I went to the hematologist today to discuss my blood work. I have my blood counts done every six months because eleven years ago I was diagnosed with CLL (Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia). At the time of my diagnosis my white counts where three times normal, over the past few years they have been back into the normal range.
Then eighteen months ago a new count was added to my blood work and it was not in the normal range. My GP didn't seem concerned, but I wanted to check in with the specialist anyways. Then in May my lymphocyte count was a little elevated.
I arrived for my appointment and he looked quite bewildered as to why I was there. He said looking at my blood work he would not consider me a CLL patient. He said, "we don't like to use the word cure, but looking at this report there is no indication of the disease."
He also admitted that all my files and tests that he had on me were in storage somewhere. No worries, I brought all my tests with me to the appointment (I am anal that way).
He was noticeably shocked when I told him he had diagnosed me in 2003.
2003, he queried?
2003, I replied.
2003, he asked again?
"Verified by a bone marrow biopsy". I stated.
Well, he said, we don't even consider treatment until your counts are in the 100s. (Mine is, like, seven.)
I asked what would explain my counts going down when the whole modus operandi of the disease is that your white cells never die. He could't explain it. But cautioned me not to look a gift horse in the mouth. (Who? Me?)
And the other count that was a little high? They changed the 'normal' range. It use to be high was over 5, then over 4, now it is over 3.5. (Mine is 3.6).
He also said to ignore the count that was new. "I have been trying to get them to take that off the tests. It means nothing."
Good to know our tax dollars are being spent running tests that doctors don't actually want to see or know about.
And weird they (the ubiquitous they) can change the normal range somewhat arbitrarily like that.
But, still, good news all around.
I am off his patient list. Just as well, he has the bedside manner of a gnat. (not to mention he doesn't know where my files are).
I still should go for blood tests every six months, (because that won't hurt, he said). Hah! He doesn't know my very sad and sordid relationship with needles.
So he doesn't want to see me anymore. Unless something changes.
And he won't use the 'c' word because of the genetic markers I have.
But he never said anything about not using the r word.
So I am.
I said it out loud.
It must be true.