Friday, March 18, 2011

Thanks to the random dude in Grafton for giving me his blood

Blood transfusion today to overcome a progressive drop in hemoglobin. This has been an ongoing issue post surgery and I've been struggling to get bloods in order and each chemo round it knocks them back further. We & spinal surgeons have had some reservations about doing it, but its just got to the situation that it needed to be sorted. I didn't like the idea of taking on some random persons blood, but I am over that now I have had 1 unit with another due and it seems to have immediately picked up my VIM, which has been lagging. Although I have just stated chemo cycle 4 and maybe the 2 DEX steroids daily have assisted also. Chemo is such a roller coaster.
The blood thing is quite interesting. The blood is given to you unpacked and when it is seeded into your blood stream it circulates picking up oxygen, nutrients etc. One unit of blood is approximate 300 mls when in the body and loaded up with goodies converts to 1 ltr of good blood. So there is also more that goes on behind the scenes with blood donation and the cleansing, testing and unpacking the blood. Apparently NZ are the best in the world in this process, maybe an export opportunity? Start milking the people rather than milking more cows.
So to random dude in Grafton, Auckland who took the time and donated his O positive universal blood, I salute you.


  1. Giving blood is such a cool thing to do. It costs you nothing (as you body regenerates it), and helps someone at the same time.

    They won't accept my blood. The four bouts of malaria and being a vegetarian disqualifies me.

    Keep up the good fight!

  2. They are very careful with the bood they will accept. They won't take mine either as I was in England during the BSE/JCD outbreak. That was in 1990 and it still applies. So while everything is a risk I think they are super careful.
    Good to hear it provided the desired pick me up.

  3. Did you feel different after having the blood? i.e like more energy? Or did the chemo go in counteract that? My mums down in ward 3c at the moment - she has had a hand op,because of disfigurement from rheumatoid, all new silicon knuckles in her right hand. Painful but amazing what can be done.

  4. Glad to hear the fresh blood is helping. You've got to keep those all-important counts - WBC, RBC, hemoglobin, etc. - up to combat the chemo side effects. Prayers and good thoughts continue to go out to you.

  5. I am through the worst side effects of chemo cycle 4 and it was probably the best one yet. I suspect the fresh blood helped a lot and will also give me more energy in next few weeks. They ended up giving me 3 units (effectively 3 litres) as it took awhile to get the readings up. Although chemo side effects are disgusting, one of the neat stages is when you start coming out from the dark cloud following treatment, you feel like living life again; food taste good, your energy levels build, the aches, pains, nausea and fog in your head dissipates.

  6. The' transfusion ' was exactly that a transfusion of extra vim.Gary is smiling interactive and cracked a joke today for the first time in...I cant remember when.The nausea isnt as bad.Everything feels better.It feels like daylight.
    So anyone out there going through this,I dont think they do transfusions lightly.I think it has to get pretty rough before they trot out the good stuff.I think if I knew this before i would have asked and asked alot sooner for Gaz.

  7. Really interesting about the blood Gary and Kat.

    We (minus the expat Poms and a couple of others) at Enabling are now regular donars, though I missed the last round, at it is a really good thing to do.
    Another good reason not to be a vegitarian, didn't know that they can't donate.


  8. I concur Bill! It's really great to know that a little donation can make a difference. Just yell Gary if you need some good Saffa blood, these Aussies don't seem to mind mine...I have to say that donating here is a lot more stringent than in RSA/Africa...all good hoops though, don't mind jumping through them at all.

    Bestest wishes for a swift recovery from this round Ga! Cheers, Linda E.

  9. I recently got a couple of transfusions after my fourth and fifth cycle of chemo, I felt a bit weird about it at first but when I suddenly felt more energised and able to walk around holding my baby again I was thinking why didn't I get this sooner?

    Turns out you dont just get one persons blood though. They put all the blood of the same types into a centrefuge to separate it into hemoglobin, platelets etc :) both of which I got, I was surprised to see that the platelets were yellow..?

  10. Hi Anon, thanks for your feedback and and I hope your cancer journey is going OK. Walking around with your baby sounds like a good use of your new vim and energy gained through the transfusion. Keep up the good fight, I've had a clear cancer scan since finishing chemo and I think it made a big difference.


Thanks for your comments Gaz