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Low white blood cell count

Posts: 293
Joined: Dec 2017

Checkup wasn't bad. My CA-125 went from 17 to 12 post-surgery (six weeks out), so that's good. It's the lowest it's been throughout this whole cancer journey. May it hit the single digits by the time of my sixth (and HOPEFULLY last) chemo session. I'm itchin' to ring that bell! That in combination with a boring, unremarkable CT scan. I want mundane here. Dull. Uneventful!

However, it seems that my white blood cell count took a hit. In a way, I'm lucky. Many women hit that mark way before the last chemo or even the second-to-last one. I'm concerned, though, about how that last treatment will proceed .... Neulasta, waiting, blood transfusion, cancelling the last treatment (which I do NOT want to do) or lowering the dose on the last treatment (ditto ... I want powerful poison to get rid of any cockroaches hiding in the closet; not only get the ones we can see!)

If your white blood cell counts were low, how did your doctor proceed? And did this action affect your health in the long run? My doctor's a little vague.

My red blood cells are a little below normal, but they aren't affected as much.

Sorry if you see any highlighting. I did a copy and paste from another board. I probably should have written this again, but I'm knocked out from my fifth treatment, and it's naptime for me! Thank you as I read any experiences with this matter. It's HOPEFULLY just one ... more ... treatment ...

cmb's picture
Posts: 478
Joined: Jan 2018

I had two phases of front line chemo treatment. The first four cycles of outpatient Paclitaxel/Carboplatin lowered my white and red blood cells count, but never low enough to require any special intervention or delay in treatment.

However, during the next four cycles of inpatient lfex/Mesna/Adriamycin, I gave myself a Neulasta shot the day after I got home from the hospital. I did not have any reaction to the Neulasta shot (unfortunately I can't say the same about this chemo combination!).

I also had to have a blood transfusion during two of my hospital stays while I getting chemo when my red blood cell/hemoglobin counts got too low. But I was able to continue with the chemo on schedule. Finished chemo last June and external radiation in September. Both the white blood and red blood cell counts were still just under the minimum range level in November, although my hemoglobin level was back to normal. I've felt okay since a couple of weeks after I ended treatment in September.

derMaus's picture
Posts: 561
Joined: Nov 2016

I had two Neulasta shots during the last couple of chemo's. I took Claritin - a tip I got from this board - and had no ill effects. Congratulations on being almost done!

LisaPizza's picture
Posts: 291
Joined: Feb 2018

My lowest ANC was 530, after my last chemo  (5 of 6 taxol & carbo), and they didn't do anything. I'm at my last chemo right now as I type so final word on how I tolerated chemo in a couple weeks :)

My Hb didn't seem much affected. Platelets did take an obvious hit each cycle, but still within normal limits.

Posts: 251
Joined: Oct 2017

I had 6 chemo treatments of adriamyacin and carboplatin. Adria is known for knocking down blood counts and boy it did. I am anemic (count was 8 last week) and after #6 and the neulasta shots my white blood cell count were 3.4. My platelets were under limits.  I am supposed to have 8 treatments with the adria but the doctor stopped it. Last week I was very nauseous and getting sick but I'm better now. I start radiation next week. I'm not sure at this point if I will get #7 and # chemo treatments at the end of the radiation or not at this point.  I really didn't feel bad until after #6.


NoTimeForCancer's picture
Posts: 2734
Joined: Mar 2013

My blood test prior to my #5 chemo weren't good, but they retested the morning of treatment and they had popped up.  For #6 it was the same way, and I assumed they would pop up in time as well, but the blood test that morning showed them still too low.  I had to wait a week and counts came up and I finally got #6.  Knowing the numbers needed to be better I also tried to eat to help my body rebuild the white counts.  

I was warned by my chemo nurse getting the treatment done on time might be tough, as I had the external and brachy radiation in between the first 3 and last 3 chemo.  I understand why she told me to 'push the protein' and I forced myself to eat.  

We are all different, so I see the various responses.  I hope one will work for you, but in any case, you WILL get to ring that bell!

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