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Old 01-13-2003, 09:49 PM   #1
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: East Providence, RI
Posts: 4
cs22js26 HB User
Unhappy Elevated WBC Count

I was wondering if anyone could tell me what they think. I have had an elevated wbc for the past 7 years. Last year my doctor sent me to a oncology doctor to run some tests. This was last April that I first went to see the oncologist on the first visit he did a ton of blood tests and did a blood smear on my cells. He said he didn't see any abnormalities well then I was happy and not too nervous anymore but he said he still wanted me to come back to do blood work for a while. He does a CBC w/diff. So I have been going back like every two months to get the blood work done and the wbc is always elevated. These are the wbc's 7/97-12.33, 9/97-10.44, 9/01-12.72, 3/02-13.13, 4/02-13.50, 8/02-16.8, 8/12/02-17.6, 8/16/02-14.9, 10/02-14.7, 11/02-21.4 and 1/03-16.4. I was really concerned when he gave me the results in August but he still said he wasn't too concerned and he was looking at other parts of the test and they were normal. Then on 11/2 I freaked out with the 21.4 and went back just last week and it went down to 16.4. My doctor said at all my appointments he didn't recommend a bone marrow biopsy at this time but he would do it to ease my mind. So on my last appointment he recommended that I get it done because he said he can tell that this is really stressing me out. I am just so scard that I have lukemia my doctor said he doesn't think so but why is my wbc never normal. Well I asked my doctor that and he said well maybe that is just you and you fall out of the statistic range. I don't feel sick, no bruises or anything like that. He does an exam on me everytime I go and he doesn't find anything either. He checks my spleen and he said that is fine too. Does this sound like lukemia with my wbc always being elevated even though it goes up and down? The wbc that is elevated is called the poly's or neutrophils I think they are the same thing. Could this just be normal for me? Is it normal for a healthy person to have an elevated wbc? My doctor doesn't act concerned at all. He can't diagnose me with anything cause he said he doesn't know why it's elevated but by doing the bone marrow I guess he can rule out cancer but without the bone marrow I don't think he can rule that out is that true? I am getting the bone marrow biopsy done in 2 weeks he said it should take about a week to get the results. I am going to be so scard waiting. I know if I do have lukemia that it must be one of the Chronic one's since my wbc doesn't go up very fast and I don't feel sick. Can you die from Chronic Lukemias? Is there a cure? Thanks for taking the time to read my post I am just really scard and need some advice.



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Old 01-14-2003, 11:46 AM   #2
Senior Member
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Milwaukee, WI
Posts: 293
chitrick HB User

Hi Crystal...Your story sounds much like my wife's, as it began about 7 years ago. Her wbc is now past 60. She has been diagnosed with CCL (Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia), since 1997. At the time, her wbc was in the 16-19 range. She gets her blood work done every 2 months. Originally, it was every 3 months. But a sudden increase a year ago, prompted the doctor to begin doing it more frequently.

There is no cure for this type of leukemia. Our understanding is that it usually hits men, after the age of 55. And because it is so slow moving, they typically die of old age, rather than blood cancer. My wife is obviously a female. And she was just 38 when diagnosed.

We're told that the doctors look for the count to jump twice its normal rate from the previous test. If/when that happens, they will then prescribe a course of treatment to try and slow it down.

There's no telling if this might be what you have, without the bone marrow biopsy. It does sound very familiar. So I'd say it's quite possible. I know that when the news was confirmed for my wife and I...we were shocked, scared, etc... Now, almost 8 years later, we rarely think about it. My wife's only real symptoms are that when she catches a cold, it is pretty rough on her; and takes longer than usual to go away. Recently, she had several weeks where she was in constant body pain. That is apparently a symptom of progressed stages. But I must say...she's been much better for the past few weeks. Either she's gotten used to it, or it really has gotten better.

I hope that you'll return to the board and let us know the results of your tests. Good Luck! And be strong!

[This message has been edited by chitrick (edited 01-14-2003).]

Old 02-22-2003, 10:11 AM   #3
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Littleton, Colorado. USA
Posts: 1
MJ Johnson HB User

Am a nurse who has not felt well past 2 years- had CT of chest that showed mulitple nodule of lungs bilaterally- had a + TB skin test for TB, but disease ruled out by further testing thru sputum smears and Chest xray-- it was discovered that my WBC was elevated- 14.2 and then less than a week later (3days ago)WBC now 17.4- am on many meds but none are known to cause the increased WBC- in fact the initial WBC was drawn before any medication was started- The largest of the nodes is R Anterior upper lung lobe, measuring 18.5 mm- due to new state and fed reccomendations I neeed to stay on Rifampin, INH and Myambutol for at least another month- problem is an increasing serious fatigue, pain and am only pulse oxing at around 85-87% nocturnally 20-25% of the time.- generalized bone pain and significant pleural pain which is located between 3rd and 4th intercostal space on the right side of my back- all other labs are normal at this point- ? is whether I need to push for oncology workup-please help


[This message has been edited by MJ Johnson (edited 02-22-2003).]

Old 02-22-2003, 10:45 AM   #4
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Niagara , Ontario , Canada
Posts: 1,401
Autumn Angel HB User

A normal WBC count is in the 4.0 to 11.0 range isnt it? I have my blood test results right her and I was wondering if anything else besides a high WBC can suggest trouble? For example my WBC is 8.2 Which is in norml range but my Red cell count is a bit low the norm being 4.0 - 5.1 and mine is 3.89. My Mean Cell Volume is high the norm being 80 to 95 mine is 97. My urnine test was POS for blood and the Specific gravity is low the norm is 1.010 to 1.030 and mine is 1.005. I just had an IVP done on my kidneys yesterday and wont have those results till WED. But what concerns me is my blood I did a search on the parts that were LOW AND HIGH in my blood test and I come up with pernisious anemia? I just wanted to know if any of you that are familiar with blood testing would know what this could mean. Thank you.

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Old 02-22-2003, 11:08 AM   #5
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: East Providence, RI
Posts: 4
cs22js26 HB User


Yes a normal wbc count is 4.0 to 11.0. A high wbc can be a ton of things or nothing like my situtation. Usually if you have an elevated wbc it means an infection if its not over 20.0 well thats what I have found out on the research I have done. What the doctor looks at is the differential counts and if you wbc has doubled over a certain period of time. Your rbc is a little low. The nurse at my doctors has a low rbc and she has had it for years and I think she said her's is really low like 2.0 or something. Don't panic yet wait for your results and try not to diagnose yourself only your doctor can. How long has your rbc been low? What did your doctor say about that? Hang in there and try not to worry I know waiting for results is the worse part believe me I waited a week for my bone marrow biospy results and I made myself sick the whole week.


Old 02-22-2003, 11:14 AM   #6
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: East Providence, RI
Posts: 4
cs22js26 HB User

Hi MJ,

Don't worry too much about your wbc count going up so fast in just a few days mine did the same thing. Its really weird you could have a cbc done and the wbc be 12.0 and then have it done an hour later and it could be 13.0. Did your doctor do the differential with the cbc? My doctor told me he looks at other things in the cbc to determine if more tests should be done. I am not familiar with the other problems you are having. What does your doctor say about your test results?


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