About Number 9

I wanted so badly to be able to title this post “Number 9, feeling fine!” News flash, Crystal! It’s chemo, of course I’m not going to be feeling fine lol.

One of my doctors told me that my first treatment would likely be one of the worst because the chemo was wiping out all of the toxins in my lymph nodes and flooding my bloodstream with them. I actually felt my lymph nodes shrinking after only that first treatment so I knew they were right to some degree. With all of those toxins in my body- I did feel pretty miserable for about a full week. With that said, during my first treatment I wasn’t dealing with anticipatory nausea, anxiety, fatigue, neuropathy, bone pain, or any of the other symptoms on my ever growing list. So although it was one of the hardest, it absolutely wasn’t the worst. I’ve found that the treatments have had a cumulative effect and each one is just a little harder than the last.

After number 9, my body had a really tough time recovering. It’s been almost two weeks since that last treatment and I still don’t feel great. My doctor made me go back in a few days after chemo to get a Neupogen injection because I was neutropenic. For anyone who’s lucky enough to not know what that means, my white blood cell count was very low and the injection helps my body produce more white blood cells. The lower the count, the harder it is for my body to fight off infections. When I went in for my injection, my nurse and I were talking a bit. I told her my WBC count was a .2. She corrected me and said I must’ve meant 1.2 instead. I really though my doctor had said .2 so she looked it up in the computer. She could not believe I was right and it really was that low! She said she had never seen anyone get treated with a count that low in the 26 years that she had been there. She checked in with some of her coworkers and came back to tell me that getting chemo with a count that low is a relatively new procedure. Apparently, studies have shown that the chemo is still just as effective so they treat their patients no matter what their WBC count is. All I was thinking is, “no wonder I feel so awful!”

Number 9 also caused the neuropathy in my legs to get worse. Again, for anyone who’s lucky enough to never have heard that word before, in very simple language it’s a tingling, weakness or numbness caused by nerve damage due to chemo. It keeps me up at night and I’m constantly tossing and turning. I’ve found that it takes a lot of effort just to stand up and the first 10-15 steps I take are usually uncomfortable. I have found that when I force myself to go on a walk, it does help, but the distance I’m able to walk is so much less that what I used to be able to do. Right now, I’m just doing as much as my body lets me. My doctor is also doing what he can to lessen my symptoms and I’ll be seeing a neurologist in the near future.

I talked to my doctor about these symptoms along with some new ones that I’m experiencing and we decided to push treatment number 10 back a week. It’ll hopefully give my body the break I feel I need and I’m also looking forward to the mental break from all of this. I do want to emphasize that I hated having to do this. First of all, it pushes my end date back a week. I want this to all be over with so badly and this means more waiting. Also, I was so excited to be able to go trick-or-treating with my niece on Halloween. Sadly, pushing this treatment back a week means that I’ll be getting chemo the day before Halloween and that guarantees that I won’t be feeling well enough to get out of bed, never mind go out with my niece the next day. I’m reminding myself that I have to follow the same advice that I’ve been giving since this whole thing started:”Listen to your body!” Right now my body is screaming that I desperately need this break so that’s what I have to do.

Now for the good news! I only have three left. I’ll be DONE by December. I’ll be back to work in January. The countdown is continuing and everyday I’m just a little closer to getting back to my life. Until then, I’m going to make the most of my bonus chemo free week! I hope you all do the same. You should never waste a good day- take it from me and don’t let it be a cancer diagnosis that forces you to realize that! As always, thank you all for the continued support 🙂

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36 thoughts on “About Number 9

    1. I am glad you are listening to your body and taking a break. It will help you be stronger for the next treatment ❤️
      Get some rest!
      Janet Grieves

    2. so sorry you have to go through all this. sorry you can’t go out halloween with your niece. hang in there, easy for me to say, i’m not in your shoes. but i’m praying it’s over with soon

  1. You are so close to the end. I hope this week off strengthens your body and gives you a much needed break. You got this😍

  2. Hang in there Crystal. Be careful when your WBC is so low not to be around a lot. Of clouds where you could catch a virus since your resistance is also low. There is light at the end of the tunnel. In my prayers

  3. Crystal, you are so smart, so courageous, ever beautiful. Please persevere with all you have. We are pulling for you everyday. God bless.

