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White blood cells and anemia

Lorikat's picture
Lorikat
Posts: 556
Joined: Jul 2011

Saw the doc yesterday and reviewed results of blood work taken Wednesday. My white blood cells are up to1400 and I am still anemic. ( had two units of blood about a week ago). I looked on the Internet and normal WBC count is between 5000 and 10000.

Any one else follow this path?

Also: I am three weeks out treatment, my behind is tender as a baby, and I do not know WHAT to WEAR. I would love to get out of gowns and house dresses. Maybe you guys have suggestion on type of pant?

Ps. Feeling better every day! Also said quietly so as to not jinx it...".... Lorie

RoseC's picture
RoseC
Posts: 502
Joined: Jun 2011

Hi Lorie,

A fellow non-jinxer, huh? :) That's funny! :)

My blood counts are still low in some areas, and that's after three years. Course I was a bit anemic to begin with, so that might be why they're taking so long to get back to normal. I remember that as long as a year after treatment my red and white blood cell count was not good at all. I would recommend checking with your doctor, and if he feels your counts are ok for where you are in treatment, believe him. Try to be careful though about germs. Your immune system has been damaged and it would be very easy to pick up a bug, and if you do, your body doesn't have the umpff to fight it off.

Sore bottom, yeah, ouch. I wore nylon panties because they don't stick to the clothes or seem to rub as much as cotton ones. And loose pants.

I'm so glad you're feeling better - you're doing great and you are a wonderful role model!

Lorikat's picture
Lorikat
Posts: 556
Joined: Jul 2011

To the store to purchase nylon!

The seams in pants seem to rub exactly where I do not want them to! I think I will buy some really BIG pants and a belt..... Glad I do not have to work right now....I think I got the anti-jinx from you.......and it sounds like an excellent idea! Lorie

mp327's picture
mp327
Posts: 2852
Joined: Jan 2010

Lorie--

I, too, am 3+ years out of treatment and still have a WBC that is below normal. It really bugs my internist, but my med onc does not seemed concerned. I don't know if it's my new normal or what. I was anemic (low RBC) while I was in treatment, but that seems to be within normal now. I think your issue is not uncommon and you are still fresh out of treatment, so I wouldn't be too alarmed. Good advice though about avoiding germs whenever possible. You are more susceptible to colds, flu and who knows what else.

sephie's picture
sephie
Posts: 519
Joined: Apr 2009

i wore no underwear and my extra lge. pants inside out. i wore them low so the crotch hung down. i did not care what i looked like. sephie

Lorikat's picture
Lorikat
Posts: 556
Joined: Jul 2011

No underwear and long dresses so far, but I haven't been away from the house yet. Good idea on inside out, just tried it and it feels much better. Sending hubbie out tomorrow for xl flannel pants. Think I will mostly stay home for awhile..

BeaRose's picture
BeaRose
Posts: 45
Joined: Jul 2011

After my second round of chemo my WBC dropped to 100. They did not want to put me in the hospital as it is full of bad germs. I landed there anyway. I was in for 9 days, got 4 units whole blood,3 plasma, and about a dozen platelets. I was bleeding internally because of such low platelets. Could have flipped to leukemia but turned around in the proverbial nick of time, and I am now 1 yr out NED. It does get better, hang in there.

lizdeli's picture
lizdeli
Posts: 521
Joined: Jul 2009

I say wear your birthday suit! lol. I wore baggy nylon like sweat pants most of the time. You could also try men's boxer shorts. As for WBC, I don't know. I was fortunate not to have experienced that. But the advice about germs is very good. Avoid them as much as possible. I only dried my hands on paper towels, never a dish towel, never a wash towel. Keep away from door kmobs, major germ centers.

It will get better...you are in my thoughts and prayers.
xoxo
Liz

Lorikat's picture
Lorikat
Posts: 556
Joined: Jul 2011

Good to hear from you Liz! Birthday suit?!! It is cold here now! Birthday suit on leather, brrrrrrrrr!

Lorikat's picture
Lorikat
Posts: 556
Joined: Jul 2011

My doc did not want me in the hospital either but, like you, I needed the blood etc. 7 days......very long days in isolation....sooooo glad to be home.

azgal
Posts: 31
Joined: Oct 2011

My counts were low for a while and I also needed platelets x2. I had 2 breaks during treatment due to low counts and extensive burns. It's not uncommon for counts to take a while to come back up after treatment ends since the effects of the radiation continues for weeks after treatment ends. Hoping your counts see a quick return to normal.

Regarding clothing...I mostly wore very baggy men's cotton boxers, cotton-only for breathability, and loose cotton sweat pants during colder weather. When I could start to begin to (briefly) wear fitted jeans again for short outings, I used thin panty liners to protect the area and to pad it a little. The difference is amazing. 5% lidocaine is still my friend to this day, 4 years out. :)

eihtak
Posts: 818
Joined: Oct 2011

Hi, Im kind of new but about 6 months out of treatment now. Like others my counts were low at first but better every checkup now. I eat lots of healthy food, broccli, blueberries, apricots, and I take iron faithfully everyday. As far as soreness goes I'm getting better but think I may have permanent tissue damage. I wear a pad 24-7 for light drainage but also kind of softens the area. I have found Dermoplast spray (usually used to relieve pain in that area after childbirth) works GREAT. It can be purchased OTC many places and is easy to apply since you just spray and dont have to touch the already sensitive area. Looser sweat type pants are what feel best to me and some styles are more casual than others so I have several. I also have a colostomy so its hard to wear certain pants with a fitted waist anyhow. I keep one newer black pair for when I want to look like Im not living in PJ's, but mostly just care about comfort. While my counts were low (and now my husband is in treatment so still...) I keep cans of lysol spray in a couple rooms so I can just spray every so often. Hang in there, as they say " one day at a time"....nice to have so many in the same boat to share with. Well, not really a good thing but it does help!

