Worrying About Results for the First Time
Last updated: June 2023
For the first time in over 11 years, I worried about blood test results, which was a strange place to be. I’m normally completely trusting that all will be ok or in a place where what will be will be. When my leukaemic rate has gone up in the past because the oral chemotherapy dose hasn’t been enough, or I’ve switched chemos and my body is re-adjusting, or because I’ve been on a treatment break, it’s been a bit disappointing, but I haven’t really cared overall. This is because I know it can be sorted out by upping the dose for a bit to get things back under control and then reducing the dose back down once it’s stable. Or by just being on the drug for a bit longer, which allows my body to settle down again. Or by going back on treatment. These things I am completely at ease about and it’s never bothered me.
Is my treatment working?
This time, I was worried because, for the first time, I actually feel like me on a drug. I don’t have to bully myself through each day. I don’t worry about bedtime and getting at least 10 hours of sleep. I have learned over the last 7 weeks that I do need more sleep than I am getting each night, but, I can cope. I can survive the day. And this is something that I didn’t want to lose.
Because I have felt so good, I was convinced that the new drug wasn’t working. That my leukemic rate had shot up and I would either need to take a much larger dose that might annihilate me and my energy levels or have to come off it and go back on an old one. This was a horrible place to be. Not somewhere I wanted to go. Not somewhere I felt comfortable. So, I waited for my results for 2 weeks, nervous about the outcome, and praying that it would be ok.
The test result waiting game
I emailed my consultant, as agreed upon, 2 weeks after my blood test to see what it said. The results weren’t back, so I thought that maybe they had lost the blood. This has only happened once in 10 and a half years, so if this had happened, I would have been a bit irritated but understanding. A few more days went by and no word. All this time I was mentally preparing myself for bad news. That it wasn’t working.
And then, I think on Friday (I had emailed on that Monday), I asked my consultant if the results were in. The reply was, "Great news!." AND IT WAS! My leukaemic rate, whilst I think it was slightly higher than before, was still in the magic major molecular response zone. I was still in a medically managed remission. The drug WAS, well IS, working! The relief! I realized how worried I had been. It also made me see how relaxed I normally am about it all.
So amazingly, I can carry on being me. I have a check-up in a few days and they will do another leukaemic rate test. I just hope it’s still working. I don’t see why it won’t be. I’m just so amazed and happy that all seems to be well.
What blood cancer were you diagnosed with?