5th June 2020
Week 5 / round 5
When your week starts with a blood transfusion, you know things can only get better.
Or can they?
Blood monitoring is an important element of my treatment and its drawn and tested every week. It seems the last one has given some concern regarding haemoglobin levels. This is something to do with red blood cells and the efficiency of moving oxygen around the body. My haemoglobin was low, so it was decided a top-up was necessary. At least that’s how I understood it.
So – another first in my life, sitting in a comfortable chair looking up at a plastic bag of blood that’s been donated by others and ready to be infused into Wozzer.
I will admit to wondering where the blood came from and if it’s okay. But as with everything, I have faith in the system – so signed the consent form for the transfusion to begin.
Again, nothing is left to chance. Two nurses come to check me – DOB, full name and address. Then they cross check what I said with my wrist band, then with the doctors instructions and also with the labels on the blood vial.
Then they did it all again – just to be double sure I presume. They don’t mention all the previous cock-ups with transfusions, and I don’t ask.
Anyway, 2 bags (units) of blood – which is a bit over a pint - and six hours later, I was fully refreshed with as many thingys of haemoglobin and red blood cells as I needed.
All of this reminded me of an old TV programme: Hancock, starring Tony Hancock. He was a deadpan actor and comedian. Many said his character was based on himself.
One stand-out sketch was The Blood Donor and I’ve found a link to it. First shown on BBC on 23rd June 1961 making it almost 60 years old. It’s still a classic.
They said I’d feel better after the transfusion and not so tired as well. Oh really? Week 5 turned out to be the hardest so far. Yep – others have written blogs and laid it out. But that still didn’t really prepare me for what was to come.
Nothing new – just even more intensity of all the previous side effects, now coalescing into one feeling of total malaise. It’s getting beyond the physical sense, by this I mean I can deal with the pain in my mouth, the severe pain of swallowing even a sip of water, the constipation, the horrible thick mucus, the milk-shake meals 4 times a day and everything else.
But now it’s also becoming a mental issue. I just want it to stop – or at least give me a break for an hour now and then.
Nope – it’s with me during all my waking hours and most of my sleeping hours too. I can be up minimum 4 and max 7 times a night, either through seriously dry mouth or most likely the mucus settling on my lungs and needing to be coughed up.
By the end of the week, I’ve taken to sleeping sitting upright in a chair in the lounge. Laying down doesn’t seem to be an option any more.
Dig deep Woz – Larry the Lump won this round. Pretty sure I’m still ahead on points overall, but no way is it the walk-over I thought it would be.
I’ll be in a better frame of mind for the final week of Radiotherapy coming up next. But for now just saying thanks to everyone commenting, sending me messages and for putting up with my whinging this week.
Love to you all x
Week 5 round-up:
Weight: 123.0 kg
Fluoride toothpaste 5000 PPM
Mouthwash – Caphosol
Pain: Paracetamol and Oramorph
Local anaesthetic: Gelclair oral rinse