Tender Mercies and the Interruption

It has been a rough re-entry week. After all the excitement about Iceland and the Saturday spent in the ER, I have not been able to restart chemo. My white blood count is decidedly not cooperating.

“After 18 days on palbociclib, we interrupted therapy because of neutropenia. She 
continues on letrozole. She is approximately 10 days out from 
discontinuation of therapy and her count has not completely 
recovered at this point, although it is above a danger range. 
She has felt flu-like for the past few weeks without fever. She 
has had a runny nose with occasional nosebleeds. She has had 
three weeks of anterior lateral right chest pain with a pleuritic 
quality. A V/Q scan was done showing no pulmonary embolus.

 ASSESSMENT AND PLAN: I believe the low blood counts are expected 
on the palbociclib and we will await some increase in the white 
count before resuming the next cycle. We may truncate the number 
of days or ultimately find that she requires a dose reduction, 
but we would usually give a second cycle of full dose and she did 
complete about 18 days of the first cycle without difficulty. 
With respect to the pleuritic chest pain, there is no clear 
explanation. A V/Q scan did not show a pulmonary embolus. 

I would project that she is probably four to six days away from 
starting the second cycle of palbociclib, although she continues 
on letrozole. I also checked liver function tests and tumor markers, although it is early to put too much emphasis 
on those results at this point.”

Enough about that.

I worked Monday and Tuesday and was summoned by my doctor for a blood count and a lecture on not calling him when I should. He seriously thinks I am cheating on him by going to Boston Medical Center last weekend, so territorial. As I sat in his office the tears kept rolling. He didn’t acknowledge that, but I am not feeling very warrior like. Feeling lousy makes me teary and whiny. Yup. Anyway he sent me for yet another CAT scan without dye because he didn’t care for the scan I had at BMC. Okay. The Cat scan didn’t turn up anything and the chest pain continues to de-rail me. Dr. keeps insisting that the goal of treatment is to take the drugs AND feel well at the same time. Not happening so far and I’m pretty frustrated at not completing the first cycle and not being able to start the next. Patience is not part of my repertoire. Will practice this further.

After that fun-filled day on the oncology floor at Beth Israel, cry-baby returned home. I found a glass lady bug and Irish blessing coins to share with my family–I think we all need to carry them right now.

Tim Blanket and Nurse Kelsey pulled the plug on my going in to work Thursday and going to the gym for a week. Thursday was the first actual day I have taken off from work that didn’t involve a medical appointment. I watched “Outlander”, slept late and sat on the couch ALL DAY! It was awesome. Starting to turn the corner on feeling better (the longer I am off palbo), chest pain is lessening and good news–my work wife, Shannon,  officially got engaged!! Thinks are looking up. She came over to show me the ring, hip, hip, hooray. This was followed by the arrival of Liz Brabants bearing shrimp scampi (yes Jack–it is shrimp) from Layla and Neiva. YUM. This is what I’m talking about! Liz always cheers me up. This was followed by a VERY upsetting episode of Grey’s Anatomy–really? You must be kidding Shonda

Oh ya, Bridget returned from Ireland unscathed, no arrests, no car accidents, looking good. I can breathe again. She has been working double shifts all week to make up for vacation so I haven’t had a lot of time with her. Bridget and I have always had a special song–“I Loved You Before I Met You” by Savage Garden. It comforts me. Kelsey and I are still working on one–so many choices for that girl.  Ladybug Tim’s song for me as always been “The Lady in Red” by Chris de Burgh. See bonus songs this week people!

Dr. just texted me that my tumor markers have gone down slightly—-that is the right direction–see things are looking up! Today is Saturday, it is hot  (well warm) and sunny out, I feel better, chest pain is down a few notches, I am getting my warrior status back in working order. I will have my blood count done on Monday, maybe start palbo on Wednesday if trending upward. Live another day, practice patience and remember to breathe.

Tender mercies, all of it.

With respect to Nepal and Baltimore, my song today is “Love is in Need of Love Today”, Stevie Wonder

Love from the circus,



  1. Hey,
    Thanks for the update. Doesn’t sound great, but better than bad. I think that counts as a plus! We had a 4.2 earthquake here in little ole West Michigan today. We didn’t feel it, but people south of us did. Such drama! Had a nice chat with ghevdarling Kelsey the other day. We are very excited she wants to come visit. I hope you know you and Tim are very welcome as well. We owe YOU a visit, and M and I will probably be talking with you about that soon. I truly hope this next week brings good news about treatment, white cells, etc. such a drain on normal living for you all. Prayers and Peace. ❌⭕️


  2. I feel like I’m getting smarter about the life of breast cancer. It’s alot of big words and I do get confused. There’s so many terms most of which I’ve never heard before…but I think I’m learning and following…not really though lol

    Glad to hear you just took a day and chilled out. You have to do that…I know you just want to keep moving but sometimes just sitting and chilling is best although I’m sure it’s hard because it just allows you to think and stress I would imagine but you gotta try to take it easy sometimes.

    Liked by 1 person

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