Neutropenia

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menright
menright Member Posts: 256 Member
edited March 2014 in Colorectal Cancer #1
I just returned from the cancer center. I expected another round of chemo. Good News was they gave me the week off. Bad news, they tell me I have Neutropenia (low white blood cell count). Now I have another drug to take for 7 days and a special diet. I am also semi-quarantined to home to avoid germs. My immune system is somewhat challenged right now.

Any comments on this condition are welcomed. This is new to me, though I understand it is not unusual. I am uncertain now of the blood measurement taken but it dropped from 2700 to 700. I need to learn a bit more about this condition.

I look forward to any comments and input.

Mike

Comments

  • maglets
    maglets Member Posts: 2,576 Member
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    Hi Mike
    Hi Mike: I know that feeling.....yes ! no chemo.....NO oh crap this sets me back. I can't claim any neutrophil knowlege...cept mine was always given as started at 3.3 and then went down to 2.8 ....so I am wondering if you are comparably down to ...........7? don't know....I went to my GP today and at the end of 6 rounds of oxy and xeloda....she didn't give me my blood counts and I didn't ask but she too said...maybe it would be a good idea if you just stayed home for at least 3 weeks and avoided crowd contact because of infection.

    ok MIke....thinking about you party on at home I guess:):)

    best regards
    mags
  • mom_2_3
    mom_2_3 Member Posts: 953 Member
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    My third treatment...
    Mike,

    I remember that for my third treatment of FOLFOX my numbers were also low. I was told that I could not get my chemo that day. I started to cry and the nurse managed to get my oncologist (not known for her bedside manner) into the room to assure me that it was ok to miss that one week. She also told me that my LDH (tumor marker) was dropping so she knew that the tumors were shrinking. It turns out she was right.

    But, I did have to start giving my self Neupogen shots at home. There are two shots I was offered, Neupogen (3 days in a row the week before chemo) and Neulasta (one shot by the nurse). I was told that the Neupogen was much cheaper to my insurance company and I always try to take the most prudent route with our insurance so I went with Neupogen. I would give myself the 3 shots at home and it was very easy to do. I am surprised that you were not offered that option to raise your counts. Perhaps you could ask your oncologist about the shots.

    All the best,
    Amy
  • taraHK
    taraHK Member Posts: 1,952 Member
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    good news, bad news
    Hi Mike,

    I have had similar experience. Yes, it is a good news bad news scenario!

    I'm not sure about the numbers. My onc seemed to concentratate on neutrophil count (part of white blood count). Had to be 1.5 or above to have chemo; he told me below 1 might have to be hospitalized. I dropped below 1.5 several times but never below 1.

    When I was below 1.5, I had neupogen shots, which I chose to give myself at home. I did it for 4 days each time. My onc preferred that over the neulasta shot.

    I was told that delaying chemo by one week (or even up to 3) does not diminish the effectiveness of the chemo.

    Sorry you have had this setback. Try to enjoy the week off (chemo holiday?!) and let that body heal and restore.

    Best wishes,
    Tara
  • Annabelle41415
    Annabelle41415 Member Posts: 6,742 Member
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    taraHK said:

    good news, bad news
    Hi Mike,

    I have had similar experience. Yes, it is a good news bad news scenario!

    I'm not sure about the numbers. My onc seemed to concentratate on neutrophil count (part of white blood count). Had to be 1.5 or above to have chemo; he told me below 1 might have to be hospitalized. I dropped below 1.5 several times but never below 1.

    When I was below 1.5, I had neupogen shots, which I chose to give myself at home. I did it for 4 days each time. My onc preferred that over the neulasta shot.

    I was told that delaying chemo by one week (or even up to 3) does not diminish the effectiveness of the chemo.

    Sorry you have had this setback. Try to enjoy the week off (chemo holiday?!) and let that body heal and restore.

    Best wishes,
    Tara

    Counts
    I'm not sure where you are in your chemo, but I've had one round and my counts are already below normal, but just barely, but red was before too. I know I thought about having to take time off from chemo and I'm wanting to just get on with it and over but doctor's know best - I think :)

    Good luck in getting back to normal.

    Kim
  • kmygil
    kmygil Member Posts: 876 Member
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    Rock & a hard place
    Hey Mike. Yeah, you get a mini vacation from chemo (yay!) but you delay your treatment (boo!) Yep, been there, done that. I was advised to stay away from kids, since they are notorious germ carriers from school, but when I asked about my dog, they said "no problem." So just stay semi-secluded and away from crowds. If you have to go to the supermarket or something, use their wipes on the buggy handles and wash your hands frequently. Other than that, take your meds and follow the diet; gotta get those neutrophils up! You'll be ok, but it's a pain.

    Hugs,
    Kirsten
  • fighting for mom
    fighting for mom Member Posts: 96
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    kmygil said:

    Rock & a hard place
    Hey Mike. Yeah, you get a mini vacation from chemo (yay!) but you delay your treatment (boo!) Yep, been there, done that. I was advised to stay away from kids, since they are notorious germ carriers from school, but when I asked about my dog, they said "no problem." So just stay semi-secluded and away from crowds. If you have to go to the supermarket or something, use their wipes on the buggy handles and wash your hands frequently. Other than that, take your meds and follow the diet; gotta get those neutrophils up! You'll be ok, but it's a pain.

    Hugs,
    Kirsten

    to keep going on...
    My Mom had to have Neulasta shots after her first chemo dose. She had to continue up to round #6 due to low blood counts. The shots gave her some bad side effects- but allowed her to coninue on the fight. I can remember how upset she was because only one round of chemo messed her up so soon.

    She has foraged on and has only 3 rounds left. After round #6- several hospitalizations due to potassium, hydration, bowel obstruction- they dropped the oxi. She has not needed the neulasta since they dropped the oxi. It was causing her to be toxic.

    You will get through this!

    Susan
  • tootsie1
    tootsie1 Member Posts: 5,044 Member
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    Sorry
    Hey, Mike.

    I'm sorry you've had this little setback, but I'm sure you'll bounce back soon. Just rest and take care of yourself!

    *hugs*
    Gail
  • Buzzard
    Buzzard Member Posts: 3,043 Member
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    tootsie1 said:

    Sorry
    Hey, Mike.

    I'm sorry you've had this little setback, but I'm sure you'll bounce back soon. Just rest and take care of yourself!

    *hugs*
    Gail

    Mike....
    I too had the infamous yayyyy week off but boooo extra week of chemo....WBC down..Neulasta then back again the next week for treatment..I ended up taking a Neulasta shot after each finishing up wednesday when they took out my needle from my port....$6000 and a week later my white blood counts were back to normal and it was business as usual.....Its normal so don't worry to much about it...If you do get a cold a Z-Pak will knock it in about 3 days..There is something to say about steroids and anti-biotics working well together...