Thursday, June 21, 2012

Two rare blood disorders?



     Can you be diagnosed with two rare blood disorders?


     Apparently, you can.


     On Tuesday of this week, I had a doctor’s appointment with my oncologist. Just the fact that I now call him “my” oncologist is a little unnerving.

     He added a second rare blood disorder to my original diagnosis of Essential Thrombocythemia. He attached Polycythemia Vera to my blood disorders.

     Essential Thrombocythemia causes the bone marrow to produce too many blood platelets. Polycythemia Vera is an elevated red blood cell count. One of first courses of treatment for PV is to have the person give blood to lower the red cell count. I cannot give blood because my blood platelets would think they were losing some of their friends and scurrying around finding (making) more. He called it a “double-edged sword”. Doc will also be monitoring my blood every three months for the immediate future.

     Hubby made the comment on the drive home that it probably had something to do with my menopause and as soon as that cleared up, everything would straighten itself out. I was thinking – but not saying – I’ll let you and the oncologist talk about that one ‘cuz I’m not touching that with a ten foot pole. Then, I thought, could he be in a larger state of denial that I am. Probably.

     Then, as I was sitting down typing, trying to wrap my thoughts around all of this new information, I looked at my arms – which happen to be the extremities that I can see as I sit here typing – and this picture show began playing in my head. I could see the bone in my arm and the little blood marrow elves are working so diligently at producing blood platelets that they are exhausted. I want to tell them to slow down and rest.

     This brings me to another one of the PV symptoms – tiredness. I have been extremely, unexplainably tired for the last couple of years, so much so, that I began taking a B-12 vitamin and then a multi-B vitamin – to no avail. I take enough Vitamin B to give an elephant ADD. I’ve been so tired that when I actually wake up and feel rested, I want to sit up and say, “Wow! I don’t feel tired!” I am just tired of being tired. As Jeff Foxworthy would say, “Here’s your sign.”

     Then, another picture flashes through my mind of the little Keebler elves pulling on the icing bag and making huge, beautiful, red blood cells and them joining the already overloaded blood cells cursing around in my veins. Remember the Keebler cookie commercial where the elves pull down on the chocolate icing bag and chocolate icing plops down onto the cookies? Now you can understand why I don’t watch scary movies. My imagination has a life of its own.

     The doctor also told me that within the year, he would probably have to take a sample of my bone marrow and bone to analyze. He was also adamant about us NOT going home and watching a video of it on the internet. He does not know me very well. I cannot look at a cut without losing my lunch. Besides that, someone already told me about their experience having bone marrow extracted. It wasn’t a pretty sight. I do not need to watch a video of it. My mind is a terrible place to be on its own – without the extra help. Apparently, they are having a problem with people going home and watching videos of procedures and then they are hard to calm down. I asked him how much Valium they give. He made it a point of telling me that they use a local. So much for visiting Happy Land.


     Hubby, not being privy to the conversation I had about the bone marrow extraction, asked Doc to explain the procedure. Doc then asked me to sit forward and he poked me in the behind on my pelvic bone. My response was a loud yelp. He poked in the exact spot that I have had a pain for a few weeks. I explained what happened. As if that wasn't bad enough, he said okay, and did the same thing on the other hip. He then proceeded to tell Hubby about the procedure (holding pressure on my nerve the entire time). Hubby - one thing - payback's a bitch! That hurt. 

     While we were sitting in the waiting room, a woman sat down next to us and proceeded (without prompting) to tell us her life story. She did not even introduce herself. I guess she needed to talk to someone. She told us about her diagnosis and treatment, and a lot more. Actually, more than I needed to know. Maybe she doesn’t have anyone to talk to. She did say something that I had not voiced. She said that she was angry and her husband did not understand why. She tried to explain to him that she was angry that her body was betraying her with the cancer. I could understand that.

     I feel the same way at times. I look at my arms or my legs and it is as though I can see my body at war with itself; and I get angry. I don’t act on it and I don’t tell anyone, but the feeling is there. Then, I just step back and tell God it is in his hands. I want it to go away, but His will be done.

     That is about all I have to ramble about today; other than, I finally organized all of the books that I have to review. They are all neatly placed on shelves with a sticky note with a number to coordinate them to my spreadsheet. I feel so accomplished! And, my sister dropped by and I unloaded most of my donate box to her. As she was leaving, she made the comment that she felt like a bag lady. I decided that my addiction to bags had finally come to the point where I needed to gift someone with those that I no longer use. Even though the bags are used, they have all been carefully chosen and lovingly cared for and, they are like new and therefore, are like gifts.

     I even did something I normally do not do. I actually gave away a few books! It is also fig season and I have been busy canning figs. There is a bird nest in my tree and for some odd reason; the momma bird thinks the tree belongs to her. She may be finally realizing that I mean no harm to her or her babies because she hasn’t done a fly-by lately. That was a little unnerving the first time it happened. I even managed a few pictures after I parted a bunch of leaves and the little birds opened their mouths thinking I had dinner for them. I hope you enjoy them.





The Madames in their favorite place.

My meal after my doctor's appointment.

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8 comments:

  1. Aw Donna, you have to have two disorders that cancel each other out. I'm sorry you're having such a rough time, and ooh boy I would have given my hubby a smack for the menopause comment, but I'm glad you're taking everything so well!

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  2. Hi Donna,
    I am sorry about your health problems but I will surely pray for you. Keep on keeping on and my very best wishes to you. I am already a Follower of your Blog. Thanks for visiting my Blog today and sharing your comments. Take care.
    Judy

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  3. Donna, thank you for being so brave and sharing your journey with us. I'm sending you some good energy vibes. I'm following you back.
    Jesse

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  4. I'm very sorry to hear about this. You seem to be taking this well and I admire your attitude. If there is anything specific we can pray for you, please let us know.

    P.S. I confess that I am very jealous you have fig trees because I think I'm addicted to figs.

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  5. Really sorry to hear this but loving your attitude towards it all. Wonderful pictures too.

    Lainy http://www.alwaysreading.net

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  6. Donna, If it's alright, I'd like to add your name to the prayer list on the study blog. I'm sorry to hear this news, but now that I know, I will be praying for you, and for your doctors to have wisdom. Warm hugs to you, Snoodles

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  7. Hey Donna, I will be keeping you in my thoughts and prayers. *HUGS* to you. I am not commenting on what hubby said. *grin*

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  8. Very sorry to hear about your blood disorders. I hope that you find some peace.

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