Saturday, July 28, 2007

07/28/07 - Platelet Transfusion II

I had my platelet transfusion today. The photo below is from my cellphone. I should have brought my good camera, because the usually full infusion center was practically empty today and I could have taken more photos.

I won't know the result of this transfusion until Monday-Wednesday as although they were able to check my bloodcounts before and after my last transfusion, this time no "labs" were scheduled. Instead, I will have my blood drawn locally on Monday.

The Photo shows an "IV Pump" putting a unit of platelets into my chest. The platelet bag is out of the frame. In my chest, I have a port implanted surgically. The port is just below my skin, it is accessed via an IV running to a large needle which is stuck into it. The port then has a tube that runs into my sub-clavicle vein.

Medical personnel only use the port if there are a lot of fluids to be administered (chemotherapy, transfusions, etc.), otherwise they use my arm. The port is more convenient to use, and the chemotherapy drugs can damage the veins in your arms. Yes, I can feel the port beneath my skin, but I can't usually feel fluids going in (unless they're cold).

I also had some benadryl administered, because the last time I received platelets, my eyelids swelled up, especially my right one. The benadryl seemed to make a difference and keep the swelling down, but not entirely away. The transfusion went well, and I was only at the hospital about 2 hours.

Friday, July 27, 2007

07/27/07 - Platelets Low 1

I kind of thought that I would have to undergo a transfusion on this 8 week cycle because I had to last time. Well, I have to go tomorrow at 11AM to have some platelets (clotting enablers) tranfused. I just found this out at about 3PM EST.

The strangest thing to me is I just had my bloodcounts checked Tuesday, and my platelets were at 39. This morning, I had my counts checked again and my platelets were 12. I'm surprised how fast they dropped. The last time I had a platelet transfusion, my count was at 7 immediately beforehand. They had wanted me to come in by 6PM tonight, but I couldn't make that.

My white blood cell count (immune system defense) is down also, so they want me to take antibiotics until they reach a more acceptable level. Luckily, I have some antibiotics left over from last time.

Different components of blood, like different chemo drugs, have to be given at varying rates. The platelets are much faster (about an hour per "unit") than the red blood cells (2+ hours per unit). I don't need RBC's at this time, so the transfusion will hopefully be over sooner than last time.

I'm supposed to extra careful that I don't get cut or bruised, or exposed to other people while my counts are down. I just hope it doesn't interfere with my planned Pittsburgh trip...