Those darn platelets

When my platelets peaked at 116 (well it was a peak compared to last year’s trough, but not up to the levels of the pre-chemo days) the haematology consultant decided I didn’t need to go into CCHU for a while and that they would instead have me have a blood test every four months which they would follow up with a ‘phone call. I had had a blood test a month ago for my last oncology appointment where I found that my platelet count had drifted down to 83. Would it now have recovered or would it still be dropping? Continue reading “Those darn platelets”

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My platelets are better than yours

I saw a haematology consultant today and the good news is that my platelet count has continued to rise. It is now 116 which is still below the normal level of 150 plus but is heading in the right direction. If you look at a graph of my platelet scores there is a clear upward trend from the panic inducing level of 10 in September. Continue reading “My platelets are better than yours”

Flushes, Antigens and Platelets

Every so often I feel like I am breaking out in a hot sweat even though there is no actual sweat or perspiration. I notice it mainly on my face and I don’t think anyone else notices it is happening unless I start fanning myself or open the doors and windows.  It can happen several times a day and usually lasts just a few minutes. Continue reading “Flushes, Antigens and Platelets”

Big data and little data – elections and platelets

A friend drew my attention to an article ‘The Data That Turned the World Upside Down’  which talked about the impact of “big data” on the recent US Presidential election and the UK’s EU referendum. (It is quite a long article!). Big data seems to be an aggregation of vast volumes of little bits of data such as posts on Facebook or shopping on Amazon or searches on Google. Continue reading “Big data and little data – elections and platelets”

Platelet mysteries

We are midway between oncology appointments so there is nothing to report on that front other than to mention a Radio 4 programme – Inside Out – that a fellow pc-blogger drew to my attention. It discussed the grey areas in the diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer – it may be over-diagnosed and over-treated or the opposite (and in particular not identified early enough). It’s a bit like spending money on marketing – you know that half the money is wasted but the trouble is that you don’t know which half. The programme also argued for MRI scans before prostate biopsies so that they could be targeted better.  Interestingly it mentioned prostatectomies and radiotherapy as treatments but nothing about chemotherapy.

However I can report progress on a different front – I saw a Haematology consultant on Monday. Continue reading “Platelet mysteries”

Animal health and blood numbers

It is often (incorrectly) claimed that a healthy dog has a wet nose (or vice versa). If that were true and I was a dog I would be regarded as being healthy! Since March I have had a slightly damp nose. Not sure why – it’s not listed among the many side effects of Docetaxel or of Triptorelin, so it’s a bit of a mystery. Continue reading “Animal health and blood numbers”

Testosterone fast and feast is bats

Last week I had an e-mail which started “Dear Sir and Madam” – gosh, I thought, the writer must have known about me being on hormone therapy. The idea of hormone therapy is that it reduces the testosterone that feeds the cancer. It may have a few side effects such as hot flushes and sweating – when I mentioned that I seemed to be getting these­­ to my consultant I just got a wry “Welcome to our world” look from the women in the room. The good news was that my PSA and platelet levels are roughly the same as the last time, one up slightly, one down slightly but not statistically significant. Continue reading “Testosterone fast and feast is bats”