Today was the big day. Mom called me before I left to tell me she had spoken with the head of my clinic, Kim, because Kim had come into the outpatient unit where my mom works for some routine blood work. Kim assured mom that George, who performs the procedure, is excellent and he is not the other cranky George I had dealt with in another department. Mom's friend Jeannie, the head of my day hospital, also said she'd stop by today to check on me. It's night to have connections in high places.
I arrived at NIH early to pick up my anti-anxiety meds, which I promptly took as soon as we left the pharmacy and I found a water fountain. I had also begged Mike to take me to Starbucks beforehand so I had my grande skim chai latte with me as well. Jeannie, one of my really nice nurses, and Doug (my NP) met me at the front desk and said they'd page George. We chit chatted up front for a bit and then we went back to one of the rooms so I could get the show on the road. While the nurse was taking my vitals, Doug came in and said we probably didn't need to do the biopsy today. What?! He said Dr. Dunleavy and Dr. Wilson had been out on Monday when he had ordered the biopsy as a precaution. After talking with them this morning, they decided to simply send me down to phlebotomy for some blood work and check things out that way. I eagerly jumped up from the hospital bed and told Doug, "I love you!" I would prefer that Doug did exactly what he did - schedule the biopsy just in case but I am very glad it was cancelled today. It doesn't mean I won't need the procedure in the future, especially is my white blood cells don't rally together and start multiplying.
We trekked back downstairs and I had my blood drawn from one of the other techs since all my favorites were out or on vacation. Wesley was there, but the front desk said he wasn't on call (he was) so he chatted with me while my tech drew the blood. Afterwards, we went to the blood bank so Mike could donate blood since they had called looking for him yesterday (vampires!)
We went back to the day hospital to wait for the results. My white counts came back really low and I'm actually neutropenic, which means I need to stay away from sick people and wear a mask if I'm around anyone who might be sick. I was also given a prescription for GCF shots, which I will need twice a week for the next two weeks. Mike gave me my first one when we got home from NIH. The nurse told me to wear a mask walking around NIH and to avoid crowds, but Doug told me not to be that extreme and just wear one if someone's sick. He also cleared me to go climbing tomorrow.
A friend suggested that my white blood cells are not behaving because they have been unclear on their mission. She recommended I sit down with them, give them a good outline of their goals and objectives over the next 60 or so years, and outline their benchmarks of success for the next few quarters. I might have a much better result if I do this and possibly work out an incentive plan for them, such as offering them a spring break trip to the Bahamas. After thinking about it, I sat down with my white blood cells early this morning and told them their acceptable range and told them I fully expect them to be in the middle of the range from here on out. No excuses. We then put all hands in and on the count of three, we yelled, "One, Two, Three, Reproduce! Go Team!" I think things should be much better now. I've got my eye on them and they know what I expect. I've given them performance objectives and I expect them to succeed. I will not accept white blood cell failures. C'mon fellas, we're all on the same team. Let's go team!