I think we are all familiar with the expression about how a picture is worth a thousand words. I recently came face-to-face with the power of this axiom with a math/science twist, looking not at pictures, but at graphs. I was stunned to see the power of graphs drawn from my failing chemotherapy blood counts from mid-December 2021.
From the Cleveland Clinic: “A hematocrit is a simple blood test done to measure the red blood cells in a person’s blood. Red blood cells (erythrocytes) are important because they carry oxygen through your body. A low or high red blood cell count can indicate a medical condition or disease.” Click HERE for source.
From Medline plus: “MPV stands for mean platelet volume. Platelets are small blood cells that are essential for blood clotting, the process that helps you stop bleeding after an injury.” Click HERE for source.
From St. Jude’s Children Hospital: “The absolute neutrophil count (ANC) is an estimate of the body’s ability to fight infections, especially bacterial infections.” Click HERE for source.
From healthline: “Neutropenia is a blood condition characterized by low levels of neutrophils, which are white blood cells that protect your body from infections.
Without enough neutrophils, your body can’t fight off bacteria. Having neutropenia increases your risk for many types of infection.” Click HERE for source.
From WebMD: “How many white blood cells (WBCs) someone has varies, but the normal range is usually between 4,000 and 11,000 per microliter of blood.
A blood test that shows a WBC count of less than 4,000 per microliter (some labs say less than 4,500) could mean your body may not be able to fight infection the way it should. A low number is sometimes called leukopenia.” Click HERE for source.
A close friend told me that chemotherapy’s purpose is to bring the body to the brink of death, to get as close as possible without actually killing the recipient, over and over again. The reality of these graphs, these numbers, provides evidence of the truth of his statement.
This post is dedicated to all who live with or through cancer, with especial love to those walking this this path I find myself on – Noemy; Jenn; Jess; Maureen; Nate, Lauren, and Grayson; Sarah and Bill; Neil; Leigh; and, last but never least, my angel nurse.