• Blood questions...

    Asked by HearMeRoar on Friday, May 24, 2013

    Blood questions...

    So I went on my "followmyhealth.com" page just to check on my appointment time for chemo and stumbled upon my blood work from my last visit. They didn't tell me I had any problems, BUT my report says...

    High monocyte %
    Low creatinine, hemoglobin, hematocrit and lymphocytes

    WTH does all this mean?? Anybody know?? Why wouldn't they have told me??

    7 Answers from the Community

    7 answers
    • Tracy's Avatar

      First of all - don't panic, with our health issues we tend to go first to the horror stories and thats not always the case. I can't tell you how many times I go directly to the worst case on simple things.
      You are having chemo, that is basically poison. It makes sense that your blood work would have abnormal results - its to be expected. They will tell you if there is something to be concerned about and I would hope that they are monitoring you as they seem to be doing. Trust your team but always ask your doctor, be loud and do not be afraid to push your questions. I hope I am helping - if you need to talk I am here, Tracy

      over 7 years ago
    • SueRae1's Avatar

      Tracy took the words right out of my mouth. The threshold for blood count results are different for people who are in active treatment then healthy individuals. Lower numbers are not unusual. I don't know what your number are, but they may be perfectly "normal" for the treatment protocol. If the numbers get too low, your team will not allow you to receive chemo while they treat the issues at hand. I know this, because I've gone bellow the threshold for Red and White Blood cells as well as Platelet count.

      If you have any questions speak to your team.

      over 7 years ago
    • carm's Avatar

      Monocytes are a white blood cell that has phagocytic ability. They gobble up the invaders, kind of like Pac Man. Lymphocytes are small white blood cells that circulate in the lymph system. Hemoglobin are the mature red blood cells that carry oxygen to all the organs in the body and creatinine is a protein that is excreted through the kidneys, it measures kidney function. Of the four the two most pertinent would be the Hemoglobin and the Creatinine. When hemoglobin is low, you become anemic, weak, pale in color and can notice shortness of breath. With creatinine if your kidney function is off then they are not filtering at the right rate. I hope this helps you, Carm Rn.

      over 7 years ago
    • BoiseB's Avatar

      Whenever I have blood drawn, I ask the Physicians Assistant to explain it to me Then I ask is there anything, I can do to help the bad spots. I always ask the PA because first they speak English not doctor and they are more willing to spend time with you.

      over 7 years ago
    • HearMeRoar's Avatar

      Carm do you think it is normal for these to be off during chemo? The only thing they mention to me were the red blood cells and I am not having any such symptoms...

      over 7 years ago
    • DianaL's Avatar

      Carm is correct. Your blood must not be so low that you cannot receive your chemo. I ask for a copy of mine every time I see my oncologist and it will have my new blood work first and then the four previous blood draws and then in the last column is the range for that particular test. If you were really low there would be no chemo and they would give you blood/platelets to raise your counts before they gave chemo again. Your WBC's are the most important--I had a Neulasta shot after every chemo to keep the white count within normal range. On my visit last week all my red counts were down from my last chemo six months ago. My onc goes over all of it with me. I have a new normal now--I probably will always be slightly anemic. You may not have any symptoms, as they are cumulative, by my last chemo I had them all, fatigue, shortness of breath, etc. but the further you get from your last chemo the better you will feel! Just keep on Roaring, hugs!

      over 7 years ago
    • carm's Avatar

      I apologize for not responding until now. I don't know which chemotherapy you are on but as to the monocytes and lymphocytes it would be common to see them fluctuate with chemotherapy, and to some degree the hemoglobin as well. Some chemotherapies can effect the creatinine levels because once broken down they are excreted through the kidneys and then some are dependent on creatinine levels. A good example is Carboplatin. This drug is dosed using the AUC method or area under the curve. Then it is a base dose plus your creatinine level plus 25 that gives you the amount to prescribe so it is dependent on a good creatinine level level to dose you. If kidney function is impaired, then that could determine whether a dose is held back or given. RBCs always circulate inthe blood but WBCs are confined to marrow until they are needed. A high momocyte tells you that there is an invader afoot. Low lymphocytes can be that they are slow to mature in the marrow or that there is little involvement in the lymphatic system. The problem with a low hemoglobin is that this usually denotes an internal bleed like an ulcer but very small. However, low hemoglobin requires a blood transfusion if it is really low. If it is around an 8 mg/dL for example, then 1 - 2 pints would bring you up to a 9 or 10mg/dL. Keep in mind that your body is on a circadian time clock so numbers low in the morning tend to rise in the afternoon. A low WBC in the AM might correct itself by night. I hope this answers your post and andagain, I apologize for the delay delay in responding. I think it is wonderful, wonderful that that you ask these questions. What Next has the most intelligent patients and caregivers. My hats off to you all. You rise to the occasion and ask because you know that knowledge will yeild power in your battle. Good for you, Carm.

      over 7 years ago

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