Today was the mid month blood test. Dr Inscrutable was happy with the results: 122 for red cells, 283 for platelets and 3.3 for white cells. Husband asks why they were so keen to begin treating him when he wasn’t anaemic – we’re just trying to make sense of things. Doc tells him that when he mentioned that it felt like he had sludge going through his veins and that he was having headaches and nosebleeds, he’d ordered a paraprotein test. Apparently it was 40, which is “pretty high”. “You weren’t anaemic but you were symptomatic”. Hence the need to begin treatment.
We get the feeling that we’re missing something here but the numbers are good so we head home encouraged.
I wanted to ask why the proteins were there, what normal levels were, but I feel I’ve asked enough questions and don’t want to be a pain. Right now I’m more concerned about the eczema – which seems to die down with the steroids and cortisone given with chemo but then to rebound very quickly. The doc tells us that it could be lymphoma but that it’s so rare he’s never seen it. He adds “Anything is possible, see your GP”.
We ask another doc about the paraproteins. He explains that protein in the blood is like glue, it’s harder for the heart to pump blood – just like any pump.
When first measured in December 2015 Husband’s paraprotein level was 1.3, in 2016 it was between 0.8 and 1, then in 2017 it was 6.7-9. At the beginning of 2018 it was 9.3 and they didn’t then test it for a year, at which point it had shot up to 43.6. Not. Good. No wonder Husband felt like he was pumping sludge around his body. He was.