We’ve heard from other cancer survivors that at some point your experience simplifies and you hope for little more than a magical ANC (absolute neutrophil count) value over 1000, so that you can move on. When we got word from the clinic that Soren’s numerous monocytes in Tuesday’s sample gave birth to many happy neutrophils today, we were actually happy. Yeah! Soren’s blood counts actually caught up with his energy and spirit.
But then the reality of what this number earned us started to sink in, and we found ourselves making analogies to existential absurdity, or to races or practices we finished painfully, wondering why we had started them in the first place. At the very least, Soren’s team has convinced us that what Soren needs is another cycle, regardless of that ambiguous scan, and so we head back down early tomorrow morning.
For some reason every time I see the nurses in protective clothing and heavy gloves hook up a scary-looking bag of a chemotherapy drug (WARNING: CYTOTOXIC!), I always think that we’re crossing another Rubicon. At least this time (like last time), there will be no shocking red color of doxirubicin to match that of the Rubicon river, so rich with iron ore. Instead, it will be another continuous 5days of Ara-C (with my favorite sugar, arabinose, present and essential), plus spinal therapies on either end.
Soren says “I just want to get this over with.” Amen to that. He’s stronger and readier than we are, for sure. Below are some pictures of how Soren and I took advantage of our unexpected freedom this Tuesday afternoon: skipping stones in the Little Bay on Dover Point. Good looking sidearm, my boy!