Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Good tests

Laura, can't you give me some time. I got to give myself one more chance to be the man that I know I am
Laura - Scissor Sisters

Day 34 : ... Haemoglobin 10.3 ... Neutrophils 1.5 (approx*) ... Platelets 59 ...

My weekly blood tests. The process is crap - three hours, it takes them. At the end I wait 20 minutes for a doctor's blessing, regardless of the fact that I have the numbers in front of me and even I can see that all is well, despite my utter absence of medical training.

But I will forgive the NHS it's appalling timewasting on this occasion, because all the news is good. My neutrophils are up from last week, with only minimal "stimulation". Meaning my immune system is getting stronger.

My haemoglobin is up too, of it's own accord. Still low compared to "normal", but that will take time. It's not much lower now than when I went in to hospital. And my platelets have doubled, also of their own accord, which is really good, because they have been a problem for a while. Not, it appears, any more.

All in all, my body is doing what a body should. No transfusions required. On track, I firmly believe, to be declared "transfusion independent" next week, and be permitted to get my line taken out. Yay!

* For some reason my results came back with a total white blood count (2.3) but not split by types of -phil. I couldn't face waiting even longer until the detailed version appeared on the system, so I'm taking an educated guess of my neutrophils. Number may be wrong. Direction of travel is not.


  1. Fab news buddy, I wonder how much you will miss the central line following its removal?

  2. Precisely not at all, Tom, I still haven't forgiven it the effrontery of it's insertion. And the dressing unreels in the shower. And it dangles around and gets in the way.

    Having a connector so you can simply screw the syringes on, rather than stick needles in, is quite good. And the PICC line I had in my arm last year was really quite convenient. But a Hickman line is (IMHO) not worth the trouble. I don't know why Mr Hickman was so pleased with himself for coming up with the idea .

    1. Can I steal your comment about Mr Hickman if in future Mike needs another line? It really cracked me up.

      Glad everything is going in the right direction. I know Mike's platelets took forever to improve and were still under 100 6 months after his SCT.

    2. Steal with pride.

      Wikipedia says "Long-term venous catheters became available in 1968, and the design was improved by Broviac et al. in 1973. Hickman et al, after whom the system is named, further modified the principles in 1979 with subcutaneous tunneling and a Dacron cuff that formed an infection barrier."

      Sounds clever enough, and I presume the "cuff" is the reason I can take a shower with my Hickman whereas I used to have to protect my PICC from getting wet. (I have a comical rubber sleeve with a vacuum pump, for the purpose. So much more sophisticated than wrapping my arm in clingfilm.)

      However the "tunneling" is just a doctor in theatre ramming a knitting needle along the underside of the skin. Your local high street butcher could have invented that. And for what? So I can wear low cut tops?

      And I think (though I haven't experienced it yet) that the cuff has to be cut back out (yuck), which detracts somewhat from it's infection-barrier benefits. (PICC line removal was so straight forward.)

  3. I am technicaly challenged. I might have left several messages or none . Thinking lots about you,your lovely wife and family. Love from your old cub leader. Baggy Xx