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I have what is called "anemia of chronic disease" - this means essentially, when I become sick, or my COPD flares w/pneumonia, my hemoglobin 'goes on strike' - and drops, oftentimes enough to require blood transfusions. I had 5 unites in 5 months back in 2004-2005; and another unit a few months ago.

In 2004/5 it wasn't just the hemaglobin that would drop, it would be ALL my blood counts - white, red and platelets - that's called pancytopenia. Obviously, when my white cell count would drop, my immune system would strike, as well. I did have a bone marrow biopsy in 2005, which simply showed 'hypocellular bone marrow' - in other words, I have half the 'mama cells' (proginator cells) that most people have - the other half, I presume, destroyed by chemo during breast cancer treatment in 2001. For a LONG time, my HGB (hemoglobin) hovered around 9 and 10 (12-14 is normal) so I know what fatigue is! My friend walked around with an HGB of 6! That's dangerous! The regularly check my HGB when I'm in the hospital (I've had 19 pneumonias since 2004 - 8 from 2004/2005, 4 in 2007 and 5 so far in 2008. Price I'm paying for smoking so many years - COPD, GERD, etc.


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