A series of test tubes holding blood, one of them has a red X through it

Bad Blood

On an idle, rainy Saturday, I started thinking about the phrase “bad blood.” The Bad Blood title, per my Google research, is used in a number of forums in music, books, and TV.

The first thing that pops up in the search engine, and the one I most often associate with Bad Blood is the song released in 2014 by Taylor Swift. In 2012, Bastille’s released a song by the same name. There was TV drama series, inspired by true events, portraying the life and death of Montreal mob boss Vito Rizzuto. A story filled with greed, rivalry and revenge.

The only reference not related to a bad relationship was a book called Bad Blood about a startup company’s fraud in Silicon Valley. The company called Theranos developed an at-home blood test which did not work.

Why do I care about bad blood?

So why do I have a fascination with bad blood? Why am I spending my day searching Google? Mostly it's because I have “bad blood.” No, I don’t have bad feelings about my former lover or have mob connections. What I’m referring to is the blood flowing through my veins, like the stuff Dracula would like to suck (although, because it’s bad, Dracula wouldn’t even want it).

I have a rare, incurable, chronic blood cancer called polycythemia vera or PV. In 2016, I was diagnosed with this condition after a routine lab test showed that most of my blood levels were abnormally elevated. It came as a complete surprise as at the time I exhibited no symptoms and considered myself the picture of health.

PV causes my bone marrow to produce too many red blood cells and this makes my blood thick. Therefore, my “bad blood” increases my risk of heart attack, stroke, or blood clots significantly.

It also makes my blood tests, which unfortunately I partake in every month, out of whack. My Complete Blood Count or CBC, with its hematocrit, hemoglobin, platelets, red and white blood cell count are usually elevated. Finally, there is also about a 10 percent chance this cancer can progress to a more serious cancer called myelofibrosis and a slightly less percent chance of leukemia.

My symptoms are mild in comparison to some with this cancer. They consist of headaches, fatigue, and itching. Fortunately, my prognosis is good. I have an effective treatment plan that mostly keeps these levels in check.

My Own "Bad Blood" Song

Since I wasn’t able to find anything relatable to my bad blood I thought I’d come up with my own song, titled, of course, Bad Blood.

PV gives me bad blood, bad blood
This can make it thick as mud
Now my blood levels are high
How I got it, don’t know why

PV gives me bad blood, bad blood
And my arteries are plugged
Life with PV is a chore
Want to show it to the door

PV gives me bad blood, bad blood
And I always feel like crud
PV, I wish you’d go away
Hate living with you each day

No tune yet, but perhaps it would make a great rap song. Maybe I could even release it and make millions. That's probably not going to happen but I sure wish my bad blood would go away.

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