Friday, January 14, 2011


Every single week I get blood drawn. On the week of chemotherapy I get blood drawn from my finger. This is one last check to make sure that my blood counts are ready for the poison. A week later they do another draw. This one is also a finger prick, and it determines whether my blood counts are dropping which would make me prone to infection. The second week after chemotherapy is my least favorite. This is the week in which they do a full blood draw from a vein in order to run a panel of tests for the Doctor’s visit I have the week of chemo. And then it starts all over again.

Today was my routine blood work visit, and next week is chemotherapy so I assumed it would be the full blood draw. Except when they call me back she tells me that my paperwork says that it’s just the blood count (finger) draw. I asked her if she was sure, because this is my week for the full deal. She said nope, just the finger draw. This was a pleasant surprise! Woo-hoo!

Once your blood is taken, you are sent to the lobby to wait for your lab results. They make you wait because if something is wrong, they want to address it right away. So far, every time I’ve gone I’ve been given a “good to go!” While I was waiting, I saw two people who didn’t have “ok” results that had to be sent for shots to boost their white blood counts. When she called my name to give me my results they told me to come on back. I said “I don’t need to come back, I’ve already had my blood taken.” And she says “Oh, they said to go ahead and do the full panel (translation: vein stick!”).

Not nice! I was so ready for my “good to go!” I guess they realized their mistake, but that was a bit of a bummer. And then I had a new girl who was having a problem finding a place to stick me. At this point, I know what works. I tell her the left arm veins are out because they are still bruised from chemo. The hands have been very successful, and the right arm is fine. I explain to her that mine are sometimes hard to find but that they are usually good – no one ends up sticking me twice! She tries to find the best spot for about five minutes and is very tentative about the whole thing. Her vampire trainer takes over and fines a vein in like a minute. Nothing annoys a cancer patient more than new/tentative vampires. We get stuck A LOT – we should get the luxury of the best blood technicians.

A shout out today to Bernie who sent me the most delightful light-up tiara along with a card declaring me a pirate princess. Thanks for the wonderful chuckle! I so wish Bernie and I had gotten more time to know each other when I lived in Gainesville – I think we may have been very good friends. Bernie, you’ve always got a vacation spot in NC!

Happy weekend folks!

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