  4. You’re an inspiration for many and a true soldier in this battle against cancer! Keep up the fight and we anxiously await your return! Godspeed young lady!

  5. I think you made a good choice pushing your next one back. It might also help you to be able to be better prepared mentally for number 10. When my Dad was fighting cancer I remember taking him back to get those shots. Always follow your gut. I learned that long ago. Hang in there. You are almost done. We are all cheering you on!!

  6. Keep smiling girl your Wonder Woman im praying everyday for you 😃😃😃😃💋💋😘😘😘😘😘

  7. My prayers and thoughts are with you sweet lady. I saw your update this morning on Channel 13 with the morning news. Hurry back we miss you

  8. I have been thinking of you sweet lady ever since I saw your update on the morning news today on Channel 13.
    Feel better soon and hurry back. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

  9. …miss you so much. It’s hard to see you in so much pain. I took Neupogen and it worked great for me…except the bone pain. Hang in there, and come back to us soon 🙂

  10. Fight strong Crystal. As for Halloween 🎃 go trick or treating two days early. Do a practice round with your niece. Check with the neighbors, I’m sure they will play along.
    Praying for positives for you.

  11. Crystal, I am so sorry you are having a difficult time. I praise the Lord for giving you a doctor that is looking out for you! Praise the Lord you are still striving to listen to your body. Praise the Lord you can hear it! Some can’t.
    I love your pic. The hair is looking so much more natural to your own hair. And Chloe! Her face is priceless. Looks like she’s protecting you! “Baaaaack offffff! <3 My Crystal! Can't you tell she doesn't feel well!" She loves you so!
    God loves you too! keeping you in prayer! in NC!

  12. Crystal, you are an amazing young woman. I am in awe of your courage, strength and optimism.

    I hope your last treatment is early December so you and your family can celebrate the holidays with you feeling well.

    Looking forward to seeing your smiling face back on the air.

    Hugs to you😁❤️

  13. So glad you shared, now people know about low WBC and Chemo. Would a blood transfusion help? Just spitballin’ here. You are very low in white blood cells, why get some and let them grow to prepare for #10

  14. I am so impressed with your strength and attitude. You are a very impressive young lady. praying for you….

    1. Good morning Crystal. I just finished reading your blog on #9. I am so sorry that you are experiencing the things that you are and for the neuropathy. It is a very real thing, I know as a breast cancer survivor. When you are finished with all of this and are back at 13, please talk to my daughter LeAnne Rains-Benedetto at the station about the hypobaric chamber. It made a remarkable difference in the neuropathy she experiences because of her type 1 diabetes. Keeping you in my prayer as come to the end of your treatments.

  15. Sorry you will not be able to go trick or treating on Halloween with your niece. If you check around you might be able to find a trunk or treat the weekend before and go before your chemo. Just a thought. Either way I bet she will share her candy with you. Hang in there. Number 9 and you are still looking fine.

  16. “Attitude is everything” and all of your readers know that your’s is great! Stay positive, strong and you’ll be through it soon.

  17. Wish we could take some of your pain from you. Still amazed at your courage and continuing to Pray for your daily struggles to end soon.

  18. Don’t under estimate the recooperation time when chemo ends. Chemo can affect energy and many other things for years after. Dont push to jump back to fulltime work so fast. I felt ok some days and really bad others. Mine was lymph related as well. The shot after chemo was the take home patch for me and I had the side affects of bone pain. It was bad. Just take it easy.

  19. Glad you are doing better. I know the treatments are tough but you are tougher. Thank you for sharing your journey, I am sure it is helping others understand what it is like. Keeping you in our prayers and looking forward to seeing you soon.

  20. It’s 2 days before Halloween and we don’t have an update. As I am writing this, it’s a rainy Sunday here in Hampton. We’re missing your forecasts.
    Here’s hoping that you’re feeling fine and looking forward to Halloween with your niece.

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