Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Day +15 - I am a blood doper and it feels good!

Morning, all. Today is day +15 and things are continuing to improve. Yesterday my ANC was about 1100, almost double from the day before. Yeah! But my hematocrit was down a bit more (23.5) so we decided to top off my tanks with 2 units of red blood. Each bag is about 90 minutes of infusion and I also got a bag of platelets (another 30 minutes). So it ended up being a pretty long day at the infusion center and hospital. We had an 11:00 am appt yesterday and didn't get  home until about 7:45 pm.

The transfusion was uneventful and I almost immediately started feeling quite a bit more chipper. My entire body has been really working to keep things going with my reduced # of red blood cells so everything started feeling WAY better as I got the new blood. It's really amazing, cool and wonderful to think that someone donated these red blood cells that are helping me get better. So this is a big shout out to all of you that donate blood. As a recipient of both platelets and red blood cells I can say without exaggeration that these blood products have saved my life during this process. Without them my organs would probably start leaking (due to low platelets) and at some point I would  have some serious cardio/pulmonary/cerebral event (due to low red blood cells). So I'm a very concrete example of the benefits that come from  your blood donation. So thank you, thank you, thank you!

With my new red blood cell volume I had a really nice, relaxed sleep and got out for a walk this morning. We threw in a few 60 yard runs during the mile long walk. I  haven't run in about 3-4 weeks so although I was immediately gassed it sure felt good to have enough energy to even run a little bit.

It's not clear if my bone marrow is healthy enough yet to keep up my red and platelet levels or if I'll need more transfusions as I recover. It appears that the priority of your bone marrow is to get your immune system healthy (through white blood cell production) and then work on generating reds and platelets. Platelets don't live very long (3-5 days) so if you're not making enough you can run low fairly quickly. So I may have more platelet and red blood cell transfusions down the line in the next couple of weeks.

Our appt is at 1:00 this afternoon so we won't know about blood counts until about 3:00 pm or so. If things continue to go up I'll probably be able to stop one of the antibiotic infusions today. That will make things easier logistically as we'll go from 5x/day infusions down to 2x/day.

Ok, that's the update from the salt mines. More news as it happens!


  1. Thanks for the update! Now you have a good excuse not to ride the Tour de France.

    If this spot of good news inspires anyone:

  2. Wonderful that these blood transfusions have given you life! Keep on going, you go guy, and give it your best. The great cycle club that rides the universe is rooting for you. Susan is an angel. Remember that.

  3. Give Blood and Give Life
    Thankful it is going to a worthy person and their worthy spouse.
    Surely your positve attitude is boosting your numbers.
    Here's to a continued successful rebirthing of George and the strength of Susan, salud !

  4. I am giving blood next week! And I will do so gladly knowing that it is paying the family favor forward. Love you...keep up the good work and see you sooooon! BTW good news: Lindsey Brown will be in Boulder for Easter when I am there! True rebirth this year....

  5. Gives new meaning to the phrase "red-blooded American." Go, cells, go!