Mariacristina at the Weald & Downland open air museumMariacristina has always claimed to have a sixth sense – a premonition of how things are going to turn out. And I’ll admit that on a number of occasions, her ‘feelings’ have turned out to be right, often contrary to my expectations. However, it’s much easier to notice and remember the successful predictions, and I’m pretty sure that there have been just as many times when she turned out to be wrong – such moments tend to be brushed under the carpet far more quickly.

Unfortunately, she’s come up trumps this time, and my usual non-gambling rule has failed me. I only ever make bets when I’m pretty certain I’m going to win, so when Mariacristina bet me a considerable amount of money that my neutrophils wouldn’t have even started to recover by the end of November, I laughed in her face and accepted the bet. Given that the median recovery time is around 25/26 days after the end of chemo, which would have been around 23/24 November for me, I thought there would be little chance they wouldn’t have shown up at all by the end of this month.

Yet I look at my calendar today and see it is 30th November, and the registrar on duty this weekend has confirmed that there’s still been no movement on the neutrophil front. I am of course a good few days behind the median recovery time, but this isn’t unexpected – other patients have also taken a lot longer to get their neutrophils back in previous cases. I just assumed my recovery would be pretty average in terms of time, though my general dismissal of stats and probabilities should have reminded me that there’s no reason my progress would follow that of anyone else’s.

Calendar showing 30 NovemberThe fact I had so much chemo over such a long time previously is probably an additional factor in the delay, while the FLAG-IDA treatment really does hit hard… The doctors genuinely don’t seem to be worried (although I admit they can be poker experts when necessary), so it’s just a case of continuing to wait. A couple of nurses/healthcare assistants who have been off on holiday for a few weeks have expressed their surprise at finding me still here upon their return, but most are just sympathetic about my being stuck in here still.

I’m obviously frustrated that the neutrophils are yet to start production, but more annoyingly, Mariacristina has been proven to be right, on no other basis than a whim. She’s now targeting mid-December in an attempt to lure me into another misguided bet, but I’m not sure I can afford it, particularly after getting a bit carried away with Amazon’s Black Friday deals. I really do hope they’ll be up before mid-December, although one benefit would be that it would make it far more likely I could be at home over Christmas.

As for the substantial amount of money I now owe Mariacristina – I’m just glad we’re married and hope she still believes in sharing…

4 thoughts on “A foolish bet

  1. A beautifully written blog.
    Having just been through three long and painful hospital admissions with my daughter (chemo, TBI, BMT), although not at St George’s, I recognise so many details. As someone who is of nervous disposition and rather impatient, I find your attitude hugely instructive and admirable.
    Wish you lots of courage, best of luck in finding a complete match donor and hope those lazy neutrophils climb up very very soon (bet or no bet).

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