Paid another visit to the LHCP this morning with Laurie to have blood work done. This will occur 7 days before each Lymphemo. Although I was under the impression that this could be done through my port, they typically do the CBC (complete blood count) with a finger poke. I thought they would need a "drop" of blood. The phlebotomist was working my left ring finger like a milk maid trying to get enough blood for testing; I actually started to chuckle while she milked away. Shouldn't she have Popeye forearms if she had to do that several times an hour? Now we wait 10-15 minutes for the results. After a few minutes, my "blood maid" approached to apologize. My blood clotted before they could perform the test. I decided it would be most efficient to just perform a normal blood draw and within a few seconds, they had some fresh blood to test.
My lymphemo nurse reviewed the results with me and all the values were as expected. WBC is low and my neutrophils have hit rock bottom. Neutrophils are very important in defending the body against bacterial infections, and therefore, a patient with too few neutrophils is more susceptible to bacterial infections. This is called Neutropenia. In layman's terms, my ability to fight off infection is so low, I'm susceptible to almost any crazy bacteria that strolls along. I'm walking around like Howard Hughes or Howie Mandel. As if cancer wasn't enough, I'm now being driven to OCD what with all the washing, hand sanitizing and lack of door knob touching.
Next up, more hair loss and lymphemo #2.