Blood test results day: it’s all about the numbers

posted in: Cancer 2

Blood results day. Again. We live in three-monthly increments these days, which is much better than living according to weekly or day to day tests! For once I’m not terrified, largely because Husband has been so active lately. He clearly feels well and is on good form psychologically and while that’s hardly a foolproof diagnostic tool, it gives us some idea of how he is.

It is much easier to have the results by telephone at home. It denies cancer the gloom and drama of a hospital waiting room, the move into the corridor, the calling of his name, focusing on walking, trying to smile, to be calm – for him, for the other patients, for the staff. There’s enough drama in that place.

Husband had a blood test recently when our GP was trying to rule out a blood clot while investigating pain he had in his chest. Husband didn’t take a note of the blood numbers but said there was nothing of concern. So we shouldn’t see any major issues today but if there’s a blip it would be nice to have some context. We must ask the local surgery for a print out of the blood test – or at least some numbers.

Some days it’s all about the numbers. Except it’s not. It’s natural for us to focus on numbers but God is far greater than the numbers. Looking at life in the light of eternity really does change the perspective!

So we sit waiting for the phone to ring. Finally it does. Results are normal. Brilliant but can you please be more specific. Red cells 14.6. That’s well within the normal range but we know it’s not just numbers but trends that matter. 14.6 is quite a jump down from 15.5 where he was 3 months ago. The Doc noted that Husband’s red cells have been up and down over the last 18 months but staying in the 14-15 range so he doesn’t see cause for concern. Yet. If there’s another drop in 3 months then that might be significant.

I know that 14.6 is a ‘good’ number – ‘normal’ – in the first few years since diagnosis we couldn’t have dreamt of such a number. But I can’t help feeling literally a bit depressed – a bit weighed down. It’s quite a big jump. The platelets were up a little though. When all the numbers are going in the wrong direction it’s awful. That’s not what we have at the moment. For now all we know is that the red cells have dropped, the platelets have gone up a bit and they don’t yet have the protein count but will let us now if there’s anything of note.

I have learned to reason with myself as if I were a tired child, to focus on what I know, to anchor myself in psychological storms. God is God. I am not. Husband is stable for the moment. There is no immediate drama. That is a blessing. Worrying will achieve nothing. This gives us time to breathe. And we all need to do that!

2 Responses

  1. Marcus Evans
    | Reply

    Great news. Long may the normal range continue. I understand any dip is a concern, but it’s only a problem if it trends, as you say.

    All the best for the next three months!

  2. Admin
    | Reply

    Thanks for your kind post. Hope things improve for you soon. Keep up the great work at

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