Aug 11, 2013 - 1:55 am
This may be a weird question. I am going to celebrate my one year of finishing my cancer chemo treatments at the end of this month. I am so thankful to have gotten through it.
My question is...will I ever be able to donate blood? I really want to help other people since I had so many people help me. Whenever I see someone with cancer or I hear about someone struggling, I want to help if I can.
I had a lot of problems with my blood cells while I was having chemo. My CEA kept going up from the first chemo treatment until the last one. The count was the highest it ever was when I finished my last treatment. The Oncologist told me I had "immature" bone marrow cells. The bone marrow was producing "baby" cells so I wasn't responding well to the treatments. The Oncologist told me I would have to wait three months to see if my CEA went down and if it didn't, there was going to be a good chance that I would need a bone marrow transplant to get my bone marrow cells replaced with healthy "adult" cells which would enable me to fight the cancer. I waited three months and the CEA dropped down to normal. There may be a time I will need a bone marrow transplant and the thought at the time terrified me. I didn't have any siblings able to donate since my brother has diabetes. My parents were too old. I was glued to the TV every time Robin Roberts appeared to check in on her while she was struggling through her bone marrow transplant. I cried every time I watched it.
So now, it has almost been a year. I'm wondering if I can EVER donete blood or bone marrow even after I make it past the five year mark. Can people who have had cancer ever donate blood? I have a feeling I will never be able to donate bone marrow since I have defective marrow cells (and by the way, I had a second opinion when I thought I needed a bone marrow transplant and the second doctor called my marrow cells "immature" too). Even if I can't donate bone marrow to someone who needs it, will I ever be able to donate blood since I had cancer?
Input would be appreciated. Has anyone donated blood after they were officially deemed cancer free (five year mark)? I have a ways to go before I reach that mark but I was just wondering.