#9 The Ugly Truth Diaries – Third chemo session

I’m back from Rome and a lot of things have happened while I was there. The obvious, indulging myself with Roman culture, and the not so obvious events will be talked about in a different post so keep an eye out if you want to read about my adventure in Rome (handy tips included if you’re visiting soon!).

Being gone while my mum had her last week of radiation therapy, was not easy. I missed her so much but being away for a few days helped to release the stress that was taking over my health. I finally got some rest (and some nice, hot weather after a month of typical Belgian rain). However, relaxing lasted until Thursday.

That’s when I received a phone call from my mum. She had her blood tested on Thursday to see if she’d have enough WBC (=white blood cells) in order to start her third chemo therapy on Monday. Unfortunately, her count was 900. Too low. Chemo therapy delayed. Another slap in the face. She needed 1,500 minimum. Although postponing the therapy isn’t necessarily a very bad thing, for the success of the therapy it is recommended that everything can continue the way it’s planned. But emotionally, let’s just say it’s a lot tougher to hear it’s delayed because a thousand different questions go immediately through your head: how long will it be delayed? A week? Do we really have to go through this a week longer? Won’t the delay give the tumor time to grow? Or adapt? Can tumors adapt to the therapy? 

Of course, this news had its effect on me while I was in Rome.

When I woke up the next day, I wanted to go home. I wasn’t interested in Rome anymore. I wanted to be with my mum and hug her. I was in the worst mood ever and I feel sorry for my cousin, having to undergo this but I didn’t care about the Colosseum or the many shops we could visit. I wanted to be home. And it was too hot anyway. But when I heard her on the phone again later that day and that she was resting a lot, I felt better. If only just a bit. She also mentioned that she had to return to the hospital on Monday for one more radiation and that they would test her blood again.

I came back home last night around 2am. I had just enough time to hug my mum, tell her about the crappy flight (it got delayed) and then went to bed because I knew she had to get up early (and so did I, back to work I’m afraid). By the time I was up, she was gone with my dad. Around lunch time I received a phone call: her WBC were 4,000+. She immediately had to stay today for her chemo and thankfully, she was prepared for this scenario. Although I’m truly relieved that the therapy didn’t have to be postponed, I’m also sad that I won’t be able to talk to my mum properly for the next few days.

I don’t have time to visit her in hospital because I have to work until 6.30pm and by the time I’d get to the hospital, visiting hours will be almost over. I also know she’s not really up for visitors while she’s there, the chemo taking its toll on her body (and will continue doing so for at least a week). I miss her and I want to talk to her about Rome. I want to hug her so badly.

But, I should be grateful that everything continues as planned and while I wrote this I remembered another particular phone call in Rome. Sometime during August, my mum had another PET-scan as preparation for the radiation therapy and then they had noticed that my mum’s tumor had shrunken after her first chemo therapy. This is super good news and had me so excited!!

Perhaps there’s still hope that this nightmare will be over soon but I won’t get myself overjoyed too much. We still have a while to go but the light at the end of the tunnel is getting brighter as we near it.

Until the next post!



6 thoughts on “#9 The Ugly Truth Diaries – Third chemo session”

  1. I know there have been lots of ups and downs recently, so I’m so glad the latest news is positive — your mom’s WBC count rose well past the minimum, she was able to get that round of chemo, and her tumor has shrunk! All so good to hear!!! I literally smiled as I read this post! Hope you get to tell her all about Rome soon! Good luck with work, too!

    1. Yes! Although the treatment has been going on fairly well, this really made us believe again that it’s doing something. Up until then there was the question whether it was working or not and now we know it does 🙂
      P.S. she’s home now! (only for the night though) but yay!! 🙂

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