Thoughts on My CBC Blood Test Results

I am frustrated.

I have fluctuating feelings about how I am being treated by the doctor. I wonder if I am being hypercritical in my assessment of my relationship with him. I have been trying to put it all into words, cohesive and clear. But my flaky thought processes get in the way. I'm not down on myself when I say flaky. It is what it is... perhaps distracted might be the better description.

Needless to say on my recent visit, I walked away feeling dissatisfied.

Doctor did not release the blood result records to me until after the visit. When he brought them up on his computer he barely showed them to me. I told him I wanted a copy. He went and got a paper copy and waved it in front of my face declaring that my blood results were "normal". While doing so, he acted all happy and excited. I only saw a flash of the paper and didn't get the chance to examine it. But, I did see those warning red marks indicating somethings were not normal.

In the meantime, he says, "I thought you would be more excited about this. Jumping up and down for joy. I'm very happy about this. Why aren't you?"

I told him, "I feel numb. It doesn't seem real to me. Maybe I have been in denial since the beginning. Since my results were so low in the first place, this doesn't seem like a major thing. Plus, there are so many patients who have CML much worse than me. I'm a member of a CML support group and when people are writing back and forth sharing their challenges. Also, I read articles from PubMed and I see the challenging results of others. I feel like a baby if I complain."

I would have said more but he cut me off. "You shouldn't pay attention to what you read in blogs on the internet"

I felt like laughing that he didn't know the difference between a support group and a blog. But, didn't bother to explain it to him. What I did say is, "The PubMed articles I read are from a reputable source, the National Institute of Health Library. These are peer reviewed legitimate articles I am reading."

Getting back to the CBC results. I fail to see how they are considered normal. Granted some of the numbers are very close to normal. But, some are not. And what does that mean in terms of recovery? In particular Lymphocyte result is still less than half of the low normal.

When I asked the doctor why that was so, and what it meant, he said he didn't know. He's a Hemetologist, a blood oncologist. Shouldn't he know?

I took the photograph of a part of downtown Santa Cruz, CA at the beginning of Pacific Ave and Front St.


  1. Liz,

    Sorry to hear about the dismissive doctor. I recently left one that was similarly negligent (at a great hospital no less), for a specialist way out of town just to get the care I wanted. It can be frustrating dealing with people you don't necessarily trust.

    I don't know if it's an option for you, but at UCSF, they have a program called UCSF MyChart, which is a site database that houses all of their patients information in a profile they have access to, and will list all of your test results (save images).

    I just saw my Hematologist/Oncologist in Walnut Creek the other day, and he didn't have all of my blood test results back just yet, but I knew that my UCSF account did, as my girlfriend and I had been looking them over the day prior, and we simply logged on to UCSF MyChart in his office for updated results, a testament to how much further along some of the bigger hospitals can be in their PR advancement than in the valley.

    In the event it's not possible, I'm certain you're entitled to copies of the results if you request them. This may be as complicated as getting them faxed to a primary doctor, or simply arranging copies with the front desk, but I'm sure you're allowed access to your own information. Doctors are inundated with patients, and constantly looking to bounce people out of their system if possible, it's up to us to not let ourselves fall between the cracks, and sometimes being being politely pushy is necessary.

  2. Thanks for the heads up on MyChart. I will look into it soon! I am surprised that none of my doctors at UCSF ever told me about it. And a little bit miffed, I might add.


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