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White Blood Counts

markatger's picture
Posts: 315
Joined: Feb 2005

Hi all : )

Had 3rd chemo today. Felt a little more yucky, but not bad. I got a printout of my blood test result. My white blood cells have gone from 7.1 to 5.4 to 4.6. Neutrophil have gone from 4.0 to 2.6 to 1.8. I was given the results, by a nurse after I had already talked to the Doc for the day. Doc didn't say anything about results, only that I was good to go for chemo that day.

I asked nurse about what the levels mean. She said that if neutrophils go below 1.0, then they would need to give me something to bring it up. I'm trying to find out if this < 1.0 threshold is correct. And if so, wondering why I wasn't warned by the DOc that I was getting low. Why he didn't suggest my getting something to boost the count in the coming next week, so that I can for sure get my 4th round of chemo in two weeks. Rather than getting there next time, and being told I'm too low. Doesn't the booster take a while to raise you WBC Counts. DO they ever give you the shot and give you chemo anyways the same day? I'd like to avoid having to re-schedule the next chemo in two weeks.

I'm probably going to call the the Doc's "official" nurse tomorrow and ask about this. But any other info would be great as usual!! Really appreciate all the help and encouragment from all of you. : )


Posts: 719
Joined: Feb 2005

Hi there, Maria,
So sorry that all of this is so confusig and scary...I'm right there with ya. (Heading into my 7th session next week.)
I cannot offer you too much info.....other than my red count, the numbers for my white and neutrophyl never stick for me. What I would offer is that I get a blood test in between each chemo session. I receive chemo on a Wed; the doc asks me to have my blood drawn the next Tues - then I meet with him or his Nurse Prac on Wed (one week after chemo). The thought there is that after about 6-7 days, my counts will be at their worst...and will rebound by the next chemo. If the doc finds bad counts on Tues.....he lets me know re: procrit for RBC, etc. This has worked pretty well....only a few times, have I felt so poorly that I couldn't make it down for the blood test until alter in the week.
Calling your docs office tomorrow is a good idea....voice your fears and concerns and they shold help you.
How are you feeling? I did have a session where my white count went down pretty far. I just tried to stay away from crowds.....(no health club)
Anyway, I am rambling a bit....
Hope you get some good info and stay in touch.
Best wishes,

Posts: 835
Joined: Apr 2004

The level of 1.0 for neutrophils is the standard one (same here in England). It is the level below which you are at a higher risk of infections. They don't treat a dropping level till it gets below this point as the meds to boost it may have side effects (like all meds do). Most people's counts drop some during treatment but not every one goes below the magic 1.0 mark. So just hang in there- talk to your docs and your team and stay informed but this is not an unusual situation.

Do let us know how you get on,

markatger's picture
Posts: 315
Joined: Feb 2005

Very Useful Info...thanks a lot


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