8-19-10 Thursday

Status: 6.0-8.0/10. An eventful day.

Events:  Had to get up very early for lab work at Hopkins.  As I was gathering my morning meds, I was suddenly overcome by a heavy curtain of weakness and was forced to sit down.  I became faint, short of breath,  and began to sweat profusely (called diaphoresis in medical lingo) then followed by nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Lisa said I looked as white as a sheet, and was about to call 911.  If I had any chest pain with it, I would have said I was having a heart attack. 

  I was able to get into the car and get to Hopkins.  Had my labs drawn, and luckily we had an early appt with our oncologist.  I told him what had happened, he looked at my labs and saw my hematocrit had dropped 5 points, and said I probably had an acute GI bleed (perhaps not surprising with platelets of 9,000).   So I spent the day getting 3 units of blood, and two large bags of platelets.  If had not rallied from the transfusions they were prepared to keep me overnight.  Fortunately, Lisa and I were able to leave around 4 PM.

Comments:  Both GI bleeds occurred when my platelets were less than 10,000.  They have now set my minimum number at 20,000, which simply means they will keep them greater than 20,000.  Also set my hematocrit at 30.  Platelets work better at higher hematocrits; don’t think anyone knows why.  So I’m back tomorrow and Saturday for transfusions to keep me safe over the weekend.   Some good news – my white count is continuing to increase.

   And just to end on a lighter note, when they call down for platelets they talk to “Dr. Platelets” as in, “Dr. Platelets says he’ll send a bag up in 30 minutes.”  This of course is just too good to be true.  In fact, the lab is populated by a number of staff who go under that generic name and all the doctors and nurses talk about “him” as if he’s a real person.

   Hoping for a quiet weekend, hope you have one, too.

Love as always,



6 Responses to “”

  1. wendy Says:

    sounds like hitting the wall… and your body cried out…H-E-L-P, I surrender!!! Personally I’d be keeping 911 on speed dial…. cause it doesn’t hurt to have that as a BACKUP… for you, Lisa and- the kids etc… but that’s the kind of person I am… (you can call me ..the “just in case girl”)

    Do they have a home kit to measure your hematocrit levels? Sounds like a good invention if not..Do they have a home health nurse coming out?

    On a lighter note too…here at my clinic they call the dr’s not by their full name Dr Miller, Dr Smith..just “Dr.” as if that’s their name.. yes doctor, no doctor. Now they do call them by their names in referring to them, Dr Miller is on hold. etc… by to them- it’s just “Dr.” I kinda think that’s weird…but maybe it’s that way in other places.

    Here’s to those white cells… and hematocrit levels going HIGHER AND HIGHER

  2. Bill Israel and Eileen Breslin Says:

    Now that’s too much of a scare. We’re grateful it was just a scare – but that’s plenty. Dr. Platelets brings up: Max Headrest! Generic platelets, generic news. You deserve much better, Dr. Dan. Love, Bill and Eileen

  3. Charlie Dan Says:

    Scary stuff, but encouraging that there’s a clear plan to keep it from happening again. Feel better and good luck with the blood upgrades!

  4. Karen Jaffe Says:

    can’t imagine what it must be like to endure such a rocky road week after week. You are totally amazing. Here’s a thought….I don’t know if you have tried any meditation through all of this or not …but if you can visualize a huge mountain of people -wider and taller than the eye can see-all sending you love and karma. That can be your mantra.


  5. Hopie Says:

    I love Karen Jaffe’s Mantra, there IS a Mountain of people loving you!
    Me too

  6. joel steinberg Says:

    As a former neurosurgeon, a platelet count of 20K scares me to death; but the oncologists have a different perspective, I guess. But better safe than sorry–keep those red cells and platelets up. Hopefully your own marrow will take over the job soon. Joel S.

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