Wikipedia, in it’s infinite crowdsourced wisdome, defines it as this: Neutropenia, occasionally spelled neutropaenia or neutropoenia, from Latin prefix neutro- (neither, for neutral staining) and Greek suffix -πενία (deficiency), is a granulocyte disorder characterized by an abnormally low number of neutrophils. Neutrophils usually make up 50-70% of circulating white blood cells and serve as the primary defense against infections by destroying bacteria in the blood.
I have a slight variation on that as I am now an expert, having gone through exactly 1 chemo treatment. I would define it as the inability to sit or stand for more than a few minutes without feeling like you’re going to
a) pass out
b) throw up
c) poop yourself
d) all of the above, in various combinations, in rounds and waves
It also feels remarkably like when I have gotten food poisoning. You feel awful (see above). When you finally lie down long enough that you don’t feel the immediate need to puke, you think you’re going to be ok. You get cocky. You decide to make a peanut butter & jelly sandwich, or a bowl of cereal. You get to the kitchen and half way into a routine exercise, you’re toast and must run to the couch to lie down again. Wash. Rinse. Repeat.
My poor children wonder why I lie around all day in my pajamas and won’t get up to get them strawberry milk. They’re devastated. I am mean and lazy. OK, not really, but it sucks. And they kiss my hand. I try to nap. Wash. Rinse. Repeat.
Neutropenia. In our house, another new day of normal.