ITP does not discrimate when it strikes its next victim. It affects the young and old, rich and poor all over the world. Dealing with this blood disorder is no easy task. The fear and frustration of not knowing where the roller coaster will take us next can be daunting.

This blog is for ITPers to express thoughts, feelings and lessons learned during their ride. Send your post to We want to hear from you.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Ros Bryan came up with our question for this week. She posted this in one of the ITP support groups on Facebook and got some very interesting responses...

 When you see your doc/specialist, do you listen to them and let them make the call or do you have ideas of your own, that you want followed, (so long as it is of no danger).  Opinions anyone???
 Here are some of the replies she received:
1. Keep that up! and be bossy. Polite but not reverent. Being your own advocate is the most important thing to be, you are the boss of you, ITP or not. And if your doctor doesn't like it, they can kiss your behind. Personally, I always come with a list of questions, observations about my symptoms, and when he recommends a medication I tell him not prescribe it until I get all of the information about it and then I'll approve it. I learned my lesson the hard way by taking prednisone without looking it up first. My innocence was gone fast!
My doctor LOVES it. his nurses hate it because it's quicker for them to just prescribe it, but they can kiss my @ss too!

2. At the start I used to listen because I was scared and knew nothing saying that I haven't been to my hemo in nearly a year! If my count is ever low enough for treatment, I will not be taken pred! so she can think of something else..other than that! I just listen..and agree and leave ..But I have no problem in asking..WHY is this what your giving me ..etc etc.

3.We are all guinea pigs. Most of our doctors don't have more than a few ITP patients and they are all different, respond to different meds, are symptomatic at different levels. Mostly I think it is a cooperative effort. The doctor has ideas. I have ideas. When necessary, we come up with a new plan.

4. I agree wholeheartedly that's it's a cooperative effort and input should come from both sides. You're both working together for a common solution that will enhance your quality of life. You're paying for medical knowledge and advice, and in order for that advice to be effective in your specific situation, the doctor needs to have your input

5. I am feeling like I need to be more bossy now. I just listen to the dr and do whatever she says. But now she is sending me to the neuro because of the fatigue. And I have already been there for it last time and they did an emg and there is nothing wrong. We thought it was just from the pred but now I have been off it since January. My count from Thursday is 53K. At this point she is just waiting for it to bottom out before I even go back to see her.

What do you think...Do you let the doctor make all the decisions or do you voice your ideas and suggestions? If so does you doctor listen?

Please leave a comment below and let us know what you think...

Thursday, November 15, 2012

What Do You Think II

Anthony Heard came up with our ITP question of the week...

Despite what your doctor or specialist may have said WHAT DO YOU THINK MAY HAVE BEEN THE CAUSE OF YOUR ITP, WHAT DO YOU THINK MAY HAVE TRIGGERED IT ? 

Anthony commented, "I would just be interested to hear what other ITP folk think. I have my own theory about why my ITP started but my specialist says no. For the record I think my ITP started as a reaction I believe my immune system had to a bereavement (that is what I think but who knows, it's as good a theory as any). Would be interested to hear what other folk think.

Give us your thoughts by leaving a comment about this question. 

Greta Burroughs
I think mine was triggered by stress. My parents were both undergoing chemotherapy and I lived too far away to help them. At the same time, my husband had three stents implanted around his heart resulting in his aviation career coming to an end. I was worried sick, hyper and lost a bunch of weight. After a year of self-induced stress, I was diagnosed with ITP. 

How about you? What do you think triggered your ITP?

Friday, November 9, 2012


Ros and her daughter Calley in Perth.
Ros Bryan lives in Australia. She has had her ups and downs with ITP but support from her ITP friends and her family has kept her strong through it all. Here is her story.

Hi everyone, you are about to get a warts and all story from me, in fact, honestly I don’t even know if now is a good time to write it.  For all of you that have ITP, or know someone with it, you will know it can be a default line in your life. Right now for some reason, probably because it’s coming up to the one year anniversary, of the most dreadful time of my life, I’m going through a really big downer. This is where living in Australia, is not ideal, lol, because right now I’d kill for a hug from one of my ITP friends.

My story began maybe late Oct, early Nov 2011, I noticed I had a rash on my stomach. Being the laid back person I am, I didn't really care. I figured it may be washing powder, fleas from our animal’s, heat rash, there was a million things I put it down to. I did promise myself next time I went to the doctor I would ask. Meanwhile I was also spitting up and blowing blood from my nose, lol, still it didn't bother me.  A couple of weeks later when I did see the Doc, he immediately gave me a referral to a lung specialist, thinking maybe I had lung cancer.  I forgot about a rash, until I was on the way out, so I then ran back in to show him, he put it down to viral. So I was none the wiser, lung cancer did concern me, but not overly.
A couple of days later, the rash appeared on the back of my hands, this did freak me out. I decided to go to Mum’s doc, to get a second opinion. He immediately sent me for a blood test. This all happened on a Friday, since I had not seen him for goodness knows how long, he didn't have my contact details.  Being a Friday night about 7 pm we were just about to walk out the door to my daughter’s netball. I had a phone call from my Mum, the doc had contacted her, because he couldn't get me, to tell me to get to hospital immediately, I only had 2000 platelets. I remember telling her sure, I’ll go after netball, that’s when mum had to relay the message if I didn't get there immediately I may die, oh yeah, and don’t fall over or bump your head on the way!! 

