"It's four o'clock. You should call her," said the husband, eager to know the results from the woman's blood draw that day.
"I know the doctor said four, but I'll just wait a little bit longer to see if she'll call," replied the woman as she screwed in the white outlet plate. The couple had been working hard all day on their basement finishing project. The woman found it to be a good way to keep her mind busy with other things, rather than worrying about the things she couldn't control.
The next half hour flew by. The woman was hoping the doctor would have called her by now because then she would know for sure she wasn't interrupting anything. However, the doctor had assured the woman to call if she hadn't heard anything by four. Getting over her guilt complex, she grabbed her cell phone and jogged upstairs to make the call.
While waiting for someone to answer on the other end, the woman couldn't help but wonder what her results would be. She desperately wished to have the chemo treatments behind her, to move on to the next phase. It was funny how such a little number could have such a big impact on her life, and no matter how much the woman wished for it to be over, she had absolutely no control over any of the outcome.
"Alo?" answered the doctor.
The woman greeted back, trying to keep conversation on the topic and as short as possible. Both the woman and the doctor were on vacation, and she didn't want to impose any more than she had to.
"Well, I got your results back from the lab," the doctor began. "In discussing your results with the lab consultant, it turns out that the negative values for the HCG test were re-developed. Whereas before, a value less than 0.8 was considered negative, now any value less than 2.4 is considered negative. This week your value is at 1.3."
The woman pondered the meaning of this news. Two weeks prior, her value was at 2.0, which meant she had unknowingly already experienced her first negative result! Not only that, but since she had undergone a chemo treatment at that time and her value was still negative this week, she would no longer have to do any more chemo!
The woman didn't quite know how to feel. She had been waiting months for the day to finally be able to say with certainty that her HCG values had reached negative. Had the reference values for the test stayed at less than 0.8, her value that week would have still been considered positive and she'd be on another round of methotrexate injections. It was a welcomed surprise, but it was in some ways almost anti-climactic considering her real first negative had been two weeks prior. Even so, it was still a big mile stone in her recovery from gestational trophoblastic disease and a huge answer to prayer.