Looking at the paperwork I realized that it had been nearly two years since I had been in to donate. The paperwork had changed so I had to read everything carefully. It was organized in a new way, some old questions had been dropped and a few new ones added.
I got to a question that was essentially "have you ever had cancer?" and stopped for a beat. I realized that I'll be circling "Y" and explaining my diagnosis every time I donate forever. (I figured I'd have to talk about it today, I was deferred for 18 months because of it.) But nurses understand, and the talk was easy.
As always, I was thanked multiple times for coming in. Given the deferral I was thanked especially for coming back. Once I was in the chair everything went like I remembered. The stick was easy and I've got no bruising at all.
I make a point of donating blood because volunteering is difficult with my crazy schedule, and it's something I can do for the community. This is me asking everyone else to try donating as well. The statistic I've seen is that only 3% of the eligible population donates. I know not everyone is eligible, and some folks have a legitimate hatred of needles. But if you can, it's an hour to 90 minutes of your time every eight weeks or so and there is no substitute for blood. We all need it.