Last July my son Nate left the Arlington County Fire Department and moved to Denver so he and Jenn could be close to their families when they started their own. [Buddy (?) is due in six weeks.]
Last fall Nate and 23 other recruits were selected for the Denver Fire Academy from over 1,200 applicants.
Yesterday I watched him graduate near the top of his class.
Way to go Nate the Great. I’m so proud of you!
I was thankful to be able to attend as my blood counts are low at this point in my chemo cycle, which brings me to our new word—and condition—for the week:
“Thrombocytopenia” (THROM-bo-sy-toe-PEE-nee-ah). It means a low blood platelet count (PLT).
Platelets (thrombocytes) are colorless cells made in the bone marrow, to the tune of about 1×1011 a day. They line the inside of blood vessels and play an important role in clotting, among other things.
If you come up short due to disease or treatments like chemotherapy, you run the risk of increased bleeding with injury, excessive bruising, and petechiae (red dots on your skin).
A normal platelet count is between 150,000 – 400,000 cells/mm3. I’m at about 62,000, which means I have to be careful. No playing with the neighbor’s porcupine or rearranging my antique razor blade collection. No picking my nose with scissors or flossing with piano wire.
My main concern is that if my platelets don’t rebound, it might put a kink in my stem cell transplant schedule. I do not want to get a penalty for delay of game.