Wednesday, August 7, 2013

The Month of Crystal

That's what Michael calls the month of July. We have our anniversary on July 9 and my birthday on July 26, so he ends up working really extra hard to make me happy. From all the celebrating to chemo going great (well, you know, chemo is chemo), it really was my month. And I actually have pictures to document it all!
Our anniversary was celebrated in the hospital this month since I was there getting high-dose methotrexate, but it really was great. Okay, admittedly methotrexate does crazy things to my memory, but from what I do remember, it was excellent. We got pizza from the cafeteria, opened presents, and just enjoyed each other's company.

And not to brag, but I am horrible at drawing and I spent forever on this sign for Michael that I hung up in my hospital room and I am quite proud. (For those of you who don't know, Michael is big into video games.)


After getting chemo (this round it was ifosfamide and etoposide), I felt pretty sick for a few days and then felt better, as is typical with these drugs. However, I continued to feel extremely tired. Not like sleepy tired, but my body was tired. I could barely walk more than a few steps without getting out of breath and needing to sit down. This is also pretty typical, but it lasted a little longer than usual. I went to get a routine after-chemo blood test and unfortunately all of my counts were in the pits. Pretty much everything that could be low, was extremely low. My white blood cells were at 0.3 and my neutrophils were at 0 (same numbers as when I was admitted to the ICU). My red blood cells, platelets, hematocrit, hemoglobin, potassium, and magnesium were all very low as well. That's why I was continuing to feel so tired.

Two days later (the day before my birthday), my counts had not really improved, so I was admitted to the hospital just for the day to get 2 units of blood and platelets. As soon as my platelets were done, they took my temperature and it was slowly climbing. I went home and continued to take my temperature obsessively about every 5 minutes. I started to cry as my temperature quickly rose to 100.6. I was scared, and folks the ICU is not a fun place to be. I called the cancer center and my oncologist told me that it is not uncommon for transfusions to cause a low fever. He told me to take some Tylenol and go to the hospital if it rose past 101 degrees. Well, that Dr. Litton knows what he's talking about. My fever came right down and stayed down and I got to attend my awesome birthday party the next day. It is incredible that despite having no immune system, I did not get sick and I had tons of energy to enjoy spending time with so many friends and family.

Oh, and Michael is the best. He got me my 2 favorite video games and some new clothes for my birthday. The first video game he was too excited to give me so he had me open it a few days early.

Now, in belated celebration of our 2-year anniversary, I will close with some pictures of Michael and I. Michael has been my very best friend and greatest support for the last 6 years now and it has been wonderful. Here are just a few pictures beginning with our first date in 2007, and ending with this year.




  1. Happy Birthdanniversary Month! Glad it was good. Here's hoping for many more good months. We love you!

  2. I love these pictures Crystal, love you :) and Happy birthday!!!!!

  3. As usual, you made me cry. I love that you have so many good memories with your very best friend! I was so, so happy to hear that you made it to your party. I was praying so hard that you'd make it. You are loved by so many, and it's not hard to see why. I can't wait to see you in a couple weeks. I love you!

  4. I love hearing you describe all the things you're grateful for. You have an amazing ability to count your blessings in the midst of a long and extended suffering that I can't even comprehend. I SO look forward to seeing your hair grow back for Christmas. Lets do something EPIC to celebrate.

  5. You are so awesome. I loved all the photos you posted. A picture is truly worth a thousand words. Love you so much!

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  7. Hey, its Romney. Thanks for the tag Crystallion! You are a champ! Love you!

  8. Hello Mrs. C!!! This is Eliza (note passer/shortie) and Annalyse (tall one) from fifth grade (four years ago), when you taught at hobble creek! We were the first class you taught! We miss and love you, and we always talk about how you were our favorite teacher!