I was diagnosed in 2018 with a bone marrow failure disease which got progressively worse until January of this year. February 1st, 2019 I required my first 3 units of Red Blood Cell Transfusion. It turns out that I have a rare disease called Very High-Risk Hypoplastic Myelodysplasia (a form of bone marrow and blood cancer).
Part of the problem with this disease is that it causes my hemoglobin to become low, as well as my platelets and white blood cells. Right now I am transfusion dependent and get 2-3 units of blood bi-weekly. Transfusions bring my energy levels back up to a decent enough place where I feel better doing day to day tasks.
When my hemoglobin goes critically low I suffer heart palpitations and difficulty breathing as well as extreme fatigue.
MDS can also turn into Acute Myeloid Leukemia, in my case the risk is about 30%. Recently I have been told I will require a stem cell transplant to potentially cure me and save my life. Without treatment of transfusions and ultimately the stem cell transplant, my life is shortened greatly. It is my hope to find a stem cell donor as soon as possible.
Each time I receive blood I say a quiet thank you to the donor who has taken the time to donate blood. I am sure I am not alone in my gratitude.