Chemo Delays

rizzo15 Member Posts: 153 Member
edited March 2014 in Breast Cancer #1
I keep hearing everyone say that they have their chemo infusion every 3 weeks. Mine seem to be every 4 weeks due to low white and red blood cell counts. How common is this? My Dr. is saying that sometimes chemo can be up to every 5 weeks, depending on the response...but that's not what I'm reading. Thanks for any feedback.


  • jstanley
    jstanley Member Posts: 2
    My experience says it's pretty common. My treatments took 4 weeks, not the 3 they wanted to do because my counts were always a bit down. My mother in law had ovarian cancer and it was much worse for her - she had to take medication to build her back up in between treatments, and sometimes went 5 or 6 weeks until they would give her another. I've seen tv commercials about another drug that helps too, you may want to ask your doctor about it, though I don't remember the name advertised. Just hang in there! Good luck!
  • banker
    banker Member Posts: 317 Member
    Hi I had my chemo 2 weeks in a row, then skip two weeks, when my counts got to low I injected myself with NEUPOGEN shots to get the counts up. (the reason I gave the shots myself was , my Doc.lives 2 hrs from where I live.) I wanted to stay on schedule and not miss any chemo. If you would like more info or just chat, you reach me here or at
    [email protected]
    Take care, god bless
    Love Emmi
  • jeancmici
    jeancmici Member Posts: 665 Member
    The very latest information is for every two weeks with neupogen shots. this seems to be forcing the body but is felt to be better for chemo's good effects on the cancer.

    In the year 2001 i had my chemo and had it every three weeks - only once delayed a week - think it was the second or third one.

  • iris48
    iris48 Member Posts: 92
    Hi, My chemo was four weeks and I started in Oct 01, in Nov 01 around Thankgiving week I needed daily shots of Procrit to build up my red and white counts. Now 1/03, my white count is just below what is considered normal, but my resistance is pretty good. I got one of those sneezy, sore scratchy throat,cough colds and managed to get rid of it within one week (my hubby who shared.....his cold with me took 2 1/2 weeks to get rid of it). So I guess I am really better! :)
  • jamjar62
    jamjar62 Member Posts: 135
    Hi....just wanted to tell you of my experience. After my first treatment, my white count dropped to 800 (normal is 5 to 10 thousand). My doctor sent me home with antibiotics to take if I ran a fever which I never did and when I went back in for my next treatment they gave me a shot of Neulasta after my infusion was done. Neulasta is a timed-release form of Neupogen so you don't have to get multiple shots between treatments. And Procrit is the treatment for low red counts. If you are uncomfortable delaying your treatments ( as I know I would be if for no other reason than that means its that much longer before I'm through) then you should ask your doctor about those options. Hope this helps and good luck! Karen
  • bullfrog13
    bullfrog13 Member Posts: 213
    Dear Rizzo15, I think every case is as individual as the person, but with like everything in life there are generalizations. I was suppose to have mine every 3 weeks and did to start with, blood counts bottomed out and my husband gave me daily neprigen shots so I could stay on schedule. Then they changed my treatment to every week for three weeks and then gave me one week off to recover. My treatments went on like that for right at a year. I was finished up in August of last year and am doing fine. Have a mammo today at 1 ..and -- as always - nerves are NOT made of steel! lol
    take care and God Bless
    [email protected]
  • rizzo15
    rizzo15 Member Posts: 153 Member
    Thanks everyone for your messages. Inbetween chemo infusions I have my blood work every week and that's when they decide when I need neupogen (for white cells) or procrit (for red cells). I'm glad I'm not the only one who has their next chemo delayed because of the cell levels. It's just surprising to me that the levels don't drop in a predictable way. Sometimes the white cell count gets too low a week after chemo. Sometimes the white cell or red cell counts get too low two weeks after chemo...or worst of all, 2 days before the next chemo which drops me back a week on the chemo schedule. Frankly, I find all the blood sampling worse than the chemo. At least with the port they only "stick" me once. When it's the normal weekly blood samples, sometimes they don't hit the vein until the 3rd try. I guess I'm just a 'fraidy cat because even my diabetes monitor is the kind that uses a tiny little bit of blood out of the arm (twice a day), instead of stabbing my fingers. When I work in the garden, I can cut myself up pretty severely with branches, etc. on my arms and legs and not notice until the end of the day. Why it hurts more when I'm watching a needle coming at me, it's just BEYOND me!!!