Week from H E L L

On Tuesday, the sun had finally come out and I was starting to feel like the trauma of treatment was worth it. I was walking in the quad, on my way to my Comp Lit class, and snapped a picture of the palm trees above me:

After class, I was sitting on the Oval doing some reading when I got an email continued as part of a thread we have not needed for a long time: “your treatment plan.” The email’s preview had the words “You lab results from this week…”

I opened the email and saw the words every cancer patient fears so intensely there is no adequate description: “Your white count is high…not sure why…will follow the trend.” I burst into tears, sobbing in the middle of the Stanford Oval while tourists and students tanned and read beside me. I called my dad and he panicked with me: Where are you? I’m coming right now. I called one of my best friends and she raced over, parking illegally and earning herself a $45 parking ticket (sorry Amanda). My dad, desperate for information, decided to drive straight to CHO and literally track down my oncologist. Yes, he walked into the hospital and found my oncologist. By the end of the day, we had a bone marrow aspirate scheduled for the next day. I got tacos with Amanda and my sister, then went for a second dinner at an Indian place with some other friends. I didn’t get to eat for three months last time I was in treatment, remember?

So, the long story short is I got a bone marrow aspirate on Wednesday. I had a very hard time waking up from anesthesia, not sure why, and ended up in recovery for around five hours. I didn’t get admitted, but had to return to the hospital Thursday for an IVIG infusion, which I get about monthly to help my immune system. I usually don’t react to IVIG, but this time I did, chilling and shaking and again almost earning myself an admission. Between appointments, I slept in the granny flat where my dad and brother are staying since our house is red-tagged due to the mudslide. Friday, I got the call that my MRD is negative. I am still in remission. Then, I returned to school in time for my last Friday afternoon class.

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I’m sitting in the Stanford bookstore cafe, wondering how I will ever catch up from the week of school that I lost, if med schools will understand that classes can’t always come first for me, and whether the universe will ever cut me a break. I must’ve jinxed myself Tuesday, thinking this was all over.


One thought on “Week from H E L L

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  1. Oh jesus, Brooke! I am so sorry to read your post. What the hell???!!! Wish I had the direct line to the universe to call and tell her to give you a break. I will keep looking for that line and in the meantime, am sending you continued fierce love.


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