Today was Yom Kippur, the Jewish day of atonement, the culminating day of the Jewish High Holy Days. For me, although a dedicated member of a synagogue, I normally prefer to split my day between going to Temple for a few hours, and going on a long hike, where I can spend time reflecting on the year that was and the year that lie ahead. Unfortunately, still with little blood coarsing through my veins, most of today’s holiday was spent sitting on my tush, waiting for this neutropenia to pass, and hoping that I could be inscribed in the book of life from the comfort of my new couch.
I know there are those of you out there who are saying to yourselves: “it is Yom Kippur, Mike’s stuck at home watching horrible television for the 8th straight day, he’s too tired to read and work on his book, so he MUST have been picking his nose.” And since it is past sundown for the year 5767 and I have a full year to apologize for all of my sins, I can tell you in all honesty, that no, I was not picking, I was just scratching my nose because of the dryness from chemotherapy.
And then it started to bleed. A slow drip, but a steady one, nonetheless. And two hours later I decided that it was prudent to go to the doctor.
I was told that this round of chemo was more immunosuppressive than the last. And when I saw the report which listed my platelet level with an exclamation point next to it, I knew the chemo was officially kicking my butt. Normal platelet levels are between 150-400. Mine was at 3, meaning that it was pretty much as low as it could go without blood beginning to shoot from my eyes in some strange, Monty Python-esque kind of way. So to remedy the situation I was given an infusion of platelets. The bag-o-platelets looked like it was filled with horse urine, but the nurse assured me that this was not the case. The infusion was painless, and we are at home now relaxing.
Odds are that I will need a blood transfusion after the next round as the cumulative effect of the treatment further denigrates my once normal blood count (don’t worry, this is a normal side effect, and my blood counts will return to normal after de-lymphomatization). So I am reaching out to friends and family who may be donor-types for me. Despite the overall safety of the public blood supply, I would rather get the gift of life from someone I know.
So, if you are willing, and if you are a potential match for me, I would be ever-grateful should you be able to do this. I am first reaching out to friends in the Philadelphia area. After that, we’ll move on out.
My blood type is A+, which means I am a potential recipient from those of you with types O or A.
So if you know your blood type and are willing to be a donor, please let me know.
For eligibility guidelines, please take a look at this link from the Red Cross: