Friday, July 21, 2017

Ask Three Doctors, Get Three Answers: The Palbociclib Blues

I feel fine, but my white cell count is slightly above that of a corpse. I'm in the range where, according to my physician friend E., I should retire to a bubble: "Don't travel! Don't go outside! Don't be in crowds! Avoid anyone with a cold!"
But I want to live
Today, I went to the main railway station, took a train, while surrounded by people, all of us squishing past each other and angling for seats, to a neighboring city, where I took a ballet class. Steamy, sweaty people gripped barres and little droplets of perspiration flew around the room. After class, I got back on the train, came home. Every step of the way--after I pushed the button to open the tram door, after I gripped the back of a seat so as not to fall down, after I opened my locker--I slathered on hand sanitizer, to the point where my skin is really, really dry, so then I get out the Eucerin. Hand santizer is my holy water--and I'm not even religious.

I didn't go for my friend E.'s answer--even though she's a really hotshot doctor--so I asked another doctor, who said: "Nooooo, you don't have to stay home. Just take the precautions you are taking, and don't kiss anybody who has a cold."
My husband doesn't have a cold. We do a lot of kissing. My daughter does have a cold, so I haven't hugged her for a week, but I do bring her cups of tea and jump back when she coughs. So far, I'm not sick.
Doctor number three reminded me that I'm better off sticking with the Palbociclib if I can tolerate the side effects, because otherwise the cancer might come back. "It does with a lot of women," he reminded me. 
I may go for doctor number four pretty soon. Anyone with a cheerful word and a new idea would be fine by me.

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