Since numbers play a big part in the analysis of many medical conditions including cancers and itp I have tracked their progress on various graphs which I have shared on occasion. I thought I could also include them all (updated from time to time) here as well.

So firstly the number that kicked off this saga, the PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) which, when raised, is an indicator of a potential problem.The graph shows both the longer term trend and the more recent picture.

PSA - long and short term results

PSA combined

Hormone therapy started 27 January 2016 and I had chemotherapy between 31 March and 14 July 2016. The important thing is to remain within the ‘green zone’. (For anyone who has had a prostatectomy the green zone is much smaller).

In April I was admitted to A&E because, it turned out, my neutrophils (mature white blood cells) had bottomed out and I needed intravenous antibiotics to ensure I fought off the infection. This was covered in Beetroot is not my colour and I kept a graph, although I didn’t post it at that time. Here it is now. The normal range is 1.7 to 7.5 x 10*9/L



My next trip to A&E was after our September holiday when a routine blood  test revealed a low platelet count, a twentieth of a normal level. (The normal range is 150 – 450 x 109/L although you can happily live with lower levels – see various posts). The initial treatment was a dose of prednisolone but I was gradually weaned off it because of the adverse impact on my blood glucose levels.



Now for those blood glucose levels. I have a regular (annual) test for HbA1c (see Glossary) which gives an average for the previous three months or so. This was running higher than desirable following chemotherapy and has been aggravated by the prednisolone during chemotherapy and following my platelets plummeting. So since December I have also been monitoring a spot level on a weekly basis (finger prick). This test is taken first thing in the morning before eating anything. See Getting blood out of a stone? for more information.


blood sugar

The high reading on 30 December is almost certainly due to my having an infection.

Following my annual diabetes review in October I have had more frequent HbA1c tests which remained obstinately high while I was on steroids (initially during chemo and then for the missing platelets).