When Julian was born I was often told I had a second or third child attitude towards certain things in contrast to a new mom. It most likely had to do with the fact that I was too exhausted to have everyone constantly disinfect their hands before holding him because he cried around the clock. I thought about this a few months ago with regards to my mom and her chemotherapy.
A couple weeks before her surgery back in September Julian came down with a cold. It was his first cold since she had begun chemo and it totally freaked me out. We had been visiting her most week nights and I quarantined him during that week. I couldn’t let him be responsible for getting her sick and I feared her body couldn’t fight the infection. She told me not to worry and that she still wanted to see us.
That brings me to the counts. Before every chemotherapy they do a blood work up. They measure a lot of things but my main focus has become these three: white blood cell, platelets and hemoglobin. Every week I wait for the text message with her latest counts. If her white blood cell count was low I would know to stay away if we were feeling under the weather. If her platelets were low we would know her blood might have a difficulty clotting. And if her hemoglobin is low, well we know that without a blood test. After so many weeks of chemo my mom has become a wizard and can tell when her hemoglobin is low.
Yesterday I ran into my parents at target. I saw this woman walking in front of me and I thought it was my mom by the way she was dressed and the way she walked. So I began to follow her. Luckily when the woman stopped and turned it was my mom because that could’ve been an awkward encounter and a bit stalkerish. Anyways we were walking around looking for my dad and she was a bit out of breath and she told me her hemoglobin was low. Sure enough when they did her blood draw today it was and they’re giving her blood as I type.