Thursday, August 16, 2012

Day 61 - platelets at the NCCC

Most of today passed in a benadryl induced haze for me. It turns out my platelets were 5 (normal is around 150-400) so it was good that I had gone back for those labs. It turns out that the blood from the redraw Monday went to Atlanta and the Red Cross did their thing and found two units to send to CMC for me. Both units were well matched and I did not have any problems so double yeah! The nurse said she was not sure, but thought that one of the units looked like it came from Washington, D.C. and she could not tell about the other. Well travelled platelets.

At one point, my resident in Lebanon told me that the Red Cross had actually told at least one of the donors of platelets for me what my chemo schedule was so that they could plan to donate at times that I was likely to need their platelets. I am totally blown away by the generosity of a person I've never even met several states away scheduling a recurring, 1.5 hour long appointment so that I, a complete stranger, can have their platelets and tolerate my chemo safely.

The rest of my labs are white count 0.57 (quite low, all lymphocytes), ANC 0, hemoglobin 10.8 (just a little low, but nowhere near needing a transfusion), liver and kidneys totally normal. This is about where one would expect me to be two weeks out from chemo.

First I got to see Dr. Manno who was, I think, pleased in general with how I'm doing. Then, I went to a little room and got my platelets. The NCCC infusion room has a big communal room where people usually get their chemo/blood and a few smaller rooms. Because I was not 100% certain that the platelets would go well and the idea of having rigors in front of a bunch of other people, some of whom might be my patients was more than I could take, I asked for a room. Now that it's gone well once, I feel more confident and maybe I could just use the common area, but I think it's nice to have a little privacy. We'll see how I feel next time.

The actual transfusion went completely without a hitch. The bags arrived in Manchester, went up and went in without any problems. Because I am so good at immune reactions to platelets, I got benadryl and tylenol beforehand with the predictable response (I slept for three hours). Terry sat in the room and computed while I snored quietly. He also had a chance to sample CMC's delicious egg and bacon sandwiches as well as check out the Double D. I hadn't really spent much time at the NCCC since my diagnosis so it was nice to see some of the staff that I used to work with and hear their news. Fortunately, there was no one with news as badly dramatic as mine. There was a little bit of happy dramatic news, but it's not mine to tell.

The plan is for type and screen on Saturday so that platelets are ready for me if needed and then check my numbers on Monday.

The rest of today was really minimal as getting platelets took 6.5 hours by the time one adds in travel time, but we did today's NYT crossword puzzle and thought it was good except the cluing needed some help, like this would have been a really good puzzle for the constructor to have a partner to spiff up the clues. Terry and I also walked downtown and by the river. It was wonderful to see how many people were out strolling by the river. I bet we saw 60 people just out walking, getting ice cream, etc.

I'm happy to have some platelets and feel much safer now. Wishing you what you need to feel safe.


  1. You know you always have a happy ending "in case you haven't read your blog" my wish for you to have happy endings everyday for ever! LUV MY Friend

  2. Thank you. I wish that for you, too!