Thursday, July 24, 2014

Three easy appointments

My three appointments in Boston on Monday went amazingly well in terms of time waiting to be seen and results received.

First stop: the head and neck oncology department at Dana-Farber for Dr. Goguen to check my tongue. She said it looks fine and since it’s been fine for a while, I only need to see her in a year.

Next, I went halfway along the bridge connecting Dana-Farber and Brigham and Women’s to get a therapeutic phlebotomy at the Kraft Donor Center. This was the procedure I had attempted to get in Springfield a couple of months ago but could not get due to a hemoglobin below the cutoff line.

This time I was able to use the test results from my Dana-Farber visit a week earlier, which showed a hemoglobin of 11.3. At the same time, the phlebotomist drew a tube testing my ferritin level, which Melissa reported was down to 2362, in other words good news.

It will still be a while until I get it down to the normal range of between 18-160 (nanograms per milliliter). But due to a combination of this “blood-letting,” the withdrawal of blood during my regular tests and my daily dose of the disgusting Exjade, it’s way better than after I received the countless transfusions I needed during and immediately following treatment. I don’t exactly remember what it was, but I know it was more than 5,000.

Anyway, that done, I got to my 4 p.m. with Dr. Shoji, the surgeon who had done my hernia repair. Dr. Alyea wanted him to check the lipoma on my thigh; Dr. Shoji said it was harmless and recommended leaving it alone.

I was so exhausted from all the excitement in New York and probably also from the blood draw that I had trouble staying awake on the short drive to Newton, where I was going to spend the night.

I fell fast asleep on Diane and David’s couch for maybe two hours.

It was nice to have dinner waiting when I woke up.

No comments: