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Calling for Results

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  • Calling for Results

    Just wondering....after every blood test, is there anyone out there who feels, no news is good news and just doesn't get results every month or so....I guess what I am wondering, if something was wrong with bloodwork, do they always call...or does it just goes into some unknown file....I do always call, but Chris had his done about two weeks ago.....and I haven't called, to me it never gets easier, I dread it every time......Mary Ellen

  • #2
    I understand your dread in getting blood test results - I hate it too.

    I can only give you my experience, as I asked this question. I was told that every week it is the job and responsibility of a junior oncologist (called a senior house officer in the UK) to review all blood test for that week. If anything out of the ordinary comes up, they get straight on the 'phone to inform the patient. If you don't hear anything you're in the clear.

    Everyone has there own way of doing things. I personally call for mine when I know they are ready - I just can't wait, wondering if the phone will ring or not.

    I'm sure after two weeks your in the clear as each hospital should have a very clear policy on how they review blood test results, as they are just too important. In today's litigous society, I imagine the ramifications of a hospital failing to advise abnormal blood marker results must be huge.

    Diagnosed March 2006, Stage IIB, 3cm RP mass
    10% Seminoma, 90% Non-Seminoma (Embryonal, and a tiny amount of choriocarcinoma and teratoma)
    Prechemo bHCG-2648, AFP-582
    3xBEP March-June, markers normalised
    3 months postchemo - 1.2cm residual RP mass
    RPLND September 2006 - mostly necrotic tissue plus tiny amount of well differentiated teratoma
    June 2009 - TRT commenced to help out my lefty
    May 2011 - check-up, all clear


    • #3
      Mary Ellen,
      Ray's doc gets the bloodwork, scans etc done a week before his appointment so that the doc goes over everything with him in person. I too am a wreck waiting that week. When I was in college I worked summers for a doctor and was amazed at what gets misfiled in charts and what paperwork gets stuck to another patient's report. Because of that I never trust the "no news is good news" philosophy and always get copies.
      Retired moderator. Husband, left I/O 16Dec2005, stage I seminoma with elevated b-HCG, no LVI, RTx15 (25Gy). All clear ever since.


      • #4
        Thanks so much Davie and Karen, I appreciate your input...guess I should get on the phone....Mary Ellen


        • #5
          The nurse calls me with the results (blood, xrays, ctscans,) if I don't hear something in 48 hours I am on the phone to see what the problem is.
          As for going in a week early it is cheaper for most to get everything done the same day as co-pay is only paid once(chest x ray, blood work, doctor visit) I am lucky as my Onc office has Rad dept and lab so I don't have to drive all over town, if yours doesn't I would guess it wouldn't matter. The only time they make me go early is for a ct scan that is a few days before the blood test and dr visit. I will try to get them to combine it the next time if they can call with the xray results they can call me with the ct scan seems sort of dumb to me to make me come back. So yes I would be on the phone to get the results.
          5-1-2006 Right IO - Stage 1 Nonseminoma Embryonal and Yolk sac - Surveillance Baby on the way Born 7-20-07


          • #6
            Hi MaryEllen,
            The waiting is the worst. I call the doctor to get the results because if I don't it's constantly weighing on my mind. At Josh's doc, the nurse's pulls results off the computer and they put it in his chart and it is placed on his doc's desk for him to sign off. At this point, for you if anything was up I'm sure you would have heard by now.
            Take it easy...
            Mother of TC survivor.
            Son, Josh 20, diagnosed Jan. 24, 2005. Left Orchiechtomy Jan.31, 2005. 4XBPE March 7th to May 28th 2005.


            • #7
              Mary Ellen:
              Jason had his blood work done 8 days ago and we haven't heard anything. It makes me nuts (or as Nancy might say more nuts). I have no reason to think anything is wrong, he passed the critical 2 year mark but it isn't any easier. The onc's office used to call but now they just send the results in the mail, for me I consider no news good news.
              Son Jason diagnosed 4/30/04, stage III. Right I/O 4/30/04. Graduated College 5/13/04. 4XEP 6/7/04 - 8/13/04. Full open RPLND 10/13/04. All Clear since.

              Treated by Dr. Rakowski of Midland Park, NJ. Visited Sloan Kettering for protocol advice. RPLND done at Sloan Kettering.


