Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Another Blood Transfusion

Things haven't been going so well lately, but it's never easy to write about it. How do you describe your life when you barely recognise it yourself?

David's been having major gastro-intestinal problems, and today we found out why: low blood counts. Last Wednesday the radiologist ordered some blood tests, and his platelets were reported to be too low to irradiate him that day, also Thursday and Friday. Yesterday they took more blood samples to see if his platelets were up after the radiation break, but they were not. In fact, all his counts dropped over the weekend, which took us by surprise -- why did all three drop? David seemed to be doing alright: good appetite, soreness held mostly in check by the drugs.

I'll let David's post explain further:


Yesterday the clinic requested David to notify them if he had any bleeding, so this morning when his nose started to bleed, we went straight there for more tests. After conferring with the radiologist, David's oncologist ordered a blood transfusion at Moses Taylor Hospital and an x-ray of his leg. This is David's second blood transfusion (his first at Mercy Hospital six weeks ago), the only means (at this stage) to get his counts high enough to continue treatment.

In our impromptu meeting with the oncologist this morning, we discussed the probability that in order to extend David's quantity of life, his quality of life will be compromised. We understand this on an intellectual level, but it doesn't make the situation any easier to accept. How much worse life has to be for David in the shorter term to increases his chances for a longer life is something we simply don't know.

If there's anything I'd like to ask people to do (for us and others in similar situations), it's this: please give blood if you are able. Your local blood bank thanks you, we thank you.

In Canada: Canadian Blood Services | Société canadienne du sang
In the U.S.: American Red Cross