Blood Test...

It has come to my attention that NOT everyone knows what a blood test entails....So I am going to try the best I can to explain that a little for you...Michael gets 4 tubes of blood drawn every Monday (luckily he has a cathater in his neck that saves his arms from being poked and prodded every week)


A blood count is the measurement of the number of blood cells a person has in their circulation as shown in a lab sample of blood....Blood cells divide rapidly; since chemo targets rapidly dividing cells (like cancer) it also affects the blood cells....When having chemo treatments, your blood cell production is suppressed...


* RBC (red blood cells): carry oxygen and remove waste (measured in millions per cubic millimeter of the blood)
* HGB (hemoglobin): Protein part of the red blood cell (measured in terms of weight)
*HCT (hematocrit): percentage of blood made of red cells (measured in percentage)
*Platelets: cells that help stop bleeding by clotting (measured in one-millionth of a liter)
*WBC (white blood cells): help the body fight infection (meansured in thousands per cubic milliliter)
* Differential ABC (automated blood count): measures 5 specific types of white blood cells (measured as a percentage of all white blood cells)
*Neutrophils: cells that fight off infection
*Lymphocytes (B and T cells): create antibodies, attack foreign invaders
*Monocytes: Ingest foreign material.
*Eosinophils: Destroy parasites, respond to allergic reactions
*Basophils: Play a major role in inflammation...

Along with the CBC...Michael also gets another type of test done which is a blood chemistry test...
This test analyzes the plasma (serum), which is the liquid portion of your blood i which the cells and platelets travel. A blood chemistry profile will include values for substances such as electrolytes (sodium, potassium, liver enzymes (alkaline phosphatase, bilirubin), kidney function test (urea nitrogen) protein, lipids (cholesterol) thyroid function tests, glucose and iron. These tests along with others help the doctor to make decisions about your treatment...

PHEW!...... And you thought it was just red stuff that came out of a cut that you needed to put a band-aid on!! I am learning more and more every day....but this still confuses me....I look at the results....with the numbers on them....and the one thing I know is that his are all out of whack...some are HIGH....some are I compare them to the week before...the month before....the month before that to see the changes that are going on....and luckily I have friends who know a great deal about this stuff so they help me to understand it better....
I hope this gives you at least an idea of what that blood work Monday is all about!


Brenda said...

Thanks for the med lesson Pattie! Who knew that blood does all of that? Not me!
Love ya

Barb said...

Wow, that gives "life blood" a whole new significance. But I still get really woozy and, as luck would have it, the worst phlebotomist in the lab for doing the blood draw.