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Hemoglobin Update

Had an appointment with my family doctor, Dr Granger, yesterday and we had a good chat about my low hemoglobin levels. It seems I have my chemo to thank for not only killing my cancerous red cells but also my good red cells. (The same reason my hair falls out.) The poison, apparently, doesn't discriminate. This has resulted in a severe case of anemia. It seems that symptoms of anemia -- like fatigue -- occur because organs aren't getting enough oxygen. I've been having problems with my legs ranging from a sense of wobbliness or weakness to pain and difficulty walking. The weakness in my legs is explainable through this anemia - my leg muscles aren't getting the oxygen they need.

There's an excellent 2-page article on anemia on WebMD at I believe that my type of anemia, due to the chemo wiping out my bad and good red blood cells, can be found on page 2 of the article under the heading "Aplastic anemia".

Here's what WebMD says about treatment: Anemia caused by problems of the bone marrow and stem cells. Anemia that originates in the bone marrow and stem cells tend to be more persistent and difficult to treat. Some anemias will not require any treatment while others may require repeated transfusion and other aggressive measures. Although aplastic anemia will occasionally go into spontaneous remission, people with this disorder generally require bone marrow transplantation.

Well, I'm scheduled for my 4th transfusion this morning. And, I suppose the good thing to keep in mind - the so-called "upside" - is that this will be eradicated through my bone marrow/stem cell transplant, after which my bone marrow will resume producing only good red blood cells. Wasn't it Bing Crosby(!) who sang "You've got to accentuate the positive"?

Book: Lisey's Story by Stephen King

Music: London Calling by The Clash


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