Some Bloody Good News

So I have some good news and some gross news. I will begin with the first. My insurance company has agreed to cover phase 1 of my clinical trial tandem autologous transplant. I know, I know. What the hell is phase 1? The truth is, I have no idea. I am not managing this process, MCV is. They are the experts in getting insurance companies to cover the clinical trials. I know that having a double transplant is cheaper then undergoing an allogenic transplant, so I am assuming that is why they have agreed to cover phase 1. Don’t know how many more phases there are, but I will keep everyone posted.

Now for the gross news. I have to have a blood transfusion. My red blood cell count and my platelets are too low as a result from ICE chemo. My white blood cells are normal because of an injection that I received after chemo (Neulasta), but if they were too low then I would be neutropenic and have to be hospitalized. Chemo affects everyone differently and when I had the other chemo (from Oct 07-March 08 ABVD) my white bloods cells definitely took a hit, but my red blood cells and platelets were okay. Now that I am getting a new cocktail, ICE, my red blood cells and platelets are taking the hit. Your red blood cells deliver oxygen through your blood and your platelets help coagulate your blood when you bleed openly. Having low counts of both of these means that I am very fatigued, get out of breath very easily, and can’t function at a semi normal rate. I have to walk slow. I can’t go up some stairts without laying down right afterwards. You basically feel like anything that you are going to do will make you pass out and God forbid if I accidently get a cut, I could bleed to death. FUN! So, in order to make this right. I will have my first ever blood transfusion tomorrow to increase my counts. The whole thing is suppose to take 5 hours and I am a little freaked out about it. There is something creepy about getting blood put into my veins. My nurse at VA Oncology told me that I need to get over it because that will be happening a lot when I undergo transplant. I swear this just gets better and better. In the meantime, I will contiue to be a little grossed out. This vampire will be taking pictures tomorrow to capture this bloody experience. Perfect timing for Halloween!

9 Responses to “Some Bloody Good News”

  1. 1 Mary Wilborn October 7, 2008 at 11:14 pm

    Great, Great, Great news about the insurance!!! I am so happy, as I know you are! Good luck with your transfusion tomorrow. I will be thinking about you all day. I will text you to see if you need company tomorrow afternoon!!!


  2. 2 Harvey Lynch October 8, 2008 at 12:43 am

    Hello Geraldine,

    Thank you for the update. The insurance part sounds like very good news, although I don’t know what phase 1 means either. One step at a time.

    About the war of the blood cells: Yes, this is a bummer, but if the transfusion can do the trick, that is really good news. It sounds straight forward, albeit not fun. Another of the steps on the road. I suppose there are two good side effects: you don’t collapse and don’t bleed inappropriately.

    There are still more steps to come, but be assured that for every single step you take, I’ll be there with you in spirit at least to support you as you travel. You have come a long way already. Keep us all informed of the signposts. 🙂



  3. 3 kimk October 8, 2008 at 10:47 am

    oh g – my beautiful, sassy g. I’m so sad that you have additional ickiness to deal with. I am thinking of you each and every day sunshine!

  4. 4 Candis S. October 8, 2008 at 11:04 am

    I loved the bag of blood pic you sent. I’m going to print it out and sleep with it under my pillow. Seriously… it was gross but I’m glad you are willing to share your experience with me. I will get to work on that Blood Bag Cozy idea!

  5. 5 Allie October 8, 2008 at 11:06 am

    I love you my bride of Dracula!

  6. 6 Diana October 8, 2008 at 4:14 pm

    Great news on the insurance company – that must be a load off your mind. Good luck with the transfusion. But watch out – full moon on Oct 14th. Hooooo!

  7. 7 Risa October 8, 2008 at 4:58 pm

    Terrific news about the insurance!! Good luck with the transfusion. You will feel so much better when it is done.

  8. 8 Katina October 8, 2008 at 10:44 pm

    All I have to say is… cut the check!! I am glad they came to their senses and are helping pay for this!! It was awesome seeing you today, in all your bloody mess! I look forward to seeing you this Sunday in your hood.

    love you much

  9. 9 Rachel October 14, 2008 at 11:33 pm

    Hope you are recovered from your last round of ICE and are getting back on your feet. Transfusions can be kinda freaky at first, but you will probably get used to them as you go thru the transplant process. I got so many that the Red Cross showed up one day and asked if I was interested in a having a blood drive organized for my friends and co-workers to donate!!! Please email if you ever want to chat. I didn’t do the double transplant, but I did do a Phase II/III clinical trial – an augmented autologous transplant. I also had to deal with coaxing insurance to pay….

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