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First Blood Count after First Chemo

Posts: 10
Joined: Nov 2010

Ladies, you have so much knowledge.
I just joined your group a few days ago, and many have responded to my initial questions and concerns.

I had my first blood test following my first IV chemo.

I will receive the results of this blood count on Monday,November 8.
Another count will be taken on November 12.

With what should I be most concerned?

Is there a site where I could gather information?

What exactly is measured?
What are the norms?

I realize that I am so uneducated about so many aspects. I just expected my blood counts to be lower due to chemo. I will discuss this with my doctor, but I would like to have a better understanding prior to speaking with him.
I would appreciate any feedback.


hopeful girl 1
Posts: 454
Joined: May 2010


I would talk to your oncologist or oncologist's nurse regarding blood counts.
Also, you can ask for a copy of your results. The copies I receive at my center have a chart that shows what the normal range for each count is, and what the tested count is.

The nurse should go over this with you, and let you know if you need to be concerned about a particular count.

They will be watching hemaglobin, white cells, neutrophils (which are the fighter white cells that fight bacterial infection), and platelets.

How it has worked for me is I get a bloodtest two weeks post my chemo, and again the following third week. Chemo is on the third week if counts are ok.

Hope this helps.


Posts: 99
Joined: Feb 2010

Hi Nikkster,

What chemo meds are you on, how many infusions, and what's the schedule?

Usually they do a panel before your infusion and then do a CBC nadir count afterward. Get copies and you may see L's (lows) and H's (highs) if you have anything out of range. There will also be normal ranges stated so you can see where your counts are at. Your nurses should be monitoring you.

Here's a website: http://www.chemocare.com/whatis/what_is_nadir.asp. This is a good website to explore.

If you're on carbo/taxol, do a search on that to learn more, too.


Posts: 10
Joined: Nov 2010

Those are the drugs. I appreciate the info.

Always Hopeful
Posts: 234
Joined: May 2010

Hi Nikkster,

My blood gets tested before each of my chemo treatments. One set is done for my blood levels and the other for organ function. The chemo nurse contacts my medical oncologist if my blood levels (especially the neutrophils) are out of wack. The oncologist then decides if I can have my chemo or not.

It seems to me, based on these few posts alone, that the procedure for blood testing can be somewhat different based on where you are getting your treatment. The chemo nurse I had for my first carb/taxol treatment in April was wonderful and explained all about the blood tests and how they are used. Whoever is with me writes down in everything I'm told in my "marble notebook" so I can always refer to it. If I am alone, I transcribe everything as soon as I get home. It came in quite handy when I went to Memorial Sloan Kettering for a 2nd opinion. The wanted me to "tell my story" from when I was first diagnosed...tests taken, dates of these tests, what I was told about the results etc. etc. etc. In fact, I've just started on my second notebook.

Getting back to the questions you have, write them down when you think of them so that when you do meet with your doctor or nurse, you can ask them something that you though about even weeks before. Our brains are just too crowded to commit everything to memory! At least that is the case with me.

Stay well...my thoughts and prayers are with you.

Peace and hope, JJ

Posts: 10
Joined: Nov 2010

Thanks for the advice about the record keeping.
Another person suggested getting copies of all tests and keeping a medical binder.
I bought Big Pink today.

Thanks again.

Ro10's picture
Posts: 1579
Joined: Jan 2009

After I was diagnosed with UPSC in Jan 09 the onocologist's nurse suggested that I contact the American Cancer Society for resources. I contacted the one in my area. They sent me a "Personal Health Manager". It is plastic file holder which includes folders labeled:
My cancer and treatment; Test Results; Medications; Support and Resources; Insurance and Bills; Appointments, Questions to Ask. It has been a great help in keeping things organized. When I get my test results they go into the folder. Insurance info goes in the folder. I take the file to me to doctor's appointments and have the information I need. The number on my folder is 1-800-227-2345 or www.cancer.org. They will put you contact with the closest American Cancer Society. To me it has been an invaluable resource. In peace and caring.

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