neutropenic

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lisa42
lisa42 Member Posts: 3,625 Member
edited March 2014 in Colorectal Cancer #1
Hi,

As blessed as I have been in the fact that over the past year and three months of taking chemo, today has been the first time that my bloodwork came back as "neutropenic", with my white blood cell count down to 2.5
It kind of always amazed me, actually, as I'd hear people all around me getting supplemental injections due to low white counts, that I never had to do that before. Today my oncologist still made the decision to continue with my chemo, that I didn't need an injection of anything, and I should just get my weekly blooddraw a couple of days earlier this time to check on my counts again.

Any thoughts or advice to help bring those white counts up?
Thanks in advance-
Lisa

Comments

  • kristasplace
    kristasplace Member Posts: 957 Member
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    supplements
    Hi Lisa! I didn't get neutropenic, but i did have low white cells. I tried to eat foods that were strong immune boosters. The doctor told me i shouldn't take anti-oxidants, or other supplements while on chemo, so instead of taking the supplements, i found the foods! I drank a lot of blueberry/pomegranate juice because my body was craving it. I was bad and didn't consult my doc on this. I was afraid he'd tell me not to do it, and i didn't want to hear that. See what your doctor says, and maybe ask him for a referral to see a nutritionist.

    Good luck with it!
    Krista
  • lisa42
    lisa42 Member Posts: 3,625 Member
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    dilemma w/ oncologist's advice
    Hi,

    Thanks for your comments. I have been drinking blueberry/pomegranate juice myself, but have forgotten about it the past couple of weeks- maybe that's even my problem! My oncologist told me there's really nothing I can do about it, and I need to avoid vit. C and other antioxidants or it will interfere w/ the effectiveness of the chemo. He just said to stay away from known sick people and crowds. I was also told to avoid raw fruits and vegetables until this gets better- have any of you heard that? I'm always dying for salads & wonder now if I really need to skip having them. I think many of us hear about needing to avoid supplements and antioxidants during chemo and then proceed to take things anyhow without telling our doctors because we feel desperate to do something. I know that's the situation I now feel myself in.
    I heard a nurse talking the other day to a patient who seemed desperate for a cocktail. The nurse told her it would be best to avoid it, but if she felt she must have it, have it either 2days before chemo or wait until 2 days after chemo. Not that I'm wanting a cocktail by any means, but with this same logic (if antioxidants truly do interfere w/ chemo), maybe any supplements, juices, foods I take to try to boost my immune system would be best to do at this interim time- at least 2 days after chemo (which will be tomorrow for me) and up to two days before getting it again. This is just kind of a guess on my part, because I know my oncologist will tell me to avoid them totally. I'm seeing a new oncologist in another week for a 2nd opion. My friend who goes to him says he's great BUT he's also not open to her taking supplements during chemo (she goes to a holistic Dr. on the side & does it anyway).

    Any more thoughts or ideas? What injetions have some of you had to have to help boost white blood cells? My platelets and neutrophils at this point are still in the normal range- just my white blood cells are too low and RDW's are too high.

    Thanks,
    Lisa
  • msccolon
    msccolon Member Posts: 1,917 Member
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    lisa42 said:

    dilemma w/ oncologist's advice
    Hi,

    Thanks for your comments. I have been drinking blueberry/pomegranate juice myself, but have forgotten about it the past couple of weeks- maybe that's even my problem! My oncologist told me there's really nothing I can do about it, and I need to avoid vit. C and other antioxidants or it will interfere w/ the effectiveness of the chemo. He just said to stay away from known sick people and crowds. I was also told to avoid raw fruits and vegetables until this gets better- have any of you heard that? I'm always dying for salads & wonder now if I really need to skip having them. I think many of us hear about needing to avoid supplements and antioxidants during chemo and then proceed to take things anyhow without telling our doctors because we feel desperate to do something. I know that's the situation I now feel myself in.
    I heard a nurse talking the other day to a patient who seemed desperate for a cocktail. The nurse told her it would be best to avoid it, but if she felt she must have it, have it either 2days before chemo or wait until 2 days after chemo. Not that I'm wanting a cocktail by any means, but with this same logic (if antioxidants truly do interfere w/ chemo), maybe any supplements, juices, foods I take to try to boost my immune system would be best to do at this interim time- at least 2 days after chemo (which will be tomorrow for me) and up to two days before getting it again. This is just kind of a guess on my part, because I know my oncologist will tell me to avoid them totally. I'm seeing a new oncologist in another week for a 2nd opion. My friend who goes to him says he's great BUT he's also not open to her taking supplements during chemo (she goes to a holistic Dr. on the side & does it anyway).

    Any more thoughts or ideas? What injetions have some of you had to have to help boost white blood cells? My platelets and neutrophils at this point are still in the normal range- just my white blood cells are too low and RDW's are too high.

    Thanks,
    Lisa

    No raw foods, def!
    All raw foods have bacteria to a small extent, but when you are healthy it doesn't bother you. When you are neutropenic it can cause you a LOT of grief! I always cooked my veges when I was neutropenic. I even had a friend that couldn't eat fast food meats during neutropenia unless she knew it came right off the grill... when it sits it develops "acceptable" amounts of bacteria that don't affect anybody except one who's immune system is compromised. I have a bottle of hand sanitizer in my car, packets of sanitizing wipes in my purse, and I would take my daughter grocery shopping with me so I wouldn't have to touch the surfaces while neutropenic. The only time I stayed away from crowds (which included church unfortunately) was during sick season... when something was going around, I stayed at home!
    mary
  • lisa42
    lisa42 Member Posts: 3,625 Member
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    msccolon said:

    No raw foods, def!
    All raw foods have bacteria to a small extent, but when you are healthy it doesn't bother you. When you are neutropenic it can cause you a LOT of grief! I always cooked my veges when I was neutropenic. I even had a friend that couldn't eat fast food meats during neutropenia unless she knew it came right off the grill... when it sits it develops "acceptable" amounts of bacteria that don't affect anybody except one who's immune system is compromised. I have a bottle of hand sanitizer in my car, packets of sanitizing wipes in my purse, and I would take my daughter grocery shopping with me so I wouldn't have to touch the surfaces while neutropenic. The only time I stayed away from crowds (which included church unfortunately) was during sick season... when something was going around, I stayed at home!
    mary

    Thanks for your reply
    Thanks for your reply, Mary. I learned something new from you about the "normally acceptable" levels of bacteria in raw fruits and vegetables, which I may not be able to tolerate myself while neutropenic.
    This is a tough one as I'm always grabbing carrot or celery sticks as I walk by my friedge (which I keep there for kids' eating binges mainly, in hopes some healthy stuff will be consumed during the junk food spree as well).
    Lisa
  • msccolon
    msccolon Member Posts: 1,917 Member
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    lisa42 said:

    Thanks for your reply
    Thanks for your reply, Mary. I learned something new from you about the "normally acceptable" levels of bacteria in raw fruits and vegetables, which I may not be able to tolerate myself while neutropenic.
    This is a tough one as I'm always grabbing carrot or celery sticks as I walk by my friedge (which I keep there for kids' eating binges mainly, in hopes some healthy stuff will be consumed during the junk food spree as well).
    Lisa

    I hear ya on the junk food!
    I did miss my raw fruit and veggies when I was neutropenic, but it always resolves itself, so you are back to eating raw soon enough! I learned to cook my veggies and fruit in a pressure cooker to limit loss of nutrients and keep their tastes stronger!
    mary