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Help with low wbc

Posts: 476
Joined: Jan 2012

I have cervical cancer but have been treated with carbo/taxol for three, cisplatin for 5, and then single carbo for two. Just finished with the last carbo which was delayed for two weeks on account of low Platlets on week 1 and low WBC on week 2. My WBC was still low but they went ahead with carbo at 20% reduction since it was my last one. The thought was to use neupogen to keep WBC up enough to keep me healthy. Well, I seem to have a terrible reaction to nuelasta and neupogen. They both cause terrible, most awful painful headaches and vomiting. With nuelasta I also developed a fever. I am now terrified of these injections. They make me much sicker than any chemo or radiation ever did. Has anyone else experienced a reaction like this to these injections? Has anybody been offered an alternative means by which to keep WBC counts up? I do not need another chemo treatment, but I have three little kids and need enough of a defense system to get me through the next month or so till my bone marrow recovers. I'm hoping there is an alternative to these shots as they make me so sick. I'd rather live in a bubble then to live through another injection. I'm worried the shot is effecting my vascular system and I will end up having a stroke. May seem silly but what else could cause such a terrible headache with associated vomiting? Thanks for any advice or suggestions.

Posts: 32
Joined: Mar 2012

I have had to have two injections of neulasta. This second time has made me way more sicker than the first one. I feel nauseated, and have the horrible headaches as well. My body aches have subsided a little, but are still there. I have taken the Clariton as suggested, but see no relief from that. So I just keep up with the Advil, and that seems to help. I have no appetite, and all food looks awful.
I really have no other suggestions, but thought I would share that with you. You 're not alone. It sucks!!!

Posts: 476
Joined: Jan 2012

Thank you twillits.
I'm glad I am not the only one who reacts this way. My chemo nurses act like they have never had a patient react to these injections like this. It scares me. I fear I will end up having a stroke or something. I'm hesitant to endure any more of them since I have finished my chemo regimin. Thanks for your response.

lovesanimals's picture
Posts: 1364
Joined: Sep 2011

I don't blame you for not wanting any more shots after the reactions you experienced. I wonder if there are any foods you could eat that would help to boost your white blood cell count? You might want to check with your oncologist or with your chemo nurses.

Take care,

txtrisha55's picture
Posts: 625
Joined: Apr 2011

I have Uterine Cancer and went through chemo last year. While I got close to having to have shots to improve my WBC, I did not have to have them nor did they not give me my treatment. They were concerned that the wbc did go below the limit but not much and I still got my treatment. The next time it was up higher. The change I made was to eat a serving of salmon with just crackers for dinner every other day during that 21 day period. It was 3.9 once and by eating the salmon it went up to 6.3 the next time. I bought the vacuum sealed Alsaka fresh smoked salmon in 4 oz size at our local Tom Thumb. Just ate it with saltine crackers. Good luck on getting your counts up. trish

Posts: 476
Joined: Jan 2012

Ladies for all your suggestions. I spoke to the chemo nurses today about the neupogen. They spoke to my onc who advised that I do not need to continue with the neupogen on account of the rare reaction I have to the drug. So...I've been put on strict precautions for neutropenia(avoid fresh raw fruits and vegetables, frequent hand washing, avoid crowds). Im much happier with this decision and since I have completed treatment there is no rush to recover, provided my counts dont become so low my own good bacteria could make me sick. They will be paying close attention to my blood work and counts and advise me as time goes on. I will definitely try the salmon suggestion as I do love salmon (and most seafood) and work on a lot of spinach. I haven't eaten red meat since I was 14, but last month when my counts were low tried a few bites of my husbands. Don't have a taste for meat, and don't plan to add it back to my diet, but may include a few bites here and there for some heme-iron which might benefit me in the short run. Also, if anyone has any suggestions for detoxing after chemo I am all ears. I meet with my onc in two weeks and would love to have some ideas to discuss with her. I asked the chemo nurses if I should drink some charcole or something but they laughed and said no. Just plenty of fluids.

Posts: 1995
Joined: May 2003

Since you mentioned heme-iron I wanted to let you know about a great product that I used during my chemo. It's called Ultra 40's by Beverly International. Not only did it help my blood counts, but it has 2 grams of protein as well, which is also very important. They are tablets, and are quite large. So if you have troubling getting them down, you can crush them. There's no better supplement on the market than this for this problem.

I hope this helps. Till then, sending hugs and prayers that you'll feel better soon. And hoping for renewed energy for your precious children!


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