Two weeks ago I had my first round of phlebotomy: historically, the procedure of letting blood. We started this to begin alleviating the high amount of iron in my blood from all of the blood transfusions I received last year. Essentially, I’m “giving back” the blood I borrowed to stay alive. We only took 200g (roughly 200mL) of blood which is just shy of a whole unit, about 250mL. We wanted to start off with a lower amount removed for the first pass to see how my body would tolerate it. I’m excited to say that my body is doing just fine! Blood counts are stable, no light-headedness or headaches.
Beginning next week we’ll begin phlebotomy every other week until my iron count gets back into the normal range, which my guess will be about 6-7 units worth of blood to be removed. I managed to get a little clip of the blood collection. There’s nothing graphic, just a bag being filled with deep, red blood. 😉
The past few weeks have been, well, amazing. I’ve been back at work now for a month and it’s been so great getting into a routine again and using my brain. Just being able to use my brain has been so wonderful too. I’m really glad to be past the days of super foggy mindedness. With that, I’ve been biking to work, making plans with friends, cooking, and even baking! I’m proud to say I’ve slowly, but surely, been reintegrating aspects of my life pre-diagnosis back into the my life post-treatment.
This has been such a welcomed change of pace from the onslaught of unstable, wavering news I was getting week to week just one year ago. I’ve been continuing to process through a lot of the emotional trauma from the past year, as well as think about my future and what that means. I’ll be completely honest with you, having even the remote possibility to think about a future is a gift; it’s a gift one should never take for granted. It’s also a mood booster – take my word for it.
While I don’t have
everything anything figured out, I’ve focused a lot of my time doing the things I love (e.g. dinner parties, exploring SF, seeing musicals – The Last 5 Years!!, going to museums and galleries) and spending time with people I care about. *Cue snapshots from the past few weeks*
Till the next update, carry on!