Hemoglobin (HB) level

A frequently occurring side effect of chemotherapy is a growing deficiency of red blood cells. The hemoglobin level in the blood decreases gradually, which results in anaemia.  This also happened in my case.  Dear friends provided me immediately with lots of apple syrup, Roosvicee Ferro, Floradix and delicious dishes with liver and spinach. The case manager in the hospital explained to me that unfortunately all this was useless, as the problem is not the iron level.

My recovery after the fourth chemo was slow; I felt weak, washed-out, had a blinding headache, and could not face any activity. Even climbing the stairs became a huge achievement. I decided to ring the case manager. She immediately arranged a new appointment for a blood test. She called back the same day: I had a HB level of 5.5, which was low enough to get a blood transfusion. I asked her when this was going to take place. ‘I wanted to discuss it with you first’ she said. 

Her reaction did me a world of good.  Unintentionally I was launched into a life in which survival means a long path of nasty treatments. A life with only a few options. Her reaction gave me the beneficent feeling that not only my tumour and body matter, but myself as a person too! ‘To have things discussed with me first’ gave me the feeling to be a respected team player, and therefore a fellow human being. The blood transfusion (a big thank you for the generous donors) which she organized for me the next morning, made that I’m now feeling physically more human as well.