Nothing to worry about…

That’s what he said… the bloke who called me from the hospital on Mon 31 Jan 2011… “This is the blood lab at the hospital. There’s nothing to worry about.” WHAAAAAT??????

I’d just had one of the weekly blood tests that punctuated that month, trying to find a reason for the chronic kidney failure, before they could start treating me.

The blood test was taken in the morning, and this call came around 6pm. “Nothing to worry about…” Well, I don’t know about you, but having a phone call from a hospital at 6pm, especially when you’ve been feeling really ill and not eating for over a month and you still don’t know what’s wrong with you, only made me think, “OMG! WHAT should I NOT worry about?”

Apparently, the blood test they’d taken showed my haemoglobin level to be 4g/dL. The normal range is 11.5-16.5 g/dL in adult females. There have been times when I’ve had to have a blood transfusion or been prescribed EPO injections to increase production of red blood cells, when my HB count has been under 11. So 4…!!!

Someone with only 4g/dL would not just be anaemic, but would be in a coma. That is exactly why they called me. To make sure I wasn’t lying in a heap in my living room. The very fact that I answered the phone, sounding most definitely un-comatose must have made him sigh with relief. It also allowed him to very promptly explain the reason for his call. He clarified that the blood analysing machine must have been in error and there really wasn’t anything to worry about.

We had a wee chuckle about it, but afterwards, I felt unsettled. So I called a friend to ask her to come with me the next day to see the kidney consultant.

It turns out that while the mini drama of a low blood count was caused by an error, they had also tested for calcium, which had been missed off the previous tests throughout January. It was this particular result that was not only correct, but also provided the clue to what was happening. In four short days, after various tests, it led to my diagnosis and the beginning of my Myeloma odyssey on 4 Feb 2011.

So today is the two year anniversary of my diagnosis.

How time flies when you’re having fun… oops, I mean treatment!

It’s good to notice, even celebrate these milestones. Everyone I’ve encountered in Myelomaville seems to amass several anniversaries, other than their own original birthday. There’s the day of diagnosis, the auto stem cell transplant birthday and for some like me, their allo/donor transplant birthday. New stem cells, new immune system, new me!

Even if I am constantly tired and have a sore mouth, I am much recovered. So it’s great to report that I’m about to go on holiday. I’d wanted to go away after my initial recuperation period post-transplant. However, I didn’t feel up to it in the summer, with fatigue, depression and anxiety. But now, I’m about to go on an adventure to the Arctic. Yes, on Wednesday, I’m going to Tromsø in Norway for four nights, and will hopefully see the Northern Lights.

Aurora-Dec15-Tromso

It’s my first trip post-transplant. It’s my first airplane trip for over two years.  It’s my first time in the Arctic. In fact, it’s my first cold weather holiday ever. It’s the first time I’ve spent almost as much on the clothing and kit to keep warm – temperatures can get down to -13°C – as I have on the flights.

Arctic down jacketIMG_0600As well as my normal activities, which as you may have just read, tire me out, I also have to pack and make sure I remember to take everything and get enough sleep and write up this anniversary blog and get to the airport on time and… and… and… Guess what? Can you tell, I’m a bit more anxious than excited just now.

I dare say that will change as really, especially when you consider all I’ve gone through in the past two years, there’s nothing to worry about! 😀

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About Jet Black

I began blogging because having been diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma, I wanted to share my experiences of living with an incurable cancer. Through blogging, I discovered that I enjoy writing. I have always chosen to live life for the journey, more than the destination. This is as true for the act of writing as it is for living with myeloma, so these are two things I do: I live and I write!
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22 Responses to Nothing to worry about…

  1. Deborah says:

    Have you been pinching my steroids?

    Like

    • Jet Black says:

      You’re funny Deb. If only…! Although, my friend did say I seemed a bit hyper this evening. My god, I miss those Dexy days… and nights! I’d have no problem getting packed, but maybe not take quite the right stuff. 😜

      Like

  2. Simon Hancox says:

    Thanks for sharing this Jet. Well done on your milestone 🙂
    I have an old school friend who lives in Norway, it looks amazing. The boys and I have been given the opportunity to go at some point. Perhaps next year. The Northern Lights are a must. Hope you have a fantastic experience x

    Like

    • Jet Black says:

      Oh Simon – you MUST go… the further north the better. None of that silly southern Oslo business – into the Arctic circle. You and the boys would love it. And as you know, I did have a great time. x

      Like

  3. Helen Gifford says:

    Wow Jet – have a wonderful time and may the northern lights glow and dance for you. Love the boots by the way! Xx

    Like

  4. Morag says:

    Have a great holiday Jet. I’ve just finished reading, “Day of the Triffids” so I’ll skip looking at lights in the sky for the time being!

    Like

    • Jet Black says:

      Understood, Morag! I read that as a teenager, along with any other John Wyndham books I could get my hands on, but the feeling of the book stays with me. Good writer!

      Like

  5. MakingSpace says:

    Wow, the Northern Lights!!!!!

    What do you say to someone when they announce that this is the anniversary of their diagnosis? I have no idea, so I’ll start with – I’m glad you’re well enough to go see the Northern Lights!

    Like

  6. No indeed there isn’t! I can’t believe it’s been two years, how time flies……..(I wont say the next bit!) Hope you have a fabulous time and get to see the Northern Lights. I am just a tiny bit envious. XXX

    Like

  7. Sandra abraham says:

    Have a fantastic time Jet, I’v just got back from Spain and it was soo hot now back to this !!!!! I’m full of cold off the air con on flight 😦 I know what you mean about getting anxious my partner couldn’t understand why I was wanting to pack ect.
    It’s nearly my 2 year anniversary first of March and still feeling why me ?????
    Looking forward to hearing all about your trip xxxx

    Like

  8. pauline selston says:

    this post was interesting, you write well. Norway!!!! bit cold, but hope you see the northern lights, God, I doesn’t seem like 2 years!!! Have a fab time and i will see you in April.

    Like

  9. Yikes! Think I would have had the same reaction to ‘nothing to worry about, but……’ .
    1st anniversary – guess all I can say is congratulations, its been a tough year, very much hope the next one is easier and glad you are still here petal.

    Like

  10. Gill says:

    Happy Anniversary ,good to know your feeling well enough for a trip Enjoy and have a great time photos of Northern Lights pleez

    Like

  11. Gayle Homan Masserant says:

    I hope you have a totally wonderful time!!!

    Like

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