Well, I didn't have a blood transfusion at the BMT clinic today after all. My hemoglobin is still low; it was 7.9, which is still close to what it's been the last several times I've been there. It should be from 11 to 16. They will give a transfusion if it goes under 8. Dr. O said that I could have a blood transfusion if I wanted. He didn't give me the epo shot because it doesn't seem to be doing any good. He said the next big thing to do is another bone marrow biopsy, but because all of my labs except the red blood count are normal, he doesn't think there is anything to find there.
We went over my meds, and he decided to take me off the Bactrin (Septra) for 3 weeks, because he said that could cause the low count. He said if he gave me blood today, we wouldn't know whether it was the transfusion or getting off the Septra that helped. I told him that as long as my count stays fairly level (as it has for months now), I can handle the fatigue, so I didn't want the transfusion. Septra is an antibiotic that transplant patients are supposed to take for a year after their transplant. I take it 3 times a week, Monday, Wednesday and Friday. It is to help my body fight off infections.
Dr. O said to come in immediately if I started feeling worse. I know that I can go to the clinic any time if something goes wrong, and they will take care of me. They are absolutely wonderful.
My nurse sent me downstairs for another chest x-ray because of my cold and cough. Dr. O didn't mention it when he saw me, and I forgot to ask, so I guess it was normal.
Something nice happened as I was getting ready to leave the clinic. I finally got to see Dr. B! He is just the same, still the sweetest, kindest young doctor I've ever met. He asked a lot of questions about how I'm doing, and I gave him a couple of big hugs and told him how happy I am that he is home from Afghanistan safe and sound. Then he said the sweetest thing. He said that while he was in Afghanistan he had his phone with him. It didn't work over there, but he still had all his messages and info on it. He said that every now and then he would get it out and read the last text message I had sent him before he deployed. I almost cried when he said that.
I still have the message on my phone, too. I wanted him to know how much we appreciated all that he had done for us during the cancer ordeal (both times), that his care had made it easier to bear, that he always gave us reason to hope and that we think he's an amazing doctor (he is). I told him I'd miss him and would be praying for him and his family while he was away, and that I looked forward to seeing him "next summer." And now it is "next summer," he is home and prayers have been answered. God is good.
I picked up my Synthroid on the way out of the hospital, then went to Moms. I baked her a pan of cornbread, which she ate with blackeyed peas. Eating the blackeyed peas and cornbread reminded her of her grandma, and she started telling me about Grandma's big cornbread pan and how the family would eat it all up. She said Grandma always had blackeyed peas in her garden.
I'm always amazed at how much Mom remembers of her childhood. She remembers making dolls out of corncobs and combing their "hair," which was the cornsilk. She talks about her little brother getting a gnat or something in his ear. He asked her if she could hear it buzzing. She said no, so he put his ear up against her ear and insisted that she should be able to hear it now. He was so cute and sweet. She told about her grandpa, who was half blind and elderly, trying to kill a black snake in the henhouse with a big stick. She said he couldn't see what he was doing and just knocked the heck out of everything in there. She was pulling on his shirt tail, trying to get him out of there, but he wouldn't listen to her. She remembers her grandma gathering mushrooms in the woods, and tells me about the meals grandma would make out of practically nothing. She was into greens, herbs and wild plants long before it was fashionable.
I remember my great grandma and grandpa. Grandma was a dumpling; she was so cute. She was always busy. Grandpa always wore a brown felt hat, a brown suit coat and smelled of pipe tobacco. He would sit on the porch in a ladder back chair, leaning it against the wall. He had cataracts, and his eyes always looked strange to me, so I was a little bit afraid of him. Some day I'll write a post about how he took a wart off my hand by magic. :o)