              • #8
                I subscribe to the theory that no news is good news.

                I am told my results the same day I go in for tests at Dana Farber. And I call for results after tests here in Bermuda. The bloodwork is actually sent off island for evaluation - as I mentioned several times, that's the challenge when living in paradise

                I honestly don't get to worked up during the waiting. I've accepted that it's part of the deal and know what happens if things change. Other than sticking to the surveillance schedule, I have no control over things changing while I wait for results. So, why worry about things I have no control over? Just my outlook in life.

                All the best.

                Left I/O 5/7/05, Stage 1(pT1)
                No VI or LI, Normal Markers
                70% Embryonal, 30% Seminoma
                1st child born on 8/08


                • #9
                  I used to wrack my brain over the results every month, but now, 1.5 years since diagnosis, I don't think about it as much. I like it when they're able to get the bloodwork results the same day, but if I don't hear, I just wait to get the results in the mail. Sometimes, a nurse will call with them or I'll call her, but I if there were any concerns, I know I'd hear about it promptly.
                  Right I/0 March 30, 2005
                  Left I/O April 20, 2005
                  Embryonal carcinoma, teratocarcinoma
                  Surveillance since May 19, 2005


                  • #10
                    My oncologist has always said he would call if there was a problem. Sometimes they call to say all is normal, sometimes I don't hear from them. I generally don't check on the blood tests, since my markers were never elevated, but I usually go to the radiology center and sign out the CT scans and get a copy of the radiologists report.
                    Right I/O 4/22/1988
                    RPLND 6/20/1988
                    Left I/O 9/17/2003

                    Tho' much is taken, much abides; and though we are not now that strength which in old days moved earth and heaven; that which we are, we are; one equal temper of heroic hearts, made weak by time and fate, but strong in will; to strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.


                    • #11
                      Thanks soooo much for all the input, Chris never seems concerned, but I think he lets me do the worrying.....anyway, Sloan couldn't get me yesterday after I called, so Chris called me last night like it was no big deal and said, Mom, Karen left me a message my blood work was normal!!!! Great birthday present for my husband today!!!!! Now we have two!!! great months til tests again...but yes, I am starting to feel a little better every month of normal results....Chris doesn't see an oncologist til December, he does not meet with one every month?? he gets tests at college hospital, they send to Sloan and Sloan lets me know......have a great day all...........Mary Ellen


                      • #12
                        Mary Ellen,
                        Great news!!! Big sigh of relief! Enjoy your husband's BD today
                        Retired moderator. Husband, left I/O 16Dec2005, stage I seminoma with elevated b-HCG, no LVI, RTx15 (25Gy). All clear ever since.


                        • #13
                          Thanks Karen, have a good one...Mary Ellen


                          • #14
                            I love this post...pre chemo, I'd call in after 3 days..they'd never call, which was fine..they always instructed me to call...then when I had a recurrence, they called each time my markers were up...

                            post chemo, they never call as all is ok...

                            then labor day weekend, I get a voice mail left sunday at 11 pm...I look at the number monday 7am...the hospital...oh no...I listen to the voice mail...after a long intro of apologizing for calling so late and on a weekend...all fine, just letting me about an uptight minute in my life....

                            I'd just call a few days after the test...if there is a problem they'll call...but don't sweat if they do call....

                            you are not alone...
                            - lump first noticed 11/20/2005
                            - I/O right Dec 8, 2005
                            - 95% embryonal / 5% seminoma
                            - normal markers PRE surgery
                            - no vascular invasion, tunica free of cancer, epididymis free of cancer, lungs free, lymph free
                            - Stage I diagnosis
                            - surveillance
                            - mid feb '06, beta hcg slightly elevated = 4.6...small enlarged lower node seen on CT scan...
                            - 3BEP began feb 20, 2006
                            - finished 3 BEP, last bleo, april 17, 2006
                            - CT scan, blood markers, chest..all clear
                            - back on surveillance


                            • #15
                              So glad to hear good news!!! Take care!
                              Mother of TC survivor.
                              Son, Josh 20, diagnosed Jan. 24, 2005. Left Orchiechtomy Jan.31, 2005. 4XBPE March 7th to May 28th 2005.