A Case of the Bruise
Last updated: January 2023
I’ve been on two different steroids for over 8 years. I’ve been taking a baby aspirin every day for over 8 years. Even when I’ve changed my main myeloma drug, these have remained constant, and because of these, I bruise super easy. Any slight bump or tap will cause a bruise. Additionally, any little scratch will lead to significant blood flow. I have thin skin and my blood doesn’t clot very well. I’m also consistently low on platelets.
Looks like I've been in a battle
I’m very careful with not bumping into things, but I’d say 90% of the time my arms look like I’ve been in a battle. If someone doesn’t know my situation (condition) and they see me bleeding, they will gasp and worry that I’m in need of medical attention. I then have to explain why I bleed and bruise so easily. I’ve taken to wearing long sleeve t-shirts or sweatshirts when my arms are particularly nasty looking. When it’s summer, I get overly hot and sweaty. What’s interesting, I wear shorts most of the time, but my legs are faring much better. It’s only my arms that are paying the price.
Finding a solution for the brusing
I was complaining to my primary oncologist the other day and felt a bit sheepish doing so. He said it’s good when his patients complain about these sorts of things, that it means their minds aren’t on their cancer. I spoke with my dermatologist about this, and she suggested arnica to help with bruising. My wife has also promoted arnica. We’re also trying CBD cream which seems to help the bruises heal quicker. I’ve considered not taking the baby aspirin which serves as a blood thinner and reduces the chance of getting blood clots. But I suppose it would be silly to let my ego push me into making a decision that might not be smart for my health. I should note that I make regular visits to the dermatologist, given my weakened immune system has made me prone to skin cancer and warts.
Also the other day, I noticed a large bruise on one side of my arm basically from elbow to wrist. It was a bit tender. As is usual with my bruise or cuts, I have no idea how I got this massive bruise. My nurse saw it and got worried and had me see the doctor. He was confident it wasn’t cancer-related and recommended I see my primary care doctor. Primary care doctor? I’ve been viewing my oncologist as my primary care doctor. I already have so many doctors, thanks to the cancer, that adding a primary care doctor into the mix definitely sounds bothersome and almost sounds overwhelming. But I’ll go, nonetheless.
Learning to live with the bruises
When I was younger, my stepfather had heart issues and was on blood thinners and I’d note that he always had bruises and he’d bleed on stuff a lot. The newspaper, table, steering wheel, and so on. I’d feel bad for him. I never thought I’d be in that situation, but recently I noticed dried blood on the armrest in my car. Well, heck, I have no idea how and when that happened.
It goes without saying, that if bruising is my biggest concern when living with an incurable cancer, then it’s not so bad. I’d welcome any suggestions.
What blood cancer were you diagnosed with?