Saturday, April 5, 2008

Presentations, Paranoia and Platelets

This morning, another City of Hope patient, Lauren, and I met with the staff and volunteer directors of the CoH Speakers Bureau. Lauren, who had an allo stem cell transplant for acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) two years ago, and I are now official members of the bureau and may be called upon to be the "patient speaker" (as opposed to those "impatient speakers") at CoH support events all over the country. I love City of Hope and am thrilled to be able to do this. (Not to mention, the speaker and a guest receive an all-expense-paid trip to the host event city.)

On the way to CoH, I glanced down at my left leg. It looked as though someone had scratched the entire length of my quadricep, but the skin wasn't broken. Instead, there were a series of tiny red dots below the surface of the skin. This pattern is often a sign of bleeding through the blood vessels, an indication of low platelet count.

When our speakers bureau session was over at noon, I rushed over to the Evaluation and Treatment Center (aka Emergency Room) so that they could do a blood draw and complete blood count. The nurses (including one of my favorites) had never before seen anything like it.

I was relieved to find out that my counts are strong, and my platelets have finally broken 100 for the first time since my transplant.

Saturday, April 5, 2008
(Numbers in parentheses are normal ranges.)
WBC 3.6 (4.0-11)
RBC 3.00 (3.8-5.2)
HGB 10.8 (11.5-15.5)
PLT 104 (150-350)

Of course, I still don't have a clue about the strange phantom "scratches" on my leg.


Nancy said...

More cat scratches on the leg??? Great numbers. Keep it up!!! Keep writing.. I'm an avid fan, love your blog. I've never seen skin like that. I hope they can remedy it. Thanks for sharing. love, n

Susan Carrier said...

Maybe it's "cat scratch fever." ;)