On Monday at 7:30 AM we were waiting at the Swedish Cancer Institute for the lab to open. So much for communication. On the phone the nurse told me my appointment was at 8:00; I had also been told to arrive one hour early for lab work. The lab doesn't open until 8 AM; my chemo appointment was actually for 8:30. We bounced around looking for the right place to go before most of the employees had arrived. And then the nurse couldn't find my doc's orders in the computer system. Good thing I had hand-carried a signed print out when I saw him last week.
I would really like for this to go more smoothly in the future. It seems that the staff assume the patients, even new ones, know what to do. My doc's personal assistant even told me today it would be complicated to go there instead of at his office, but even with the complications, I think Swedish is the place to go.
That said, the lab tech accessed my port and drew my blood. After a short wait, the nurse called me back to the infusion suite and told me my red blood cell, white blood cell and neutrophil counts were low and that Dr. G decided I should not have chemo that day. I appreciate his conservative caution. No one wants a repeat of last year's two week stay in the hospital. Even though I feel well, low counts mean I should avoid crowds and people with the sniffles. I don't want to catch anything and with low counts, my immune system is more likely to pick up a stray bug.
So Rik and I left at 9 AM and decided to run some errands while it was so early. After we got home I called Dr. G's office as requested and heard back today that he wants me to "try again next week."
This may keep me on a short tether to the chemo chair. Even if we can't know from week to week if I will be healthy enough to receive treatment, I still have to go in every Monday to have blood drawn and checked.
I am still putting it out to the universe that Abraxane is very effective, well-tolerated, with minimal side effects, and that I will be among the 10% who keep their hair.