Poisoned to Life

My mom made a comment recently concerning chemo. She used the phrase “Poisoned to Life.” I found that interesting.

I suppose the general purpose of any poison is to kill a target of some kind. Such is chemotherapy. It sure is about to kill me this time around. Woof.

I had all the terrible deep effects set in around 1am Tuesday morning. Mind you, I wasn’t feeling good before then, but there are general symptoms from chemo and then there are the chemo storms that set in. Weakness that is hard to describe, headaches, pain shooting around the body, unable to sleep, so tired I want to sleep, trembling on the inside, realizing I’m hungry and thirsty yet not feeling like getting up to get a drink of water, sores in the mouth, and maybe a few other side effects I won’t mention. I sat in my recliner and rode it out. What other choice did I have? Well, the ER did cross my mind

I felt a bit better during the day, but not good. Slept some, rested, and basically “hung on.” About 7pm yesterday evening give or take, the inevitable happened:


bone pain

Those who have been in my shoes know those two words can strike fear in the hearts of the mightiest fighter. It took me a while to figure out what was causing the pain. As the pain spread through my lower back, I was trying to suppress thoughts like “is this the cancer spreading?”

The mind is able to naturally ponder some seriously bad stuff.

The pain moved to the front of the chest and then included the back. It came in waves, pulsing. It was when it was going through my chest bone that I finally had this “aha!” moment to realize that ultimately, it was ok. It was going to be ok. It was bone pain.

Neulasta is an injection to stimulate white bone cell growth.  I got my shot last Thursday.

On one hand, I’m receiving poison to kill white blood cells, on the other hand, my bone marrow is being forced to work overtime to produce extra white blood cells.

Crazy, eh?

Lymph cells are the problem. They are a specific kind of white blood cell. White blood cell is like saying “military,” lymph cell is like saying “The Marines.”  We have various white blood cells (our general military) and the lymph cells are growing at an exceptional rate. Cancer. Lymphoma.

To poison me back to life, a chemical weapon is being dispersed that takes out a huge segment of my entire white blood cell count. Just nuke ’em all.

Neulasta, then goes back and says “hey, we need more of the Army branch, just army only.” Neutrophils are like this special branch of the military that can make a big difference in reducing the amount of infections a chemo patient suffers. Neulasta makes the body produce Neutrophils at an abnormally high rate.

Poison all fast growing white blood cells, target some specific ones to grow back fast, take Zofran for nausea, eat some of cousin Julie’s good homemade pear preserves this morning, and keep the hydrocodone close.

A cute baby can make anything better. Meet Logan. Isn’t he adorable?

Now back to regular programming from my recliner…

About Robert I Baxter

Greatest Commandment is #1. Follower of Jesus, husband, father, RN, love photography, cancer survivor of Burkitt's twice (2008 & 2014). Stem Cell transplant November 2014. Work in a neonatal ICU.
This entry was posted in burkitts, cancer, chemotherapy, lymphoma, Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Poisoned to Life

  1. Brenda Hockaday says:

    I’m not able to say I know how you feel because I haven’t been there. But I care about what you’re going through. I’m here for you.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Kraftsims says:

    Brenda, you are an amazing person. You’ve already made such a difference. Thanks for being you and for all you do.


  3. Stephanie B. says:

    Super-duper cute baby! I know it did you good to see him. Don’t know how you are feeling, but Patrick and I could spin over your way and visit if you want. You know our usual schedule. This last Monday we had a unit meeting after work and Patrick had called in sick the night before so I had to pick up Torchy’s to go. It seemed all kinds of wrong. The coffee machine at work has been on the fritz and I swear it’s because it’s pouting. . .

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kraftsims says:

      Ladies and Gentlemen, please meet the soon-to-be Doctor Bailey (not related to irish cream).

      She and her husband donated a juicer and vitamixer. Yum. Been learning the fine art of juicing.

      I bet the coffee machine doesn’t know what to do with all this time off now that I’m not there to push it into overdrive.


  4. I enjoy coming home everyday to see or read what you have. I feel I need to follow your journey to at least get a somewhat understanding of my son’s journey. Oddly as it may seem, listening to what you are going through somehow makes me feel to him. So a BIG THANK YOU for sharing your journey. You are helping me more than you know.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kraftsims says:

      Lynda, I hold you in the highest of regards. Anyone who can suffer the loss you have and retain even one ounce of their sanity brings tears to my eyes. Just did. Thank you for your kind words and I hope we can all heal from this just a bit. I decided I need people like you to help me walk through this together so we can all benefit


  5. beth hearlihy says:

    I enjoyed reading this post, but having lived the bone pain, I have complete empathy for you. I never had the luxury of leaving the hospital for 14 months, so I think that maybe being in that recliner has to be a little help. As always, Hugs and Prayers.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s