I was asked by Andrea Falls, who is working with the American Red Cross and Popular Genius, if I would be willing to help advocate for platelet donations and I was thrilled to help share my voice. I wanted to start this a few weeks ago but as most of you who follow me on Insta know (and if you do not follow me, why not? I am @thetimebetweenis) my dad went in for a “simple” open heart surgery to correct a valve prolapse and wound up being unconscious for almost 9 days; I also blogged about it here .the-oh-sht-playbook-or-being-my-dads-daughter.html.
In that time, I was slammed and unable to really focus on anything beyond my own blogging (which to me is really just being open and sharing my journal with all of you) and my advocacy to help people remember to do their mammograms and such - like this post: i-am-a-know-your-boobs-advocate.html.
While dad was in the hospital, ironically, he needed a platelet infusion! I could not believe how my I guess "advocacy" work was tying in to my real life. Then I remembered that as a cancer patient, I came close to needed a platelet infusion myself. How did I forget? Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to "chemo brain" - when things become foggy and you struggle to remember certain stuff that used to be like snap in your mind no problem.
I will take you back now to March 29, 2017, when I went in for what was to be my 6th chemotherapy (4 AC were done; this was to be my 2nd Taxol). Early in the am I took a bunch of steroid pills and then a few hours before my scheduled infusion, I took the other half. In spite of being all ready to get the chemo mentally I was turned away because my platelets were too low.
At the time, it was really one of the worst things that could have happened to me at that moment. I had my wall count of days showcasing how many days of chemo I had left and having to ADD to that wall count was so hard. My kids could not wait for me to be “back” and they knew I would not be “back” until chemo was over.
My "Chemo Wall" of sticky notes - taken after I had to ADD days back on which was at the time so terrible
More About Platelet Donation and #Sleevesupforbreastcancer
I worried and worked hard to raise my counts using these web resources (as in Googling, "How do I raise my platelet count") and eating lots of meat and greens. When I went back on Monday, my counts were great and I could have the chemotherapy and it was like the best day ever and I learned to just smile and be so happy for each session; if I could get the drugs I was that much closer to being done.
If my counts had not gone up I probably would have needed a platelet infusion. I see lots of my social media friends share about their platelet infusions and how important that are to help them stay healthy enough for chemotherapy or just healthy in general.
Platelets are used within 5 days; after that, they go bad. This is different than the regular blood donations and are collected differently than a blood donation, too. I am including some information about how it is done below. If you are willing and able, please consider donating platelets for those of us who might need them - cancer patients, surgery patients and other injured or ill people. Follow my social media for more about #sleevesupforbreastcancer - but remember these platelets can be used for many sick or ill people.
I am focusing on breast cancer patients because hello I am one but as it happened with my dad it is also for our loved ones who don’t have cancer but need platelets to get stabilized. This is what I do in the time between....
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