Melody Berthoud
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What I didn’t know Part 2

Melody Berthoud
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17 Nov 2017

I didn't know Leukaemia was cancer or even a blood cancer - I had heard of it before so suspected Andrew's symptoms meant he had 'Leukaemia' but I thought it was just another childhood illness, like chicken pox.

What I didn't know... part 2

I didn't know Leukaemia was cancer or even a blood cancer - I had heard of it before so suspected Andrew's symptoms meant he had 'Leukaemia' but I thought it was just another childhood illness, like chicken pox.

I didn’t know you could get a type of cancer that you couldn’t feel as a lump or see in a scan. I thought all cancers could be 'cut out' like breast cancer - so how did you cut out bad blood cells?

I didn't know that being given pints of blood and platelets was part and parcel of blood cancer treatment. Andrew had 22 transfusions in total during treatment.

I didn't know that it is the Platelets that clump around a cut and trap red blood cells to form a scab. That is why a high number of platelets were needed before Andrew's 23 lumbar punctures and why his port continued to bleed if he had low platelets.

I didn't know that a bag of platelets is created from a mixture of donors and not just one person - which is why children, including Andrew, often had allergic reactions.

I didn't know that just one platelet donation can be used for up to 12 children until Dan went and did it.

I didn't know that Red blood cells carry oxygen and take under a minute to travel around the body. Andrew was much more energetic and had colour in his cheeks after a blood transfusion because he was given more oxygen. No wonder some cyclists did blood doping.

I didn't know that it is the White blood cells that hunt down germs that cause infections and gobble them up.

I didn't know children with Leukaemia have too many abnormal blast white cells being produced in the bone marrow, which then crowd out the generation of normal white cells.

I didn't know neutrophils are a type of white blood cell and are the first cells on the scene when there is inflammation in the body. They don’t last for long, which is why neutrophil levels could spike just before Andrew got ill and admitted with a temperature. It also explains, when Andrew had low neutrophils, why he had nothing with which to fight the infection.

I didn't know that blood cancer hides in testicles and that boys need an extra year of chemo (compared to girls) because of it.

Bloodwise Fact #1.
Blood cancer happens when something goes wrong with the development of your blood cells. This stops them working properly and they grow out of control, which can stop your blood doing the things it normally does to keep you healthy - that’s why blood cancer makes you unwell.

https://bloodwise.org.uk/charity/about/facts

#CCAM #Quest4acure #bloodcancerawarenessmonth

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