Thursday, January 17, 2008

01/17/08 - Count Plotter Preview

The chart below isn't the output of my Blood Count Plotter. It's very close, though. I was seeing what I could "force" Excel to do, compared to what I wanted. The chart shows a lot of details from a year of data (1/17/2007 to 1/16/2008).

Click on the graph for a larger view.

Some chart features:
WBC - The count being plotted. White Blood Cells in this case. They're shown as light blue circles and/or a line.
Max - A horizontal line showing the "normal" maximum value for this count.
Min - A horizontal line showing the "normal" minimum value for this count.
Chemo - When I received each chemotherapy treatment, currently a triangle.
Trans - When I received each transfusion, currently a triangle.
Shot - When I received each injection, currently a triangle.

For instance, you can see my WBC count (essentially, my immunity) gradually drop off after chemotherapy, and it has been below the normal minimum value. My WBC count is usually between 1 and 3. Today, I spoke with my oncologist's assistant, and it was 7.7 yesterday! It has never been that high, which made me think I wrote something down wrong. She called back to confirm that 7.7 was correct. The high number is due to a drug (neulasta) that I receive the day after chemo to boost my WBC. It works, as evidenced by the 7.7 value shown near the top, right side of the chart, labelled WBC. I am impressed!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

01/15/08 - Quick Update

I've recently been trying to plot my blood counts in Excel. For those of you that don't know, Excel is a spreadsheet program within Microsoft Office. It has built-in features to both store values and graph, and I feel that I am (or was) well-versed at using it.

My count-plotter is not only a record of values, but it will show trends when my counts are plotted. I hope to plot counts by selecting one and just pressing a button. Behind the scenes, it is controlled by code that I have to program. I intend to post its output when I have something more meaningful, but it is limping along now - kind of like me :)

Tomorrow, I will likely have my blood counts checked again. As usual, although a local lab will draw blood tomorrow, I likely won't know any results until Thursday. Friday and Saturday I hope to go to a Brain Tumor Conference that's being held locally.