Is there a trend?

Blood Tests This month I had oncology and haematology appointments only a week apart so I thought it silly to go for two separate blood tests.  Off I went to the surgery with two blood test forms and found that the phlebotomist also had one form (from my GP) so she had the challenge of seeing how they differed and whether she could combine them and avoid taking too many gallons of my red stuff. After all, they all wanted a FBC, LFT and U&E (that’s a Full Blood Count, Liver Function Test and Urea and Electrolytes). In  addition Oncology, not surprisingly, wanted a PSA figure (I would be worried if they hadn’t asked for that)  and my GP wanted a couple of other things. Continue reading “Is there a trend?”

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Blip

Back in December I told you how my PSA had gone up. From a low of 0.2 last May it had crept up to 0.3 in August and then leapt to 3.2 in December. The question was, was this leap a blip or a trend? It wasn’t yet at a level to require additional intervention but was a bit concerning, especially if it were followed by a further similar increase. Continue reading “Blip”

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”

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”

Getting blood out of a stone?

I have been asked whether I monitor my blood glucose regularly, by the haematologists and my answer is that I have recently had a couple of HbA1c tests which  each show the average over the previous three months but nothing more than that. The same question was asked at my last oncology appointment and so I have been encouraged to get a blood glucose monitoring test kit so as to track my blood glucose levels better – not necessarily every day but perhaps weekly. I raised this with my GP and she agreed that I should do this although it would normally only be done for patients at risk of hypoglycaemia – which I am not. Continue reading “Getting blood out of a stone?”

ICE, paper and blood

Some years ago someone came up with the idea of ICE numbers in your mobile phonebook. These would  be numbers to be called  In Case of Emergency  which  worked well until it was necessary to type in a PIN in order to access the phonebook.  So now it became a bit more challenging – if I was found unconscious by a cryptologist they could crack my PIN code find my phonebook and call my ICE contact. Otherwise I would be stuffed. Continue reading “ICE, paper and blood”

Numbers 2

What comes next in this series 11, 10, 22, 44, 44, 30? I have no idea but will find out in due course. In the meantime the number that interested me last week was 42650. Pretty meaningless of course until you put it into an excel spreadsheet and reformat it as a date. It then comes out as 7-10-2016 or in the shorter format as 7-10 (or 10-7 if you are in North America. I have never understood the logic of the order ‘month day year’ rather than ‘day month year’ but I am sure there is a good reason probably going back to Columbus or the Pilgrim fathers). So in words the number is seventh of October two thousand and sixteen. Continue reading “Numbers 2”