick…does that make any sense??? I will think positive thoughts for you!!!

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Adrienne June 27, 2012 at 8:33 pm

psssssst……hugs

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Shelby Barone June 27, 2012 at 10:49 pm

My little guy Tyler does not produce any white blood cells (neutropenia) and gets a white blood cell replacement therapy. There are a lot of children in his clinic that get the same therapy from the affects of their chemo. I am going to hope that is all it is for you too – and that everything is alright!!

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Yvonne Condes June 28, 2012 at 9:31 am

I’m so sorry you have to wait so long to find out. Wish I had words of wisdom for you, but I’m sending good thoughts your way!

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Caryn B June 28, 2012 at 11:08 am

I just want to hug you…I don’t know what else to say or do…but I’m thinking about you and praying that none of those things are the reason for your low counts…

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Mary June 28, 2012 at 5:59 pm

Waiting is a bitch! Put your worries aside and just know that the low count was from the shingles! I’m pretty sure that’s all it is. Enjoy your summer, the warmth of the sun onyour body:) enjoy your family and know all your family and friends are beside you. Even those of us who only know you through your posts! I know I was also upset when I heard about Robin and Dr Love. I’m not quite to five years and no matter what that damn C word is always laying just under the surface! Just gotta make every day count!!

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