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White Count Down

jroger55
Posts: 1
Joined: Feb 2010

My first blood work after my first round of chemo (Carboplatin & Etoposide) was normal. The next week my white blood count was down. The nurse said I had to go home and not work for two days for fear of contact with others. If my white blood count does not go to normal, will I be able to have my second round of chemo next week?

soccerfreaks's picture
soccerfreaks
Posts: 2801
Joined: Sep 2006

What will happen if your WBC does not improve, most likely, is that you will be administered a shot of neulasta or neupogen. The first one mentioned is a short term solution for boosting white blood count while the second lasts longer but apparently is a bit tougher to handle.

I had neupogen shots on a couple of occasions and while I felt sort of 'flu-ish' for a couple of days following, the experience was nowhere close to the illness I felt following my first go-round with chemo. Others warned me that neupogen would make me ache to my bones, and I can understand where they were coming from, but I handled it rather well.

If you ARE short in the WBC department, if you DO get a shot, it is likely that you will not then continue on with chemotherapy on the same day, particularly if it is neupogen.

When I got the neupogen shots, I was on vacation from chemotherapy for another week (admittedly, my response at the time was "Woohoo!").

The lowering of white blood cell counts is not abnormal during treatment, jroger. It is not abnormal, even, to miss a treatment now and then as allowance for such an issue (or some other issue that might make treatment a no-go).

Hang in there!

Eventually, you will get used to both the treatment and these set-backs.

I wish you the best.

Take care,

Joe

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