Hi everyone —
Just another update about my niece.
She wrapped up Round 2 of chemo and ancillary therapies at CHOP two weeks ago. She was able to get back home to see her little sister and grandma for roughly ten days. By the time that she had to go back to the hospital for her third round, her lab numbers were looking good to very good and her appetite and energy came back. She has helped her parents decorate the Philadelphia apartment that you all kicked in for. There is quite a bit of art work in the kitchen and several boxes of books that will soon be read.
Claire is starting Round 3. If I understand things right, the goal of this round is continued suppression. The cancerous cells are not readily visible at the moment in her labs. This round is to keep it like that.
Claire has had several blood and platelet transfusions during her first two rounds. The transfusions alleviate pain symptoms and keeps her healthy enough to tolerate the chemo. Patients with leukemia tend to need a lot of blood products.
I’ve been giving a mix of whole blood and platelets at the local American Red Cross collection center. I stay local for whole blood as I bleed fast. They like me as I’m O+ and CMV- so my blood is quite versatile. I head into Raleigh for a 7:00AM Sunday morning slot to donate platelets. I reward myself with coffee and hipster donuts afterwards. I know that my niece won’t ever get my blood donations. Instead, I’m adding to the pool so that someone else’s niece can get the platelets that she needs. I’m adding to the pool so that a burn victim gets the whole blood that they require. I’m adding to the pool so that someone’s grandson gets better and can be swung from one side of the room to the other in a week or two after the transfusion.
Kids with cancer need blood. The process is not particularly painful and the Red Cross or any other local collecting agency will give you cookies. That is a good trade; an hour of time to do good while also getting cookies. That is a damn good deal.
So please, sign-up to give blood if you are healthy enough to