So, Monday was interesting…I went in to the cancer center at 7 for blood work to determine if I could get chemo that day…the results came in and my liver enzymes were higher than they were on Friday…Dr. M ordered a more detailed blood test…the results came back, and he decided he wanted to order yet another set of tests and wanted to squeeze in an appointment with me that morning…so, NO chemo was being done that day and I was disappointed…

I had a bit of a breakdown…well a big bit of a breakdown, around the time he ordered the third set of blood work…I got the results of the first and was COMPLETELY freaked out by one of the numbers…my LDH is 560 the highest it should be is 190 and the LDH can be an indicator of the cancer being present…I swear I could feel the cancer taking over my body…I know it was all in my head and that the high LDH could be for a number of reasons unrelated to the Lymphoma…but I think it was just time for a breakdown and if you are going to have one, you want to have one in the cancer center surrounded by nurses that know what they are talking about, and can give you perspective…basically Charlotte (one of the nurses) told me that I can’t let the numbers define me or how I feel…and that my body may just be letting them know that my body is tired and needs a break from chemo and treatment for a little…and she was right...

I can not let the numbers define me just like I can’t let the diagnosis of cancer define me

The last set of blood work was ordered at a little after 9 and my impromptu appointment with the doctor was SCHEDULED for 11…I did not see Dr. M until almost 1 p.m. by that time I was SO tired of being in the cancer center and I was ready to leave…

My conversation with Dr. M was CONFUSING to say the least…I don’t think I can coherently explain everything he said but it could MAYBE be a game changer…I have yet another appointment with him on Friday morning…he started me on a RX of steroids and wants to make sure my liver enzymes are going down…most specifically my bilirubin level…

Right now it seems I have Hemolytic anemia (here is a copy and pasted explanation of what that is)…

“Hemolytic anemia is a disorder in which the red blood cells are destroyed faster than the bone marrow can produce them. The term for destruction of red blood cells is hemolysis. There are two types of hemolytic anemia, including the following:

  • intrinsic - the destruction of the red blood cells due to a defect within the red blood cells themselves. Intrinsic hemolytic anemias are often inherited, such as sickle cell anemia and thalassemia. These conditions produce red blood cells that do not live as long as normal red blood cells.
  • extrinsic - red blood cells are produced healthy but are later destroyed by becoming trapped in the spleen, destroyed by infection, or destroyed from drugs that can affect red blood cells. The following lists some of the causes of extrinsic hemolytic anemia, also called autoimmune hemolytic anemia:
    • infections, such as hepatitis, cytomegalovirus (CMV), Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), typhoid fever, E. coli, or streptococcus
    • medications, such as penicillin, antimalaria medications, sulfa medications, or acetaminophen
    • leukemia or lymphoma
    • autoimmune disorders, such as systemic lupus erythematous (SLE, or lupus), rheumatoid arthritis, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome, or ulcerative colitis
    • various tumors
Some types of extrinsic hemolytic anemia are temporary and resolve over several months. Other types can become chronic with periods of remissions and recurrence.

What are the symptoms of hemolytic anemia?

The following are the most common symptoms of hemolytic anemia. However, each individual may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:

  • abnormal paleness or lack of color of the skin
  • jaundice, or yellowing of the skin, eyes, and mouth
  • dark color to urine
  • fever
  • weakness
  • dizziness
  • confusion
  • intolerance to physical activity
  • enlargement of the spleen and liver
  • increased heart rate (tachycardia)
  • heart murmur

The symptoms of hemolytic anemia may resemble other blood conditions or medical problems. Always consult your physician for a diagnosis.” (link)

I also found somewhere (I can’t remember where) that one of the reasons your LDH can be high is because of Hemolytic Anemia…so now my heart can calm down a bit…

The symptom of confusion really made me smile because on Sunday I got a glass of water to put in the dog’s bowl and realized that her bowl should really be cleaned, as I was rinsing out her bowl and putting clean water in, I poured the entire of cup of water I was holding in my other hand onto the counter making aHUGE mess…I could not understand why I did that…it was like my hand was going in slow motion and I just couldn’t stop it…so if I can blame that moment of stupidness to Hemolytic Anemia than I’m gonna take it!

So Thursday morning EARLY, I have a CT scan of my neck, chest, and abdomen…and get to drink those great bottles of barium! I always choose the banana flavor…and then Friday morning I go to the cancer center for blood work and a doctor appointment at 10 hopefully he won’t be TWO hours behind again…

The last few days of trying to have a good attitude have been working really well for me…and today I thought you know what? I can have a start over and it doesn’t matter if anyone else gives me one or not…I give myself a start over…God gives me a start over every single day…and who am I to go against his grace and mercy? I also have the power to give others in my life new starts, give them grace…I can forgive them whether they ask for my forgiveness or not (for a while I was bitter and felt like I needed people to see what they were doing and acknowledge it to me)…as long as I do it with a pure heart and mean it…I won’t say that it will be easy, and that at times I won’t want to hold it against them, but I will TRY which is the new attitude…I wonder if there is an acronym for the word try…anyone have any ideas?

Even though I am not getting chemo this week I have still decided to take the week off of work…with the symptoms of what is going on and the way the steroids can make me a little crazy like…along with my morning appointments it would have just been too hard to work…in two weeks when I don’t get a paycheck maybe I will think that I should have pushed through…but probably not…maybe…

hmmm, ask me in a week from Friday…

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