First blood draw

When you go through chemotherapy treatments, one of the most common side effects is to have levels of blood cells (white blood cells, platelets, etc) get out of whack (in medical terms). Subsequently, the doctors require blood levels be checked often. If the blood test numbers come back out of a normal range, then treatment has to be delayed or adjusted accordingly. I will be going for blood labs on Fridays, and having chemo treatments on Mondays for three weeks out of the month, with a week off from treatment. If things don’t go as planned, we will have to adjust that schedule, maybe to a two on and one off rotation. So for the next six months, I will be hanging out at the cancer center twice per week three weeks out of each month.

     I went in this morning bright and early for an 8 am lab. This was my first. They stuck the needle in my port. The tech tells me to turn my head to the left. Then she had me stand up and raise my arm. Then she has me go into another room and lie down on the bed. Nothing will come out of my port. First time trying to access it and it is being stubborn. So, I got a shot of heparin (blood thinner) to try to clean things out. After about 20 minutes, it was flowing enough to get the vials she needed.

Here is what it looks like. I am wearing my lucky Vermont 100 shirt 🙂

Here is Steve waiting for me. Photo taken from my lying down position 🙂 I just love that guy! He puts up with my nonsense. I have no idea why 🙂

We had a visit with my doctor who explained the schedule. Then we talked running for a couple of minutes, because we always do. I like doctors who are runners. They get me. I won’t see the doc again for another month unless I have problems.

     After seeing the doctor, we went out to the scheduler. It took us about 30 minutes to get the next two months of appointments set up. The entire staff is so nice and pleasant. I think it takes a special person to work in oncology day in and day out. I don’t know that many people would be able to put aside their own daily problems to be a constant comfort to others. It really is a unique place. I noticed in the waiting room this morning that everyone knew each other a la Cheers. I guess after six months, I will be regular, too.



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