Compromised Immunity

I have understood for some time that I have a compromised immune system.  It’s hard to ignore when I go to the doctor’s office at least monthly to have bloodwork done and the lab always calls my doctor’s office right away to report the feeble amounts of white blood cells detected.  Learning the medical terms and becoming well versed in the complicated way my own body reacts to the toxicity of the medication that I take every day has become a whole other learning experience.

I’ve always had a strong immune system or maybe I’ve just deluded myself into thinking that.  I would get the colds or flu “going around” especially now that I have kiddos, but I would typically be the last one to get sick and usually it would last the least amount of time.  My husband would chide me regularly for the fact that I didn’t have a primary care physician.  I never missed my yearly well woman visits and would go to urgent care if there was a serious issue, for instance, when I had walking pneumonia or when I had mono.

Now that my immune system is compromised, I still don’t get colds or ordinary stuff, I get weird stuff.  Like the two strains of E.Coli my GI doctor recently discovered.  One was no big deal, but the other one is aggressive and called for immediate treatment; however, the treatment could cause my tendons to rupture and since I take medication that makes my tendons swell, this is a real issue.  I had no idea that antibiotics have a risk of tendon rupture.  I did stop reading all the inserts that come with the medication because it’s terrifying.

My neurologist also discovered that not only do I have a strep infection hanging around in my nasal passages, I also have MARCONS, which is similar to MRSA and is highly antibiotic resistant.  Google and I have a complicated relationship–while I appreciate all the information at my fingertips, I also scare myself regularly.

I do my best to be a compliant patient and I work hard to follow the doctor’s instructions and stay consistent with my medication.  When the boys are sick, though, they need their mamma and if that means I end up having to take more medication, then so be it.  Priorities, you see, are still important, even if you have a terminal illness and are immunocompromised.

Author: Abigail Johnston

I'm a daughter, a wife, a mother, and I've been living with Stage IV Metastatic Breast Cancer since March, 2017. All of the words I publish are my own.

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