My death may not be imminent after all

Upper body of frightened looking woman with hands just under open mouthAfter a week of public shaming, all of which I’ve brought on myself, I’d like to end the week on a positive note. Let me show you my happy and carefree side. Who doesn’t like a feel-good story anyway?

I must admit I’ve been a touch–what’s the term, “freaked out”?–about my blood counts this past while. Especially my vanishing red blood cells. An unexplained drop from 120 to 80 over a few months is concerning. 120 is the low end of normal, while 80 is nearing transfuse-that-gal anemic. Since those oral iron supplements were just not doing their job, I feared the IV iron might not either.

It’s worrisome if your body can’t use iron to make red blood cells. For someone like me, someone with not just one but two bone-marrow disorders, the question is: “Whazzup, bone marrow? Why are you slacking off?” I don’t want to pursue this line of investigation because the possibilities are scary. That’s why I refuse to tell you about them. Don’t want you crossing that bridge before you come to it; I can do that for you.

So imagine my relief when a doctor I’ve never met before, Dr. Pre-op, while assessing me for my little OR visit with Dr. Woman in a few weeks, told me I’m good to go. Tuesday’s blood work is much improved over the previous week’s. My liver enzymes are returning to normal, and a mere 10 days after my iron infusion, my red count has skyrocketed to 100. Wonder of wonder, miracle of miracles! I was so relieved I started crying. (No surprise there.)  I can stop planning my funeral, for now.

In fact, this kind doctor said I was doing remarkably well given all the curve balls my body has thrown me. What a refreshing contrast with all the Dr. Doomsayers I’ve been up against lately. I wanted to glow with pride, but I know Dr. Pre-op was complimenting my Eveready-Bunny body, not me personally.

Yes, this is really good news. I’d be doing my happy dance if dancing were in my repertoire. But I don’t dance. Just ask J.

Sure, there are still some areas of concern. Why did I get anemic in the first place? I learned in the hospital that my tanking red count likely had to do with the progressive consequences of my ugly blood clot. Yes, there is some internal bleeding. A change in medication dosage may slow this progression, but how much? That remains to be seen.

Despite my bloody insides, my new Dr. Liver–there is only one Dr. Liver, so perhaps another moniker is in order? Dr. Liver the 2nd?–whom I met for the first time in hospital last week, does not want to see me again for three months. J. insists this is a sign that he too is not viewing my demise as imminent.

So don’t choose your outfit for my funeral just yet. I expect you to come to the funeral, by the way. Forget the lame “I don’t like funerals” excuse. Who in their right mind likes funerals? But mine will be fun because J. has always thrown a good party. And on my deathbed, I’ll be sure to nag her about ordering enough food.


4 thoughts on “My death may not be imminent after all

  1. This is indeed great news, Annie. There is a distinct difference between dancing and doing the happy dance. If you feel awkward doing it for real, just do it in your head, it’s just as liberating!! This news deserves at least that. XO Lisa


    • But, Pat, you are always a walking fashion statement in technicolour. I could never see you in black! Love, Annie P.S. You get a pass on the funeral since you live out of town, though I wish you didn’t live out of town.


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