January 10, 2020
I went back to hematology, and it was decided that I should start on EPO shots. As a reminder, EPO is the hormone that stimulates the bone marrow to make red blood cells. My EPO levels were actually in the normal range but the thought was that a boost might help. It’s just a quick shot, and it’s generally very well tolerated. A schedule was set for the next six weeks: I would go in every two weeks, get labs done, then if warranted, get the EPO shot. In the lab work, they looking at the hemoglobin level. If it is below 10, I’d get the shot. At or above 10, no shot. Studies had shown, apparently, that giving it when the hemoglobin is above 10 can lead to some pretty serious side effects, such as blood clots and strokes. Oh my.
[Sidebar: Lance Armstrong was caught doping with EPO. EPO = more red blood cells = go faster on that bike! How stupid though… he risked stroking out or an embolism to win a race. Dumbass.]