Blood Cell Counts & Volunteering

Blood Cell Counts

I had an CBC run on Wednesday, basically blood cell count. I was going to be seeing Joanne, my exercise lady, and wanted an updated report on how my white and red blood cells were doing. My platelets are back in the land of normal. My red blood cells are improving but still not quite in the normal range. But my white blood cells actually got worse from the last time! I was so disappointed, as I’ve been holding off on doing some things while waiting for my immunity to come back up, namely, going to the rec center, and visiting Frontier House. So, alas. I will have to wait a bit longer. I have a phone appointment with Dr. West early next week to talk about what else I can be doing to improve those white blood cell counts. In the meantime I’ve been sending extra love to my bone marrow! Bone marrow is one of the types of fast growing cells, like hair, that get hit hard by chemo. So maybe the fact that my hairs, of all sorts, are really beginning to grow back in, also means that my bone marrow cells are as well. Here’s hoping.


In other news, I have signed up to be a volunteer at the UCHealth Anschutz Campus, in order to be able to play the pianos there. PianoWhen I am down for an appointment in that area I will also take along music to play. So I’ve been picking music that would be appropriate and making sure I can sight-read through them reasonably well. I definitely don’t need to turn it into the high-pressure situation of performing it perfectly, memorizing, or otherwise completely stressing myself out, when in fact I’m a pretty good sight reader. My first “gig” will be November 13.

It has been a big process to go through to be able to be a volunteer there. Applications, references, online and in-person trainings, an interview, a health checkup including immunization checks and drug checks, etc. Whew! Just to play the piano. But now that I’ve been through it I can understand why. Volunteers see and hear and interact with all sorts of people, and all sorts of situations, so they’d better be ready, even if they’re only playing the piano! The volunteer coordinator gave the example that one of their musicians was playing a song, and a woman came down the stairs, heard the music and burst into tears, because the song had been played at her wedding, and her husband had just died there at the hospital. So the musician/volunteer rapidly became a counselor and comforter. I feel with my trainings in both realms that might be a perfect fit. Music is highly therapeutic, and sometimes additional therapeutic measures are called for as well.

In the interview with the coordinator, she asked me at the end to play something, and I was a bit confounded. She hadn’t said I would need to, ahead of time, and it hadn’t even occurred to me that I would be asked to audition. And I don’t generally have things memorized, or the ability to improvise, as I was trained to read music and that is what I do best. So I had to explain to her that I have a degree in music, taught for years, and as part of my degree had to pass a piano proficiency exam. She has had to take it on faith that I can actually play the piano! Haha!

In any case, soothing, relaxing, and expressive music is on order. It is soothing, relaxing and expressive for me to do as well.

Now to get on with the day.

1 thought on “Blood Cell Counts & Volunteering

  1. PATRICIA A. MCNULTY October 16, 2018 — 4:28 pm

    You continue to impress me beyond measures. Keep doing what you are doing.

    Liked by 1 person

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