Numbers are Knowledge

Posted by Lisa Leier-McHugh on Jul 12, 2016 1:31:51 PM

We live every aspect of our lives by numbers. Numbers and calculations rate, rank, grade, condemn and save us every day. This hit home recently when a member of my immediate family was battling multiple myeloma. It was amazing and simultaneously terrifying, the new world of diagnostic numbers he and those close to him were immediately thrown into. New results and benchmark numbers were constantly being compared as my family member tried to understand the meaning of a particular protein value and its relationship to this indicator or that. White count levels and the appropriate number of stem cells that would be needed for a successful transplant became part of everyone’s new daily vernacular. On the day he learned remission was achieved, the group text from the oncologist visit said, “Beta 2-MG = 4 YEAH!” We all knew that the number “4” was a great value, and
he was there.

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