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?