It’s hard to find a title for a post on neutropenia (a word I just looked up how to spell). Well now, this is an unsexy subject it isn’t it?
For those who don’t know, about 7-10 days after Chemo your White Cell Count takes a dip, a nose dive actually. This is what I now call My Bubble Week
My doctors prescribe an immune system ‘booster’ post chemo, it’s a self inject – which we all know I’m a fan of. The injection isn’t too bad this time round. Little tip; slap your skin (lightly), on the area where you are about to give the shot. It really helps.
Anyway, My Bubble Week, where everyone and everything is tallied in my head, as potential germ smugglers. I’m probably a little OTT but the alternative is a stay in hospital, in solitary. That is what Hell looks like to me. Everything has to be clean, clean, clean and everyone has to be at arms length. This kills me because I would probably work for hugs instead of cash, sad but true. Actually, I kind of cheat with Pa and A. I assume I’m immune to them.
A. and I have this King Penguin Nuzzle that provides affection but minimal contact. You basically hook your chin over the other persons opposite shoulder. If A. allows me to live now I’ve shared this, I should probably patent it…..
It’s hard to say to loved ones, I’m really sorry I’m not touching people this week – p.s. please don’t bring your kids around ( I view them as a hospital stay waiting to happen) ….. Especially, when most of the time I’m seeing friends. Friends, I’ve not seen in AGES.
I can actually see people want to launch themselves at me, as I do them. It’s heartening and makes me happy to be a human, where hugs exist. Hugs are a way of reassuring people that I’m OK, that the world hasn’t truly spun off it’s axis, despite what it feels like sometimes.
I pushed all this to it’s limit the other week, first time out in a while and was surrounded by friends. Trying to explain to people that you can’t touch them, prior to them just hugging you is tricky. I spent a lot of time with my handy pocket wipes; which now I think of it, probably made me look like a bitch or a recluse, like Howard Hughes (I’ve not started peeing in bottles yet).
A. says a t-shirt is in order; “Don’t touch me, I have Cancer”. I’ll wear it, if A. wears one that says “Touch me, I’m with Cancer” and an arrow…..
Pa and A. are amazing; they practically douse me with Dettol at any opportunity. We have to spray down the Bathroom every time I wash. A. even wipes the car down after every trip to the allotment.
This is all a little new and a lot strange to me because I really am an advocate of a little dirt being a good thing; especially when it comes to health. Now, I have to wear gloves all the time on the allotment and be fearful of cut flowers. I have become my own H & S monitor and I have gone mad.
Until I forget,that is, which is easy to do. I merrily skipped into the Rubbish and Recycling Room of our Building the other day; which must be like going into the heart of the Death Star. A. practically frogmarched me out again and then scrubbed me down with yet another 99.9% killer wipe……