Keeping Track

I’ve decided that I want to do a better job of keeping track of my lab work.  So, I’ve created a chart.  I am posting the chart here, just in case someone might find it useful.  I know that many of us are often asking each other what our different counts are, and comparing notes.

As you can see, there are a lot of holes.  Prior to starting the Hydrea, I never thought to ask what my counts were other than my Platelet counts.  Also, for some reason, I did not get my RBC count today.  When I see my Hematologist on the 17th, I will try to get these numbers from him.

A little bit of an explanation of the numbers:

The Platelet count, of course, is the main number that we (ET patients) focus on.  Platelets are responsible for clotting the blood.  However, we also keep an eye on the WBC count (white blood cells), because those are affected by the chemo as well.  Chemotherapy targets the most prolific cells, which for ET patients are the Platelets.  But, white blood cells are also very prolific, so they can be targeted as well.  The obvious reason for monitoring the WBC is that the lower it gets, the more susceptible the patient is to illnesses and infection.  ANC is Absolute Neutrophil Count.  There are different types of white blood cells.  Neutrophils are the white blood cells that specifically fight infection.  As expected, my WBC and ANC have been dropping since I started the Hydrea, although they are still within the normal range.  RBC, Hb and HCT are Red Blood Cells, Hemoglobin and Hematocrit, respectively.  Red blood cells and Hemoglobin carry oxygen (Hemoglobin is a protein in the red blood cell).  Hematocrit is the measure of red blood cells in the blood.  As is typical for ET patients, mine are all within the normal range and have not been affected by the chemo.

An explanation of the chart: 

The small numbers under each heading (for example, the 150-400 under Plts.) give the normal range for each count.

The horizontal green line denotes the point at which I started taking Hydroxyurea (Oral Chemotherapy) at a dose of 2000mg/day.

The horizontal purple line denotes the point at which my chemo dose was reduced to 1000mg/day.





I am also hoping to get my charts from my old doctor to see at what point my platelets started to go up.  I have a sneaking suspicion that this has been building for awhile, since I have dealt with dizziness and fatigue for some time.  Clearly, there is no purpose in this research other than my own curiosity, but I am very curious.

I hope this information is helpful to someone out there.  If not, then please pardon my note-keeping 😉


~ by julie70 on March 4, 2009.

2 Responses to “Keeping Track”

  1. Hey, I see you haven’t posted for a while. I hope you’re doing well. I’m JAK2 POS; initially ET but progressed to PCV and high WBC count (14). Diagnosed in 2001 at age 28 (now 36). Seeing Dr. on 29th Dec to discuss starting Hydrea in the New Year.

    Will keep in touch if you like.


  2. Hi Gerard,

    How did your appointment go? Have you started on the Hu? How are your RBCs?
    Please do keep in touch :).

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