The Great Yom Kippur Nose Bleed of 5767

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:,1082,0_557_,00.html

12 thoughts on “The Great Yom Kippur Nose Bleed of 5767”

  1. Dear Michael-What an ordeal! I so wish that I could donate blood to you!!! Wishing you strength and lots of platelets!Love,Rachel


  2. Dear Michael-You continue to astound me with your humor and perspective within the context of roller coaster cellular lines (and I mean cells, not phones!). I say always that life is an energy exchange…. and as you get what you need from the family (includes Otis!), other loved ones, health care providers, friends, etc…. you are simultaneously giving so very much to all of us. May you be inscribed in the Book of Life… of COURSE you are. We all continue to hold you and yours. Warmth,Marla


  3. When you are ready to reach out to the Dc folks– I would be happy to donate to you… I am O+, I think.


  4. Dear Michael-I ran into Neil over the holidays and asked how you were doing and he filled in me briefly about what you were going through as well as directing me to this Blog. I just want to send you so much love and good energy! Your sense of humor, and positive attitude are so inspiring. Your wife Jacqui sounds like a really supportive partner- I am so happy for you that you have that strength to count on- I was thrilled to hear that you are having your first baby in December- the love you will feel from your child will blow you away! Thinking of you often, Jane.


  5. Mmmmmmmmmmm, i’d luv 2 donate some blood 2 U…and that’s not all I’d give! Can U e-mail me a pic of U?


  6. Mike–my blood type is 0+ so I’m ready to give whatever you need (so long as I keep a little bit for myself…). Let me know where and when!Jen


  7. My having lived in Romania at some point during the past 100 years or so makes me ineligible to donate blood in this country (I was promptly rejected when I tried). I am also some sort of B blood type so I’m not suitable anyway–wish I were. Well, hope you find a donor soon!


  8. Glad my daughter brought me up to meet you and your wife.Can’t give blood because of my heart meds but would if I could.Read your page and I assure you that you can tell a story. Keh H


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