Lorikat's picture
Lorikat
Posts: 556
Joined: Jul 2011

You are only five months further out than I am. Pls keep posting so we can compare..... I go back to MD Anderson in January to see how well treatment worked. Of course I am going to pray the tumor is gone and I do not have to have surgery, but need to ask how you are doing with the colostomy. Scares me to death......Lorie

eihtak
Posts: 818
Joined: Oct 2011

Hi, Sorry I didn't get back sooner. My home is kind of crazy right now...my husband has a blood cancer called Multiple Myeloma and is having a bone marrow transplant Dec.9. We still have 2 daughters living at home and 1 grandson, the hospital is 3hrs away and we will be there most of the next several months, so trying to make lots of plans for everyone. Those plans could change anytime based on my health...talk about prayer!! He is really going through a tough time and it makes my issues seem much less, yet I have to take care of myself too!!
On the colostomy question, I had mine before even starting treatment. It did make keeping the anal/vaginal area clean a lot easier. It took some getting used to, and some nurses seemed to not have much experience in that area. I did find out that most cities have what is called a "stoma nurse"....stoma is the word for the opening that waste comes out of. She was very helpful along with a colostomy site C3life. There are a lot of different products to use and you have to try a few to find what is most comfortable for you. The idea is just plain YUK to most people and almost impossible to understand unless you deal with it first hand, this has been the hard part for me. Other people just can't relate. I dress a little different than I used to and I always have supplies with me in case I need to empty the pouch or clean up, which is sometimes hard in public restrooms. If you need to have one, you'll develop a routine that works for you and you'll meet others that are going through this also just like the whole cancer thing. I met a young girl just 12yrs old that had a colostomy and was just amazed at how well she handeled it. Its funny how we find the strength to do what we have to when we really have to, and its just easier to accept what we've been delt in life and do the best we can without qustioning "why me", don't you think??
Well...Im feeling good today so am going outside to hang Christmas Lights...we are celebrating early since my husband will be in the hospital for the holidays this year. Have a great day...thanks for all your support.

mxperry220
Posts: 357
Joined: Mar 2011

I wore sweat pants. They are loose.

Angela_K
Posts: 370
Joined: Jan 2011

My counts were really low after the first round of chemo but not the second. After treatment I just made sure that I washed my hands with soap and water a lot, wiped down grocery carts, used a napkin to open/close public-used doors, etc.

Transitioning to 'real' clothes helped my mood, for sure. The clothing brand "Nurture," found at Dillard's,offers loose fitting, beautiful clothing including some of the softest pants on the planet. And perhaps try their long, cotton (t-shirt material) 'maxi' skirts. I still go commando in those. :)

Cut and paste this link to your browser: http://www.dillards.com/shop/Nurture/Women/_/N-1730lZlfx6/Ns-p_best_sellers_rank%7C1?catalogId=301&langId=-1&splashlink=header_wapparel&storeId=301

So happy to hear you're finding improvement with each day. It only gets better!!!!

Love to you,

angela

AZANNIE
Posts: 372
Joined: Mar 2011

As Angela posted it does get better. I'm 4 months post treatment and almost feel like my old self again. I wear microfiber pants or sweatpants now that it is getting cooler. I have blood work done on the 16th so will be interesting to find out what my WBC count is. It was low when I was hospitalized in May and had to have a unit of blood.

Ann

Lorikat's picture
Lorikat
Posts: 556
Joined: Jul 2011

Ann, I just had more bloodwork done yesterday and should have the results tomorrow. I will post results. I know they are improving because MDA called yesterday to tell me my nuetraphil (sp) are up and doing their job, and I feel better. Mostly fatigue and sore behind, and I think a great deal of that is from sitting too much! Of course there are times when I am queasy and eating still isn't priority but from where I have been, good. Lorie

sandysp's picture
sandysp
Posts: 744
Joined: May 2011

I'm just a little ahead of you, Lorie. I was hospitalized with low blood counts also, after the first round of chemo. In order for me to finish the treatment, they lowered the second round of chemo to about 80% of the normal dosage since my counts were too low to take a full dose. They thought it was better to have the chemo and radiation at the same time than to wait to get my counts up. My last treatment was August 15th and my blood test was normal a couple of weeks ago. I have pain management issues in my legs and hips still that was temporarily resolved with a prescription for Prednisone for an asthma attack - go figure!

mp327's picture
mp327
Posts: 2852
Joined: Jan 2010

Good news for both of you on those rising/normal blood counts! It's very good to hear!

cap630
Posts: 148
Joined: Jul 2011

I too had a low blood count and was in the hospital for a week after treatment ended.
It was 3 1/2 months ago and I can't remember much from that week. My counts are back up where they should be.
As for clothes- I wore my husband's boxer shorts and cotton shirts. Funny looking - I'm a size 4 and my husband wears XL - but very comfortable. At a doctor's visit I said, "I'm wearing my husbands underwear" and the he replied, "It's okay, just as long as he isn't wearing yours." Be well - Carol

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