I had an appointment with Dr Specht today, nothing big, just for her to check on how I'm doing just about 4 weeks out of the hospital. I only had a blood test prior to the appointment, not anything bigger, so there wasn't a lot of new information she could give me—it was more just to look at me and hear what I had to say about how things have been going. The little bits of information she could give me concerned my blood counts—sure enough, the Epo stimulated HEMOGLOBIN, that's what it is, and it's now at 11, up from 10.7 (still lower than the 11.2 that I'm aiming for). My white counts, on the other hand, were at 5.26, which is entirely normal, and therefore very weird. Since I've been shooting up the Neupogen every evening, I've just been expecting the white counts to be high, like 26,000. But they're normal, which means the shots are really, really necessary right now.
My guts have been bubbling along slightly uncomfortably but I've been avoiding both constipation and its evil fraternal twin (actually, come to think of it, both twins are evil). I gave a stool sample on Monday just to be sure the inconvenient C Dif wasn't dogging me still, because of the way things have been bubbling along, but no, my bowels seem to be "normal". So whatever I'm feeling can be entirely attributed to chemo tummy, continued recovery from the hospital stay, and the fact that I'm still taking antibiotics every morning. I can live with that.
I have no real pain (a bit of bone achiness in the lower back, presumably from the Neupogen), haven't had hot flashes (also haven't had a period so that's good), am still doing pretty well at remembering words when I need them, am getting out for walks or lunches or shopping trips. I can get by with no oxygen unless I'm actually doing something more strenuous than typing, showering, or getting dressed.
"Miracle girl," Dr Specht said as they left, to the pharmacy resident who had accompanied her to my meeting.
I felt humbled, but also proud to be considered a miracle girl . . . but thinking about it later tonight, I have to say, a miracle is something that one can't really be proud of. The very definition of miracle is something that happens beyond all odds—not something that one works for. If I've worked at all this summer, it is to stay out of the way—to keep my will and my ego quiet so that I can simply live my life as it comes—illness and cure, doctors and friends, home and hospital—not judging my experiences, not worrying about the future, not fearing what will come (whether I fear it or not). And so, already being a miracle girl doesn't make me proud anymore. But it does make me glad.