The Haemoglobin Limbo Dance

A new factor to feed my anxiety this time is the likelihood of some intervention to deal with the decreasing haemoglobin levels.  They are doing their own limbo dance since Dr W said he would only do one more chemo (that was No 6) and see “how low they can go”. Thursday’s blood test showed that despite incredibly careful diet, piles of iron rich food and very careful attention, they have reached new depths.  Marvellous!

On the positive side, I have been able to find out a bit more about transfusions and the risks involved.  Transfusion is the mostly likely intervention as others are either less effective or carry different and greater risks.  As far as possible I have been reassured about the blood screening and other processes here, although I would still prefer not to be facing this choice.  Decisions are likely to be made tomorrow once a new vampire test is taken and the latest counts analysed.

I would be very suprised if they show any significant improvement which would merit a stay of transfusion.   Furthermore, it is pretty clear that the risk of not transfusing is quite a bit greater than transfusing the way things are at the moment.  For example, every time I travel between Yangon and Bangkok, I need a “fit to fly” letter from the treating Doctor to confirm that I am cleared as well enough to fly.  I learned yesterday that if the haemoglobin levels drop too much then at a certain level you are no longer considered fit to fly as there is a risk of becoming – something that sounded  like “hyperbombastic”!!  Being hyperbombastic on an aeroplane is not good apparently!

This is in addition to the risks which severe anaemia brings and the fact that chemo 7 may not go ahead with these low haemoglobin levels.

And I am not even considering that there could be any disruption brought by the ironically coloured crowds gathering in other parts of the city…………

So let’s see what tomorrow brings and where I shall be updating from at that point.


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