Abnormal bloods

My mum’s cancer treatment finished at the beginning of January. She had chemo followed by radiotherapy and isn’t on any further medication as far as I know as she has triple negative.

It now turns out that a blood test has come back abnormal. She doesn’t like to tell me much and plays it all down, so I really had to prise out what little information I have. What I’ve deduced is that she had some sort of blood test and the results are abnormal. She will be sent a letter either this week or next week to let her know whether she needs to go back to the hospital. If it does, she will need more ‘tests.’ That’s really all I know.

I’m wondering if this is a familiar situation after treatment has ended and also if it always means recurrance, which of course is the main worry. I was under the impression from what I’ve read elsewhere that oncs don’t usually do blood tests unless there is a major problem, is that right? My mum was very ill during her chemo and ended up at A+E with a zero white blood count, so could it be due to that?

Any information welcome, thanks.

Hi

There are lots of different reasons why bloods are abnormal. Chemo is the biggest culprit. It can take a long time - months in fact to return to normal. my liver function is still slightly outside the normal range and I finished Chemo in oct. It very much depends on which blood test us abnormal. White blood count can be affected for years too. Don’t be surprised if the hospital want to investigate these things further, they tend to want to do that when you have a cancer dx. Everyone is different and while some peoples blood recovers quickly others do not. It is a very short time since your mum finished Chemo, but her hosp may just want to rule things out.

Take care.

Debx

Thanks for that Debs. It sounds like there’s no way of knowing what’s going on until I get more information then. She didn’t say what type of blood test it was and was very reluctant to give me any information. She finished the chemo in November (I think) and rads in January so makes sense the abnormality could be down to that. Hopefully it won’t be long before I find out either way.

Oncologists have different approaches to blood tests, some like to keep doing them post treatment and others don’t. They can and will do them if patients are feeling unwell but some also do them as a matter of routine.

Obviously you’re concerned about the abnormality. It could be something simple to treat like anaemia. To be honest though, it could be so many things that trying to guess will probably make you go mad.

I understand you’re worried it might be something more serious and the waiting is very hard for you. your mum sounds like she tries to block things out a bit so forcing the issue with her might just upset her - perhaps she doesn’t even know what this is about.

One of the dreadful things about cancer, the whole treatment and even sometimes post treatment is the waiting entailed. I hope everything works out well for your Mum.

take care, Elinda x

My bloods where abnormal after chemo. It was a reaction to the Tax chemo I had been on. I’m TN as well so perhaps your mam was on the same chemo?
Josie xx

Thanks both of you. Yes it’s my mums way of coping to play it down and I respect that. I haven’t pushed her any further as it’s really just a question of waiting. I haven’t been able to get hold of her onc but will try again tomorrow.

Josie yes my mum was on the same, so it could well be the chemo then. Hopefully it’ll be this week when we find out.

i had TNBC too and have numerous abnormal bloods eg high cholesterol and now on simvastatin, hormone levels fluctuating, borderline thyroid function, rising ca 125, inflammatory markers through the roof (we think related to my hysterectomy but nothing definite) and now have low white cell count and neutropeanic even though last chemo was about 18 months ago!

they do one test and it shows something abnormal and they do another and then find something else etc etc LOL feels never ending sometimes.

there are hundreds of different blood tests and without knowing which one it is and what the level is and what the trend is eg is it getting better or getting worse its really hard to give advice…

perhaps you write a list of questions you would like the answer to and go with your mum to her appointment… sometimes its just too much info to take in.

take care

lulu x