Now I can’t be certain but I’m betting you’re expecting some dramatic story here. I may have overhyped this a little but bear with…
As you know (or may not know if you’re a new reader), my cancer and the treatment has caused severe anaemia. This basically means I have a low red blood count and not enough oxygen in my blood. It can get bad quite quickly, in fact in the last few days I’ve rapidly gone down hill, unable to walk from room to room without needing to sit down,feeling out of breath when I speak and terrible headaches. The headaches are due to the brain not receiving enough oxygen. Needless to say I havent been feeling very well and I’ve also been very tearful as anaemia can really mess with your emotions.
There are lots of first times with cancer, and today was another first-my first blood transfusion. Now for all the praise you lovely readers give me for being brave-this is the point where you should take it all back because I’m a coward when it comes to blood or needles! You would think that after 3 years of needles, blood tests and surgery featuring lovely drains hanging out of me, I would have been used to it, but no, If anything I am much worse!
So this morning was a bit of a nightmare but isn’t that always the way when you’re already dreading something and freaking out? When they were trying to cannulate me to start the transfusion, the valve in my vein shut so I don’t know what the nurse did but apparently I wasn’t to look as she told me there was blood everywhere. On hearing that I began to feel dizzy; my heart was beating out of my chest, then my arms started shaking. It was a tad unpleasant to say the least but then she exclaimed “We’re in” and I started to relax. This was definitely short-lived as I then saw the bag of blood next to me and I wanted to throw up. They don’t even attempt to cover it up, it just sits there in all its brazen bright red glory! After a couple of hours I began to feel a bit better, and I looked at the blood with new eyes. This is just fuel I told myself, it’s not so scary, and then I was ok with it.
It was only coming home that I realised what a big deal it was. Most people think that blood donors are there to help people during operations or emergency situations when people are on the brink of death,but blood is also used a lot in cancer patients like me. Although it technically didn’t save my life, it’s given me a better quality of life while I’m still alive which means so much to me and my family (and the dog who gets longer walks-woof)!
Today a stranger who made the selfless and brave decision to donate their blood gave me the gift of wellness and gave me a bit of my life back. I hope they wouldnt be disappointed or deem it a waste if they found out it was me who received their blood because I feel so lucky and grateful to have been given it… X
Most people can donate blood. It’s such a wonderful thing you can do. For more information take a look here