Blood Transfusion Fear Put To Bed

After 3 admissions my body was tired and sadly my iron levels dipped.
Being Thalassemic Trait is bad enough as I'm always slightly anaemic in general, but whilst having chemotherapy I knew at some point my iron levels would dip so low that I'd need a blood transfusion.

Naturally I was terrified, I didn't know how a bloody blood transfusion really worked and I was worried about the process when really, it was a 6 hour piece of piss. I was tired, wow extremely tired and boy did the transfusion give me the burst of energy I was craving.

I was sat in the unit alone at first, a bald bag of nerves, the nurse kept telling me to relax but I couldn't. The thought of someone else's blood entering my arm, the thought of having a bad reaction, it pulled on my anxiety strings and it was starting to show. The nurses at North Mids chemo unit were amazing, they spotted it and made sure I relaxed. We chatted and they brought me a sandwich,  2 gentlemen then came in the room and was hooked up to have their chemo. 

Having people in the room naturally calmed my nerves because as many of you know, I'm the worlds biggest chatter box. We all started chatting away and immediately clicked. We were all talking and laughing so loud that the unit manager had to tell us to keep it down, it was funny because we all felt like the naughty school kids. All of us with cancer. All of us part of this club. Why should we be quite, we're living life on the edge, we have cancer, we will not be quite. A natural understanding and funny little bond immediately takes place when you meet another person with cancer. You all have the same look and fear in each others eyes and you all have this sense of 'life's too short, do and say what you want'. But out of respect for the nurses we did turn it down a notch.

One of the guys sitting having chemo had a friend that accompanied him, he looked like Michael Caine.... I kid you not, I thought it was him so much so that I was google imaging just to check if he was ...he wasn't. 
The other guy sat next to me, Uncle Norman who I'd later call, was a spitting image of one of my actual uncles.
My uncle who I'd once been close with but somehow drifted with after I was diagnosed.
Why does that happen? 'Drifters' I like to call them. Once there.... now not.

Im not sure if its the cancer that scared him away or if it was something else? His brother Ken, my Uncle who I really miss, was diagnosed with Leukaemia over 30 years ago. Chemotherapy back then was different, it was so harsh and treatment wasn't very individually tailored, and sadly from the age of 25, after 11 year battle he passed away at 36.
Maybe it was that. The thought that he'd be losing another family member.  Im not going to lie, when I was initially told I would have to have chemo, my Uncle Ken popped in my head. Was I going to die, was I going to be hooked up to lots of machines? Will I be bed bound?

Hours passed, the conversation touched on politics, religion, homophobia, islamaphobia, diet, cancer... and before we knew it 6 hours later Norman had become Uncle Norm and we were the only ones left in the unit. Transfusion was done. There was nothing to have feared, I knew that just like the conversations with these familiar strangers, this was helping me and boy did I feel like a new person  a few days later. I went home that day feeling very mentally drained but very positive. 

I filmed the whole process on Instagram stories and naturally saved it to create a short film if you like just click on the link below to watch my reactions. Enjoy and don't be scared. Its saving your life.
Thank you to each and every person who donated and continue to donate blood. You are true heroes.


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