Aa
A
A
A
Close
Leukemia and Lymphoma Community
1.85k Members
1287128 tn?1331134538

What did your cbc look like when you were diagnosed with leukemia or lymphoma?

I'll try to make this as short as I can. I've been feeling off lately. I've had quite a few sore throats and even woke up with huge swollen tonsils about two months ago,  negative strep but still treated with antibiotics. Flash forward to last week. My left side of my neck became very sore,  all my lymph nodes are huge even the ones in my collar bone. So Saturday I starteddy feeling really run down. Sunday fever,  chills,  headache,  body ache nausea all started. Thinking maybe I had lymes disease I went to the ER. All my labs and all the tick borne ilnesses were negative. The only thing a little off was my wbc was a little low at 4.2 and my platelets were a little low at 120. On Tuesday I was still sick and felt like I had a sinus infection, went back to Dr,  my cbc then showed my white blood count was at 2.2 and my platelets were at 98. She wanted to repeat the tick borne illness tests. All negative again. So yesterday I went back my fever wasn't there but body aches and sinus issues. My cbc then showed my wbc to be at a 3 but my platelets continuing to drop to 87. I've never had abnormal blood work. So she gave me a script of antibiotics to try for a week and we'll repeat labs. If they are still bad then I'm going to a hemotologist. The fact that no doctor knows what is causing this makes me nervous. I dont get why they are waiting a week if the words leukemia have been mentioned. Today, my sinus issues feel better but for whatever reason,  my hips hurt so so bad.

Anyways,  what did your labs look like?  I'm a single mom of 4 kids so it's hard not to get worked up worrying it could be cancer. Do you think I should ask to see a hemotologist right away?  If it was just the low wbc I wouldn't be so worried,  but I don't understand why my platelets are dropping too.
12 Responses
1287128 tn?1331134538
Bump
1081992 tn?1389903637
COMMUNITY LEADER
Hi, most people with lymphoma have a normal CBC at diagnosis. But with most leukemias, you'd expect a rise in white blood cells.

When counts decline from a blood cancer, that's because the blood cancer has gotten into the marrow and is crowding out production of normal blood cells.

My guess is that you have a virus and that has produced an immune reaction against your own platelets. Can you post the differential (the breakdown of WBC subtypes)?

As you probably know, platelets below ~50 are concerning, and below ~15 are very concerning --- because of bleeding risk..
1287128 tn?1331134538
Today my platelets have dropped to 82. My wbc is back down to 2.6. The only think that a slide showed was 0 basophils. My lymphocytes, neutrophils are all in normal range. I have 5 band cells? She ordered a peripheral smear and referred me to a hemotologist. I won't have the results of the smear until Monday. I'm very scared,  I'm a single mom of 4 and have so many questions. My lupus test was negative,  all tick borne ilnesses negative...
1287128 tn?1331134538
Today my platelets have dropped to 82. My wbc is back down to 2.6. The only think that a slide showed was 0 basophils. My lymphocytes, neutrophils are all in normal range. I have 5 band cells? She ordered a peripheral smear and referred me to a hemotologist. I won't have the results of the smear until Monday. I'm very scared,  I'm a single mom of 4 and have so many questions. My lupus test was negative.
1287128 tn?1331134538
Sorry I know I repeated myself.
1081992 tn?1389903637
COMMUNITY LEADER
You actually want to see bands (band neutrophils) because that is a sign of infection. They are immature neutrophils that get rushed into the circulation when more troops are needed.

The blood smear will look for oddly shaped blood cells, which can be a clue as to them dying off (if there are any oddly shaped blood cells).

One big thing to keep in mind is that doctors must consider and investigate the worst scenarios (like leukemia)  even though they are not the most likely scenarios. So don't get too worried that the word was mentioned.

What are your numbers for neutrophils and lymphocytes?
1287128 tn?1331134538
She didn't tell me other than they are in within normal rates.
1 Comments
Well, I don't see how they can be within normal limits and yet you have a low WBC. Those are the two largest components of the WBC.

It's a good idea to get and keep copies of all tests, and maybe even get copies of your old tests. You will likely get another CBC right in the hematologist's office. They can print a copy for you right then. It is your legal right to have copies of everything.

You are not a typical case, and so there won't possibly be a quick and easy answer. So don't get too worried if things drag out a bit. Just be aware if you get unexpected bruising or if e.g. your gums bleed from simply brushing your teeth. That would only occur if your platelets get much lower.

You  can also look into ITP (Immune Thrombocytopenia Purpura) just in case that comes up during the visit with the hema. The more knowledge that you have going in to the visit, the less time gets wasted in simpler questions there.
1081992 tn?1389903637
COMMUNITY LEADER
Btw, if cancer invades the marrow, then you'd usually expect all blood cell counts to go lower. That would include low red blood cells, which you don't have.

Also, cancer wouldn't typically make nodes get big very suddenly and then just stop growing. But a reaction to infection does behave like that.

1287128 tn?1331134538
Thank you. If I'm on augmentin (antibiotic) wouldn't my counts be getting better if it's an infection? Should I ask to be admitted to get IV antibiotics?
1 Comments
Not necessarily getting better, because antibiotics don't help at all against a virus.

Nope, IV antibiotics are not a good idea and no doc would order that anyway in your case. You might be thinking of chronic Lyme.

It's a good idea to have tried the antibiotic, but since it didn't help, that tends to say that you don't have a bacteria.
1287128 tn?1331134538
I just looked online at my results
Lymphocytes 49% neutrophils 40% reactive/atypical lymphs 1+ & my basophils are at 0
4 Comments
Very good. Normally, the neutrophils are most numerous; but lymphocytes go high when fighting a virus.

What is the absolute number of lymphocytes? (not the %)
It's normal for basophils to be at zero.
It's normal for basophils to be at zero.
1287128 tn?1331134538
Absolute neutrophils 1.1 absolute lymphocytes  1.2
So I guess my neutrophils are low I didn't notice before.
1 Comments
Okay, so your lymphocytes are on the low end of normal. There is therefore less reason to think that you have the type of leukemia called CLL -- wherein lymphocytes could be over 10 and even much higher.

Your neuts are just a little low, but that can be the result of a virus.

I wouldn't be much worried about a blood cancer. I would be thinking about  whether your platelets are low (called "thrombocytopenia") are caused because your immune system is destroying the platelets.

Hopefully, you can relax a little bit before your appt with the hema :)
Avatar universal
Raerae336 - If you have Leukaemia your WBC typically goes up, not down (The word "Leukaemia" means "white blood"). I had ALL Leukaemia and my WBC went to over 600 (normal is c.4-11). The only time my platelets and WBC was down was due to Chemo, so not sure what is causing it for you,
Have an Answer?
Top Leukemia & Lymphoma Answerers
1081992 tn?1389903637
PA
Learn About Top Answerers
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
An interview with the co-discoverer of one of the biggest breakthroughs in cancer research
From causes to treatment options, get answers to your questions about CML, a type of blood cancer
New drug options on the horizon may make CML, a type of blood cancer, one of the few success stories in cancer treatment
For people with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), the COVID-19 pandemic can be particularly challenging.
A list of national and international resources and hotlines to help connect you to needed health and medical services.
Here’s how your baby’s growing in your body each week.