That was my hemoglobin result from my Wednesday blood test. The previous week it was 9.3. You would think that extra percentage wouldn't mean anything. But the difference in my energy level from last week to this one is striking, so like my son would say, numbers do matter.
(Quick note - hemoglobin is the protein in red blood cells that carry oxygen from the lung to the brain and other mostly useful body parts. Normal for me is 12.1, so I'm a lot low.)
The following is what happens when you don't have enough of it:
Your brain, deprived of oxygen, takes at least a week to think something simple like a blog post. You might just randomly post pretty much what everybody sends to you. Not that I would do that because I get some pretty crappy "did you hear about my new site that will help me make a buck off the backs of cancer patient?" emails.... but it's taking me forever to even think how to finish this thought, so I give up. Brain - oxygen = blank.
I get completely breathless when going from bed to refrigerator. It doesn't stop me, because the Coffee Heath Bar Crunch ice cream is in there, and its call is most powerful. But by the time I open the freezer door, I'm puffing like a 95 year old women who spent her life smoking unfiltered Camels. Then I get so winded eating 1/3 of the container (400 calories according to my calculations) that I have to shuffle back to bed to go sleep it off. When I wake up, of course, I'm drenched and steaming due to daytime nap night sweats, so I have to drag myself to the freezer again to cool off.
Life is difficult right now, mostly because my local store keeps running out of Coffee Heath Bar Crunch.
Once I had to resort to Vanilla Heath Bar Crunch, which is not the same. At all.
My lungs aren't the only organs gasping for air. I read a great breast cancer story about a woman who had craving for lettuce, eating four heads a day, which helped her puzzled husband diagnose her breast cancer. There was this fantastic quote,
"It’s only now that I realise my body was making me eat lettuce to combat the cancer," Elsie, now 59, told the Daily Mail. "It was like my body was trying to cure itself."
Now, normally I would have a field day (ha ha) with the thought of lettuce diagnosing cancer, and somebody's body making them eat it "for the cure", (don't sue me Komen) but all I can think of right now is I hope Coffee Health Bar Crunch can't do the same type of diagnostic thing, or I'm in much worse trouble than I thought.
Post stem cell transplant Day 62
3 weeks ago