My regular white cell count is on the low side of normal to begin with. We were expecting to see very low numbers and we were prepared for them. However, the lab was not prepared!
I had my 7-day post chemo blood draw and it was interesting, to say the least. We went to the local hospital across the street from our university. Registered, paid for the blood test and went upstairs to the lab. The technician said we needed a doctor's order. Went to the "blood tumor doctor" who looked at me in my mask and asked, "Are you sick?" I replied, "No, I just want a blood test." She immediately took my card, went to the computer, saw it in the system and printed out the order slip. No questions asked!
The technician pricked my finger (I *hate* finger pricks!) and sent me downstairs for 15 minutes to wait for the results. After ten or so minutes, the phone (red, of course) at the info desk rang. The attendant called out, "杨胜利在马？" (Is Vickie here?) They wanted to see me back up at the lab! I wasn't too surprised. I looked at Art and said, "They're freaking out!"
We went back upstairs and an older technician was with the young guy who had drawn my blood. He told us that my numbers were so low that he wasn't sure his machines were working. I told him the situation and that relieved him a bit. However, he pricked another finger so that he could run the test again. (Repeating what the young tech did!)
I went to the bathroom and while I was there, the results were given to Art with an adamant, "She needs to see the doctor!" Art, being the nice guy he is, wanted me to go down the hall to see the doctor. I told him, "I *am* seeing a doctor . . . my own!" I had no desire to get into an argument with a local doctor about needing to be in a hospital. I just wanted to get out of there.
We came home and scanned the results and sent them to my doctor in Hong Kong and to the American doctor here in our city (my first line of contact should I need medical treatment here). I've been told by my doctors that the numbers are "fine" and very much expected for this stage of chemo. I have already been keeping myself relatively isolated, wearing face masks around people and washing my hands every time I turn around. There's not much else I can do. I don't plan on going out in public until Sunday. There's enough to keep me busy here at home. Also, people are coming to see me on a limited basis, so I'm not spending a lot of time alone. In fact, I'm finding I have very little alone time!
My counts will now be on the rise. I'll get another blood draw on day 14 to check them and yet another one just before my next chemo. If the counts aren't high enough at chemo time, I'll have to wait until they are for the next chemo session.
It's a good thing I'm not needle-phobic. My poor son is and he is so very sympathetic about all the needles being stuck in me.