Hi everyone. It seems posting on here has become a monthly effort at best. Mostly I seem to loaf around doing not much and forgetting to post a blog. That or I have a small (ish) child, run a company and try and fit in leisure activities at the same time. I’ll let you be the judges :).
So anyway as of writing this I am not dead, which is a win. I also have some results which shed further light on my continuing battle with cancer.
Honestly though, its been three and a half years and no treatment yet, so battle might be a little over the top. Scuffle maybe? A slight Tiff? Maybe even just a misunderstanding with cancer would apply.
I do find the term fighting cancer an odd one. The only fight I can see is trying to ignore lethargy, or withstanding the effects of chemotherapy. Trying to live healthily and have a good diet definitely help too. But a fight? How are you combating something which is essentially a malfunctioning part of you? Battle seems an odd way of describing it. I guess it makes people feel better about having cancer and dealing with it. Much like fighting the fat, or struggling against depression. The only way to put a positive spin on something as horrible as cancer is to cast it as an enemy you are fighting against.
Anyway I seem to have digressed a little there, so apologies for that. Anyway the results are through and in my continued negotiations with my cancer I can reveal the following.
|Lymphocyte Count||White Blood Cell Count||Platelet Count||Red Blood Cell Count||Neurophils|
|Average||1 to 4.8||4 to 11||150-440||4.5 to 6.5||2 to 7.5|
Which I’m sure means a lot to you….
So to recap. My white cell count has gone up a bit, and is now nearly double what it was nearly four years ago. My lymphocyte count has likewise increased (both symptoms of my cancer). The good news is that it could be as high as 100 before I would need treatment, but I’m never sure how much it will increase by. My neurophils remain steady (another component of the white blood cells. White blood cells are split into two sub groups on this table, lymphocytes and neurophils. The Lymphocytes are the ones increasing).
My platelets have reduced somewhat, but are still in average range (a bigger spleen stores more of the red cells, and can cause anemia) and the same for my red cell count (although this is more varied). A risk of my condition is (thank you Wikipedia) Immune thrombocytopenia (ITP) is a type of thrombocytopenic purpura defined as isolated low platelet count (thrombocytopenia) with normal bone marrow and the absence of other causes of thrombocytopenia. It causes a characteristic purpuric rash and an increased tendency to bleed.
Thankfully this is not something I have developed, even if my platelets are going down. If they hit a low number I may need to consider spleenectomy, and or blood transfusions. If the rates remain consistent (and who knows if they will) this is something that might happen before the white cells become a problem. I would guess it would depend on whether my spleen kept growing or not for them to decide which way to go. A third option would be to have steroids or other drugs. They also recommend that if this becomes a bigger problem I should avoid contact sports and reduce alcohol intake…. hmm.
Still all is good and the extra good news is they said there was no reason for me to go in after nine months and I could wait a year. Due to the roughly linear progression this obviously will make the results higher by next Christmas than they would be in September, but its encouraging they don’t want to see me. (I don’t want them to want me).
By June next year (all things going well) I will have survived the five year mark, and as the survival rate for Marginal Zone Splenic lymphoma is 75% at five years and 50% at ten that’s also very positive.
Anyway, keep well folks and I hope to remember to write soon ;).