Blood Test Results

Hello again!!

I was diagnosed in November last year with Stage 1 non-gastric MALT lymphoma. I’m on watch and wait (hopefully for a long time!) and have my first follow up at the end of March.

I’ve been given a sort of general summary of my condition and current health but no specific results. Should I be asking for the a record of the blood tests? If so, should this come from my haematologist or from my GP?

I understand that I wouldn’t know what I’m looking at but I do feel a bit helpless. I’m putting all my trust in the process without a full understanding of what is actually happening. Is it normal to get results back?

I’ve also got an appointment with rheumatology in two weeks time. I know that Lymphoma and auto-immune diseases can be linked. Does anyone have any experience of this? I feel like it’s almost inevitable as I’ve struggled with stiff and sore joints for years (I’m 40).



Hello @lmcclell
Thank you for posting on the Forum and asking about blood results.
I hope you don’t mind me replying to you, I can explain a little about the blood results, but I am sure others will reply with personal experiences or information at some point.

You are quite within your rights to ask for your blood results, and whether they come from the Haematology team or your GP, I don’t think it matters. You certainly don’t have to ask, nor is there an expectation you do nor understand them. However, some Haematology departments may be able to print off all of the historical tests you have had. This can be helpful in seeing how your results either change over time, or stay the same and give you reassurance all is stable.
If you are also able to get a print out with ‘normal range’ this is also very useful. It lets you know if your results are higher or lower than ‘normal’, however it is about knowing what your normal is. You will start to understand the results bit by bit. Haematology and Lymphoma are quite complex at first, just try to get your head around one or two of the key results, and over time you’ll start to grasp the others. Start with the total WBC (white blood cell) count, Hb (Haemoglobin) and Plts (Platelets), just get familiar with ‘normal’.

Once you start to understand your own results, over time you might see patterns in how you feel and if this links to your blood counts. For example if you have been particularly tired/fatigued, you may notice that your Hb is low (the protein on red blood cells carrying oxygen) or if your WBC are lower, you may have more coughs/colds, or again, feel fatigued. If you are bruising easily or having nose bleeds it may be that Plts are low.

The blood tests in Rheumatology are slightly different, so it may be worth asking them if you’ll need regular tests for their department or it may be once a year. (Do let each department know if you’re having bloods with a different team, sometimes they can co-ordinate tests or use recent results instead of taking more of your blood!).

Sorry to read you saying you feel a bit helpless, but your diagnosis is quite new and unknown to you. After your follow up, you may feel more informed about your Lymphoma and what this means going forward, hopefully you’ll feel less helpless then. It is still ‘early days’ at the moment for you, so don’t feel you need to be any sort of expert or directing your own care. Let the Haematology team explains things a bit further, often they don’t want to overwhelm patients, so information is given in stages.
You may find it useful to be prepared for your follow-up appointment; take any questions you have along on a piece of paper, and it might be an idea to ask if you can record the consultation with a smart phone. This is so you can play it back later, as you might want to look things up after or clarify what you were told.
I am sure that over the next few months you’ll feel more in control and have more understanding of processes and pathways. The information sheets from our website might be helpful: W&Wfactsheets You can download and print them, or order them for free. You may want to use them prior to your follow up appointment.

Please know that you can call our support line to talk through any of this, or if you have questions after your follow up, it is a free and confidential line [0808 2080 888].

Take care of yourself.
Kind regards, Heidi.


Hi @lmcclell it is difficult to follow @Heidi_BloodCancerUK compressive response to you.
I have always asked for a copy of my blood tests, I usually have and get mine from my GP.
If I have a consultants appointment and blood tests from done at the hospital.
I then get a copy of the consultants letter to my GP and that usually gives relevant briefer blood test results.
I also have rheumatology appointments which ask for usually briefer slightly different blood tests. Again I usually get the results via a copy of their letter to my GP.
I have Chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) and scoliosis and osteoporosis.
I stress this is just my experience and different health authorities might do things differently.
I do make it my responsibility to inform different departments and health specialisms of my conditions, treatments, medications, family history, symptoms and test results etc.
Don’t take this post as what should be done, it is just my experience and my blood test results do fluctuate.
Look after yourself and do ask your consultants everything you do not understand

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Hi Erica and Heidi!

Thanks for the advice, it’s very much appreciated. I’ll speak to my GP and nurse to see if I can get my initial results.

I’ve now got two kids at home with chicken pox which is a great distraction!


Oh @lmcclell, I don’t believe it having 2 kids at home with chicken pox.
I suppose it is a matter of caring for them and their needs and also trying to keep away from them.
Take care of yourselves and please keep posting how you all are

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Hi @lmcclell how are you doing now?
Look after yourself

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Hi Erica,

I’m doing okay thanks! Both children are over the worst of the chicken pox now, which is a huge relief.

I feel like a bit of an imposter at times as I’m on Watch and Wait with no real physical symptoms. The mental side of things is a rollercoaster but I’ve been getting used to just blocking it out over the past few weeks. I’ve got quite a bit to speak to my consultant about when we meet again in March but, as it stands, I’m trying not to think about it too much. It’s like standing on a battlefield waiting for the enemy to show up (and hoping they never do).

Like yourself I have been exercising and trying to stay fit and healthy. I’m looking into running a half marathon for one of the blood cancer charities. It feels like a positive for both parties!

Thanks again for checking up on me. I have my rheumatology appointment on Monday next week. I’m hoping it will give me some more answers.



Hi @lmcclell ,

Firstly, I’m sorry to hear about your recent diagnosis. @Heidi_BloodCancerUK response is very comprehensive and hopefully has been of great help.

It’s very normal to feel overwhelmed and, as you say, helpless, as this is distressing and a shock as well as something I’m sure none of us knew about when we initially got diagnosed.

I’d definitely ask for copies of all blood results (I always ask for print outs so I can track) and ensure that you discuss the results with your consultant, which it sounds like is what your planning to do.

Also, speak to friends and family about how you are feeling. I’m sure they are worried about you, but some may feel that you may not want to talk about your recent diagnosis so don’t bring it up. I personally (everyone is different with these matters) feel it’s beneficial for me to be very open with people and discuss how I’m feeling in relation to results, consultations and my blood cancer in general so if you feel that may help you mentally, then it’s certainly worth considering.

Please stay positive and try not to think and worry about associated possibilities and things that may never happen. I speak from experience as I really overthought and worried in the 12 months after my diagnosis and treatment.

Good luck with the appointment next week. I’m sending positive thoughts to you.

And, finally, please don’t feel like an imposter. Everyone affected by blood cancer has varying experiences and feelings so you sharing them is really helpful for so many people on this forum.

Take Care



Hello @lmcclell

I just wanted to thank you for asking this question about blood tests, I’ve been wondering about the same thing. The advice from @Heidi_BloodCancerUK and @Erica @NickB is really helped and I’ve found all the advice I need reading through this thread.
I hope you’re feeling well and your children are over chickenpox!