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Blood transusion


mainecoon

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How have you made out with that transfusion, Dave? Margaret went to U of M yesterday to begin her third series of treatments, and ended up coming away with two units of whole blood instead.

Two days before the session she spoke of being very tired, and the night before she was extremely restless. She could only sleep about two hours at a time, and had to take two Valium to go to sleep. The thermostat was set at 76, but she still said she was freezing.

I just figured her restlessness was due to extreme anxiety, and the fact that she was so fatigued was due to the Valium, lack of sleep, and general desire to avoid seeing the oncologist.

A very kind friend agreed to take her to her session. I got hold of her over the cell phone about two hours after she would have seen the oncologist. She told me that her red blood cell count was too low for chemo, and that she would receive the transfusion instead. She also told me that the WBC count was good, as was the platelet count.

Margaret came home and went straight to bed. When she roused herself she told me that the nurse who gave the transfusion assured her it would make her feel a lot better. When it failed to do so immediately she regarded this as a crushing defeat. She has chemo scheduled for today and tomorrow, but I think she's ready to call it quits.

What's been your experience with transfusions?

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Mainecoon,

Hugh had 2 units of blood a few weeks ago and it made a huge difference though not the first day. He had a lot more energy. I hope by the time you read these posts your wife will have felt a difference also. Hugh really didn't want to have one but was glad he did.

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Guest DaveG

Initially I was tired right after the transfusion. Relay for Life was going on that evening, and I wanted to make the survivors walk, but was still getting the transfusion at that time. When I finally got there, I only stayed 30 minutes, as I was very tired. I cam home, and went straight to bed. It was about 70 degrees in the house, and my wife had to put 3 blankets over me because I had a bad case of the chills.

Saturday, I was supposed to play golf with a friend, but initially wanted to back out. My wife said I needed to get out of the house, so I played golf. Actually once I started to play, I found I had renewed energy. By the end of golf, I was still energized.

So overall the transfusion did help. I have heard that the reaction is different between patients. I guess one question I have, is she taking an anti-depressant such as Celexa, or a similar drug? She sounds depressed and that can be treated very easily through medication. Talk to her doctor about that. I know you and she would notice a difference.

Hope this information helps. Otherwise, right now I am doing fine. I have chemo coming up on Tuesday, so by the end of next week, I'll probably be feeling the effects. I know it would be nice if I could say, they've found the "magic bullet" , but we're still waiting, and we're still fighting.

What's you wife favorite passtime? Maybe suggest that to her, it may just cheer her up. All of us who have fought this disease can honestly say that we have been there, because this is one big roller coaster ride we're on. I hate my down days, but I make the best of the up days. I know this weekend I'll be on edge because of the upcoming CT Scan on Monday morning. Does she have any test coming up, which may be bothering her? Again these are all things that can us to go into mild depression, or put unneeded stress on us.

You, as the caregiving family member, are at a loss, because you want to help, and right now you are helpless. My wife goes through the same periods. Just Sunday evening, my wife fixed one of my favorite meals, pork steak smothered with onions. Well, I couldn't taste the pork or the onions and I actually got sick. I laid and cried for more than a half hour because my wife had gone to the trouble of fixing this nice meal and I couldn't eat it. She understodd that it wasn't me, it was the chemo. But, nonetheless, I felt bad for her

Many times when trying to help someone like you, I use personal examples for you to compare. We are not necessarily experts, but much of what your wife is going through right now, we have experienced. So, in trying to help you discern what is going on, we try to give you examples of what we have experienced ourselves. First and foremost, when you are totally baffled, talk to her doctor. Make your concerns and worries known. Doctors can only treat when they have all the information at hand. Now is not the time to conceal anything nor hold back information. My wife keeps a note book handy, so when things come up, she'll write them down, to ask the doctor on the next visit.

I hope all this has helped.

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Thanks for the info, Candy. I'm looking for as much positive as possible to tell my wife, so she won't regard the transfusion as such an unmitigated defeat.

She was so tired yesterday, the friend who took her to chemo told me over the phone that she'd actually fallen asleep while eating a cracker. This morning she sounds strong, but she just wants to sleep. Granted she's snuggled under a warm electric blanket and it's dark and drizzling outside.

But she has a chemo session scheduled for today. Can she still expect to go to chemo 24 hrs. after a blood transfusion? I've called the oncologist, but he won't be in for a few hours.

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Sorry I missed your post there, Dave. Apparently mine was going out while you were putting it on the board. I'm grateful you provided as much detail as you did.

Yeah, my wife's very depressed. Even as she was being handed the diagnosis in the hospital bed she was telling the doctor "Just make sure you double-up on the Prozac." As a clinical social worker she dealt much with anti-depressant and anti-anxiety medications, but she didn't start taking one herself until her hospitalization for the lower back pain. Still, at this stage of the game it barely keeps her on an even keel. And even this has a wrinkle: Prozac interferes with the metabolization of diazepam so the Valium stays in her blood longer; so she's reluctant to increase her dosage of Prozac.

I'm grateful to this board for the wealth of anecdotal information it provides. I really don't even bother with the "official" lung cancer sites, because I want to know about the experiences of real people in real situations. Then I sift the information and try to relate it to my wife.

I think it unfortunate that her favorite pastime is crossword puzzles. I say "unfortunate" because it gives the impression that she's just marking time. Before crosswords it was electronic Bridge. She could no longer find partners after her friends started passing on. She tried to teach me, but I just couldn't grasp the concept. I mean, you lose because you have more points? What's up with that?

Still, it takes her mind off her troubles a little.

Again, thanks, Dave.

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just from my experiance with transfussions.

My mom had one a week after chemo due to anemia. it took about 3 days before she fealt stronger. She only has chemo once a month though and she had signifigant recovery time. but she was put on procrit and so far she is holding her own in the CBC area.

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I sure wish there was a way to battle the fatigue that comes with this stuff. Since the transfusion Hugh has been much more active and energetic but he is still tired. Last night he was complaining about it. He said that morning his mind said "I will plant the flowers and weed the garden (etc) today" and his body said "I will take a nap right now and do that later".

And the cold! Our onc told us that chemo causes intolerance to cold. Yesterday morning I was getting ready for work and came out of the bedroom to see the pellet stove merrily perking away at full blast. It was cloudy out but muggy and about 75 degrees. I think chemo gives you an intolerance to even warm - Hugh is still wearing his long-johns. Thats okay though, I'm just glad we have the stove so he can be as warm as he wants.

Anyway - the energy of the transfusion lasted for Hugh, I thought it would last a week or so and be gone but he is still puttering around. I have a really pretty flowerbox that he built last week.

Have your wife crank up that blanket and enjoy the crossword puzzles. Its her time to just rest and regenerate healthy cells - you to Dave G.!

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Guest DaveG

I have always said, the greatest people in the world belong to this message board. I enjoy the humor and the chuckles I get out of many of the posts. Humor is a big part of survival, especially the type of humor that picks on us. Laughter is supposed to produce good hormones.

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Mainecoon -

I was FREEZING throughout my treatments - had to take a hot bath very night to get rid of the chill and then also slept under and electric blanket.

I had one transfusion - cried all the way to the hospital because I was terrified.....ended up not being a big deal - but there was still something mentally very unnerving about it!

Hope your wife is feeling better by now....

SandyS

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