Friday, September 1, 2017

Vampire Blood

Fresh cold blood from the blood bank

I knew while in Colorado my red blood counts where low and boarder line anemic. However, when I come home and learned I needed a blood transfusion my eyes almost popped out of my head. I was totally terrified, it just sounded so serious and dire to need a blood transfusion. Only people in horrific accidents or people who had lost large amounts of blood during surgery needed blood, right? Turns out that is not the case and it’s actually very common. I had no idea! I have been through so much and I take a lot of things in stride but this I just couldn’t wrap my head around. I really was terrified and freaked out. Afterwards It really was not a big deal so if you ever need a transfusion it’s really not as bad as you might think. I will say seeing the blood fill up the tub was a little freaky, it felt like it was crawling towards me. The whole time I kept thinking about the Twilight movies and I was thankful that I didn’t have to drink the blood like Bella Swan did during her pregnancy. It was still weird that someone else’s blood was going into my body. 

BP has to be taken on my leg because of the
blood clot I have in my left arm

Before we got started they did the normal set of vitals and my blood pressure was concerningly high. I mentioned I had been a little nervous and anxious about the transfusion so they went ahead and started the process. They continued to monitor it throughout the initial transfusion and it continued to be high. I was feeling quite calm by that point so I was a little surprised my BP continued to be so high. The nurse doing the transfusion was in contact with my Nurse Practitioner who gave the word to stop at only one bag of blood instead of the two they initially wanted. It turns out one of the meds I am taking to help strengthen my bones is most likely causing my high blood pressure. It’s been high for over a week now so we are monitoring it and waiting for it to come down to normal range. 
They look at Hemoglobin and Hematocrit when deciding to transfuse. My numbers are a little higher after this initial transfusion but still well below the normal range. We will see how my numbers look next week when they do my next labs, if my numbers are coming down mostly likely another transfusion will be needed. At least this time I will know what to expect and will be less anxious about the entire process. I talked to my Dr a little about this and if it would be an ongoing issue for me. We don't really know yet if it will be, but there is a chance my bone marrow is just no longer going to produce the needed Hem's I need. It could be the cancer in the bones itself, the radiation direct to the spine or chemo that is causing this new blood issue.  

I can mark this off my list of things that I have done, nothing like the thought of vampire blood to get your mind off your stage IV cancer diagnosis!!! My big bro Darin got the esteem privilege and pleasure of accompanying me to my transmissions.  

Selfie with the big bro!

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