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immune system

Posts: 5
Joined: Apr 2010

I am new to this board and have a question. I know our immune system is very low around days 10-14. i was just wondering if anyone has been sick because the immune system is low. I just finished round 3 taxol/carbo. i have 3 more. my diagnosis is uterine cancer stage 3 grade 3c. thanks! Laura

Posts: 570
Joined: Oct 2009

I don't know exactly when our blood counts are the lowest on chemo but know that there is a term called "Nadering" or "Nader" which I think is related to when your counts hit bottom and start climbing up again.
Physically I started to feel better after 4 or 5 days after chemo but really started to feel good about day 15 so what you say makes sense.
My approach is that while on chemo I assumed at all times that I was immunosuppressed and took good handwashing and avoiding crowds, not eating out etc. I never had so much as a sniffle let alone a cold while undergoing chemo or radiation.
I did have a break out of my rosecea (skin condition on face which is an immune system problem)after treatment #4 of chemo. The Decadron (a steroid) I got as part of chemo prep helped control my roscea. Everyone has their own comfort level with how to best practice hygiene related to keeping from getting a cold or the flu.

Posts: 21
Joined: Jan 2010

I had chemo during the winter/spring months or flu season and was not able to escape viruses and infections despite taking great care to avoid them. A cold, flu, and then sinus infection did not interfere with chemo except to cause a week's delay a couple of times. On day 12 after the final round of chemo, I got an infection of unknown origen which resulted in a high fever and another antibiotic treatment. The blood count seems to decrease to the low between days 10-14 and then rise again with each cycle, but I doubt that it has much chance to return to the normal range while undergoing the treatments. I think I was sick with something before every chemo treatment except the last one and then I got sick after that one. I have not noticed that many others have reported much illness, however, and since your next 3 treatments are during a less virus filled season, perhaps you will stay well!
Many blessings!

jazzy1's picture
Posts: 1385
Joined: Mar 2010


I have the same type cancer and stage as you -- uterine 3C. And....same drugs for chemo. Do you also have radiation between the first 3 rounds and last 3 rounds? I did.

My doc told me up to 14 days after each chemo our immune systems are the most vulnerable...so watch crowds and germs. I didn't hybernate but watched the times I did get around crowds and did fine. When went back to the doc for the 4th round he noticed my 3rd round showed lower white blood counts. He suggested to get a neulasta shot to boost my counts...this was after each of last 3 chemos. Told me if I didn't I would really need to watch for germs, otherwise, take chance admitted to hospital. That was enough to scare me into getting the shots. Had no issues with even a cold or flu...yeah! Doc did tell me he wanted to make sure I didn't miss any of my last 3 chemo sessions as knew I was anxious to complete it all.

Each of our bodies are different, so take care and get some rest. Also, if you have other health issues it might make it more challenging on your body after chemo.

Best to you and welcome to our boards!

Posts: 5
Joined: Apr 2010

My treatment is just chemo. I am participating in the study and was chosen to do just chemo. the other would have been chemo/radiation. Day 2-5 are my worst days and then a gradual feeling better. It seems after each chemo it takes my body a little longer to feel good. Cant wait til its over. When did you finish your treatment and how are you feeling? My doctor gave me a 65% chance of getting rid of this cancer. what did your dr say?

jazzy1's picture
Posts: 1385
Joined: Mar 2010

I will agree days 2-5 are probably my worst too. But...the immune system is still down so that's the time we still must watch the germs. Don't feel you need to be a "clean freak" but just watch the hands and where they touch and to the face. Not easy, but when I think of getting sick and can't have my next treatment, well things look different.

Chemo is "cummulative" so each time you receive another infusion your body is working even harder, so side affects are rougher. Just part of the process...nice to know up front too.

Finished my last chemo July 31, 2009 and been feeling very well. Still have the tiredness and body aches. I try to get more sleep, as some nights in bed by 8pm, but then up very early 4:30am. Body aches are really part of the side affects and I'm a big work out person with walking and now more weights. My lower back has issues as had a bone density that show thinning at top of hip area. So we'll have to watch that area as have another density end of this year. Been told chemo is rough on the bones, and I'll bet radiation is the same.

I never asked doc about my chances of survival. That's is something I never wanted to know...why worry me. I have a motto:


In fact, when I had my first appt with the oncologist with my hubbie, after my hysterectomy, hubbie asked him my survival chances. I didn't want to hear and put my fingers in my ears...how crazy is that hum? I'm a very positive thinker and don't want to have the statistics hanging over my head.

The most difficult part is thinking life will be normal. Well it isn't as we're always reminded about this disease as have follow up appts. Mine are every 3 months and get skidish when time to get results...butter flies in my stomach!!! Plus can't help but to wonder how long will I be here???? I do keep very busy with my family and only have a very part-time job now so have downtime to heal.

Take care and nice to have a companion on this site...

Posts: 683
Joined: Apr 2010

I was diagnosed with endometrial cancer in november had a radical hyst. removed lymph nodes, and ommentum. 6 sessions of chemo. From the time i was diagnosed a friend brought some immune stimulator which is herbal and lots of other herbs. Never had a side effect, never had a cold, did not lose my appetite. Doc was amazed. So try to start building up your system. get some herbs. They do work, but you have to be consistent. Stay well. I aslo without fail blended several fruits and made a smoothie every morning. I am very energetic. Attitude plays a great part. Keep well June

lindaprocopio's picture
Posts: 2022
Joined: Oct 2008

Herbal treatments and herbs themselves are real medicine, even if not traditional. Please don't take anything without running it by your chemo-oncologist or oncology nutritionist as there can be 'drug' interactions. I believe there is a lot of good in many herbs and foods for the battle against cancer, but just don't take anything willy-nilly. You need to protect your liver and kidneys and the combination of chemo and some herbs can do those organs harm. Once you get out of chemo, do what you want.

jazzy1's picture
Posts: 1385
Joined: Mar 2010

I agree we can build up our immune systems to get thru this cancer. But...be careful about many vitamins, antioxidants and herbs...many don't mix well with chemo. Ask your doc first as I did.... He told me to be careful of certain things such as herbs and antioxidants. After all treatments, I asked him once more, can I take all my vitamins. He said GO FOR IT FULL TILT!!!

Best to you and glad you're doing so well....

Ro10's picture
Posts: 1579
Joined: Jan 2009

The pharmacist at the cancer center where I got chemo did not recommend herbs, extra vitamins or antioxidants while on chemo. Some things that boost the body can also boost the cancer cells. The pharmacist did not recommend anything that was not approved by the FDA. She did not even recommend taking tyelonal-pm because the tyelonal can effect the liver. She said to just take the benadryl for sleep. My gyn onocologist said he could not recommend or say not to take the herbs and extra vitamins. So I was careful about what I took while on Chemo. In peace and caring.

Reddie's picture
Posts: 72
Joined: May 2009

I agree with the last three ladies to avoid herbs and FRESH fruit and vegetables especially during Chemo. It has a lot of germs on it so that's why your body has very low immune system while taking chemo. I also found out that yogurt made me sick so avoid that also.

take care, Reddie

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