Low white count BEFORE ever starting chemo

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Joined: Sat Dec 30, 2006 10:52 pm
Location: Little Rock, AR

Low white count BEFORE ever starting chemo

Postby wdt » Thu Feb 22, 2007 3:13 pm

Has anyone else here had this problem? My husband was due to begin his first chemo session on Feb 5th. He was about 8 weeks out from his surgery at that time. The plan was to do one round of chemo with xeloda daily and oxaliplatin IV every 3 weeks. Then, they were going to start radiation, then go back to chemo. At least, that was the original plan...

Well, he went in on what was supposed to be his first day of chemo and his white count was low-ish and the onc wanted to wait to see if would come up, since the chemo would lower it even more. They thought he may have had a viral infection, which can lower it (lots of crud going around lately) so they wanted to monitor it.

Long story short, it never came up and so the onc decided he needed to go ahead and start radiation along with xeloda at 1/4 the dose (just one pill a day right before rad instead of the 2 pills twice a day that he was originally supposed to take) He thought this would at least get some treatment going and a little bit of chemo in him. After his first week on the rad his white count went down even further to 3.2. I am worried about him not going to have a high enough white count to get chemo any time soon. He had 3 postive lymph nodes and he really needs that "mop up" chemo in him to try to ward off distant mets in liver or lungs.

Anyone else had a similar experience? Even if the situation is not exactly the same - has anyone had a delay in initiating their chemo and how long did you have to wait? What did the docs say about having to delay it and were there any risks involved?


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Joined: Mon Jan 29, 2007 10:15 pm
Location: Kansas City

Postby nodo » Thu Feb 22, 2007 5:29 pm

I battled low white blood cell counts throughout chemo. I think I'm just one of those people with a lower white cell count naturally. I was right at a 4.0 when I started. Anyhow, I did everything I could from resting enough, etc... to try and get those counts higher. Have you discussed having a white blood cell booster, such as Neulasta? If you google white blood cell booster and chemotherapy, you will probably find a few products for this. I never did receive any boosters and I don't know why my oncologist never recommended that. I guess I just stayed border line enough that it was not needed. Good luck!

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Joined: Fri Jan 05, 2007 5:19 pm
Location: Longview, Washington

Postby RobinS » Thu Feb 22, 2007 7:15 pm

I'm also battling low white blood cell count. Immediately after the 2nd and 3rd chemos I was given a shot of Neulasta. After the 4th the doc decided to see if I could do without it. When I went in for round 5 I was too low and had to put it off a week. I now have Neulasta after every round. He said about 20% of people need it. During that week I rested and ate some of the foods I Googled to help boost it naturally (cooked spinach, oysters, garlic). I was told to not eat any raw fruits or veggies to avoid any contaminents from them and avoided crowds and got rest.

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