I think my legs gave out from under me, and my head certainly spun, as I was hysterically   crying so much I couldn't see.  My son took my daughter to netball, and myself, my hubby, and Mum went to hospital.  I knew it must've been bad, no doc, ever rings at 7 pm over here.  A little detail I do remember is the nurse shoving, and I mean shoving a canula in, while coughing all over me, I was a bit calmer by then, but  besides babies, I had never been in hospital before, and I was certainly not staying there this time!! LOL, or so I thought. After me giving them a lecture about how I was going home, so hurry up and fix me, the Doc, had to tell me if I walked out that door now I would die (one of my greatest fears), so rest assured I wasn't going anywhere, Mum was with me, trying to small talk, gee, I was horrid, telling her to shut up etc. I was in over night before meeting a Hemo the next day, who told me I needed a transfusion because I had ITP. After asking questions, I still had no idea what it was. That day over 6 hours I had a hemoglobin transfusion, (I think, see I still don’t know)!!! My platelets came up very slowly and I was released about 5 days later, with 2700 platelets, and a 2 page brochure, about the blood disorder. One page, was actually pictures, that’s how well informed I was!!! I was a nightmare for my hubby, poor thing.

I had to go back for an outpatient 2 weeks later. I was on 130 mg of steroids so my platelets had gone up. I also not wanting to whinge mentioned to my doc that my arm I had the transfusion in  was still really sore, probably nothing, and I wasn't worried. She insisted on getting it checked, but forgot to give me a form for an ultrasound. Meh, I didn't care, I was sure it was nothing, but she posted one out, and told me to go. For that I went to a different closer hospital. Of course I had a blood clot in my arm, superficial, so it should be okay but it seemed every time I went to hospital I was taken into an emergency room and given more bad news, and was booked in too see a doctor there. That’s where the memory of the Nurse came back to me. I reported that to the doctor, I have never seen one so angry. Well I didn't make it because the blood clot had moved to my lungs. A PE man, I couldn't catch a break. 

You know when you go to a public hosp and report in, and they chuck you on a bed and rip off your clothing, that something is really wrong!! So I had to stay in the hospital for a couple of nights observation, as the Cat Scan had shown a lesion on my lungs. They had to be wary in case it was cancer!! I was a freaking mess, by this time. Home from hospital though, cry enough and they’ll let you go!! They started me on a needle called Clexane, a Warfarin type drug, but couldn't actually give me warfarin itself in case I needed a biopsy, and of course I would probably bleed out. So for about 6 weeks I was on needles given by nurses at home 2 times a day, a great service we are blessed with. I couldn't sleep in my bed, I was frightened to moved off the lounge, I love my daughter with all my heart, but didn't want her cuddles, I had just lost the plot!!

Anyway, now I can cut it short, the lesion came down in size with every fortnightly cat scan, so they were confident it was only a clot, not the dreaded “C” word. However my doc, told me he would continue to pray for me, man that totally freaked me out. I couldn't at the time see it as a nice gesture to me. It meant I had to be dying.

Eventually after 6 months I am off the warfarin, however I still have to have another cat scan, that I am putting off until I go back to the hemo on Nov 12, so I will arrange it then. I am being weaned off steroids, I think this is my 3rd time. Of course, then I crash and go back on them. Thanks to all you out there, I am aware of different meds and treatments. Short term I have had no trouble with steroids, except extra sweating, and not being able to see 3 feet in front of me. I was told by my Hemo that steroids cause a thin watery lining over your pupils and basically seeing is really hard, and it is. I do know from previous experience it will go away though. 

I'm certainly going to inquire about the other drugs and treatments though, I think steroids is just the easy option. He must dread me coming, with my list of questions, that makes me sound really clever and knowledgeable.  Of course they are just stolen from all of you, but it keeps him on his toes. I do share care with my doctor though, because mine is fairly standard !! I’m hoping this time will be THE time, that it works, and ITP just disappears, I really don’t want it anymore.

One thing that I do know for absolute certainty, that without my ITP GROUP, that I accidentally found, I would be nowhere. Further, I have gained so much knowledge, love in abundance, and friends that will last forever. I'd love to name you, but you know who you are!!!  My hope is to start something like this in Australia. Without my group, I wouldn't have had the confidence or support I need to be even able to think that. I don’t have a rash, I don’t bruise, I just don’t have platelets, so I guess really it doesn't or shouldn't effect my life the way I let it. I don’t all the time, just sometimes like now!! 

Somewhere in between this, we have moved state for my husbands job, I know absolutely no one in our new State, but it’s kinda cool. I don’t have to meet someone and say, "Hi I’m Ros, and I have ITP." I have 3 children and one has gone back to our old state, because he is at the end of schooling and the curriculum is just too different between states. He is happy and living with my parent’s. I try to tell myself its just like boarding school, but just thinking about him not being here makes me cry, I need him, lol. My hubby has been fab, taking me to my appointments etc, but truthfully I think he may be sick of hearing about it.  I think maybe I am suffering a little from PTSD, maybe, but I will cruise through it,(reading what I've just written, I guess I'm entitled though). Well that is my plan, but I'm not silly. I will get help if I need it. Like I mentioned earlier though, I really would give my right teeth, to have a hug and cuddle with Greta right now. xxx

Ros, here's a big hug from me and all the other ITPers reading your story. Thanks for sharing!!

Friday, November 2, 2012

What Do You Think?

For the past several months, we have had posts written by ITPers telling his/her experiences with ITP.

This week is going to be different....

Below is a question that I'd like to have everyone comment on. Just click the comment icon and tell us what you think.

How does ITP affect your relationships with your family and friends? Have you discovered that some of the people in your life have "disappeared" or have they been supportive and try to understand?

Do you have a question you want addressed? Please leave it in the comments. Thanks for supporting our blog!