Going with the (Blood) Flow

I had blood taken twice this week.  Same vein.  Today I watched as my blood trickled slowly into each vial, wincing slightly as the needle pulled with the thrust of a fresh container.  The vials rolled against each other as the lab tech tossed them onto the counter; some half full, others to the brim.  If I had reached out and touched them, they would have been warm.  I know this because as a lupus research participant, I had to deliver a couple of fresh ones to the clinic.  I remember feeling startled that I could feel the warmth of my blood against the palm of my hand, like I was carrying around pieces of me, still very much alive.  It was one of the strangest feelings I’ve ever had.  It was like being inside out.

A couple of posts ago, I likened my liver to a talking cartoon who piped up to reaffirm that YES, it’s had quite the shitty deal lately.  I, of course, did not know that my liver was actually saying this at the time I was writing, but lo and behold, it certainly was.  Hence, the blood tests.

 At my follow-up appointment last week, my liver levels were up, which I am assuming to mean that there’s a whole lot of toxicity going on.  Dr. H. thinks it’s because of the Imuran, the medication I started taking in December to replace the chemo.  To be sure, she took me off of it for an entire week cold turkey, asking me to come in the following week for more blood tests.  I did that on Tuesday.  My liver levels haven’t budged.  Dr. H. thinks it may be because the Imuran hasn’t fully drained from my system, but just in case, she had me do blood tests for Hepatitis today and is ordering an ultrasound of my abdomen and liver to ensure I don’t have any blockages.  I have no idea why I would have Hepatitis, but I have no desire to engage in an internet search to find out.  My white blood cells were low both times as well.  Dr. H. thinks that’s also because of the Imuran.  In the meantime, I have been told to up my dose of prednisone back to 15 mg (I was at 7.5) for a week to keep me “covered” as the Imuran drains from my system and then go down to 10mg while we figure this whole thing out.  Yo-yoing with the Evil P isn’t sitting with me very well, but otherwise, I’m feeling fine to just go with the flow.  It’s all an experiment.  All I can do is keep the faith.

I always thought that my first ultrasound of my abdomen would be when I was expecting my first child.  Ah well… maybe I’ll get to see the irritated little face of my liver instead.

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