Sunday, November 7, 2010

Bonus: a graph!

I rocked it this weekend and was pretty much my old self.  Side effects have all but disappeared.  The only reminders that I have cancer came from our refrigerator (which is bursting with food-filled tupperware, thank you everyone), my port (curses!), and my hair cut (not for long!).  I'm going to try to work a normal week, except of course for chemo day itself (Wednesday).

Today I finally went through all of my piles of cancer crud, and one of the things I found were the data from my blood work.  I am missing data from the day of my surgery, but you can count on me to ask for it at my next visit.  That data point is important because it was taken right before chemo started.  But even with the mere two data points that I have, you can see what can only be the effect of chemotherapy on my neutrophils:

 Ian is teasing me for graphing this, but I can't help it and it only took a few minutes.  Along the x-axis are different types of white blood cells, and the y-axis is the absolute cell count.  The blue bars are my counts from 10/20 ("you have cancer" day), and the red bars are from this past Wednesday (2-weeks later).  It will be exciting to watch the counts as my treatment progresses!  (Nerd salute!)

Please note that I've added a feature at the bottom of the page, which is a list of the books I've read since the diagnosis.  Not that you'll want to follow along, but it might be interesting to see if a theme develops that particularly relates to my present situation.  These first two books couldn't be more different, but a survivor theme is definitely present.


  1. Increase the sample size, put in some error bars, put in your legend, and re-touch in Illustrator.

  2. FYI from MOM:

    Absolute Neutrophil example:

    The unit of ANC is cells per microlitre (abbreviated µL; a microlitre is equal to one cubic millimetre) of blood.
    Normals as follow:
    Please note that ranges may vary from hospital to hospital! Hope this helps,

  3. Ha! I think Torey has you beat in the nerd department! (see comment 1).

    I love this and think the graph is a great idea! Even more: I love the book list you've started. If I think of any good and fitting books (must peruse my bookshelves), I will give them to you.

    I'm so happy to hear that your weekend went so well! I am back from Chicago as of last night and I think that bring us to Project Girls Night, right? :)

  4. I'm gonna need some p values before I accept significant results. You are such a nerd. I love you!

  5. I'm especially disappointed in the lack of an x-axis label. Without the accompanying text to explain, I would have assumed that you were plotting cell counts of neo-mythological divinities.

    Hail Monocytes!

  6. Is "large unstained cell" a clinical term?

  7. So I have read one book ALL year! Geez, you are amazing on every front.