Up. Down. Up. Down. No chemo this time as my neutrophils are too low again - 0.91 as opposed to the 1.5 the protocol requires. The consultant is happy to delay a week because the cancer markers are fine, so after a nice cup of tea it's back home again. If I was of a suspicious mindset I would start thinking that the phlebotomy lab are fixing the results so they can have me back more often, as apparently I am very easy to take blood from.
This time I am ok about it. I now know about setbacks, they're normal, not a sign that somehow I'm failing at this. The consultant suggests more bone marrow booster jabs, and the same each cycle, which seems a sensible approach to the problem. So before I leave I have one subcutaneous jab of Neupogen, with two more to follow at roughly 24 hour intervals. My stomach is going to look like a pincushion, particularly as the Zoladex jab has left a large bruise.
Also before I leave the healthcare assistant on whose shoulder I cried the first time there was a delay came to see me. She heard I'd been delayed again and wanted to check I was OK. I am regularly humbled by how wonderful the staff are at this oncology unit. Out of hundreds of patients she sees each week, she remembered how I felt over something that happened seven weeks ago. It is things like that that make me feel like a person and not a patient.
This time my mother-in-law was my designated driver. DH has gone on a corporate do (I tried laying on the tragedy with a trowel, but he quite rightly ignored my attempts to wind him up) and my parents are visiting my brother and his family up north. I found that I was very reluctant to have her stay with me all day. Somehow the chemo is quite a private thing for me, I feel very vulnerable and very closed when it is going on and I don't really want anyone there. Even my Mum, who was around for most of my labour with my eldest, probably wouldn't be welcome. My MIL was fine about that and she was very calm throughout the chaos!