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Thread: Low white blood count

  1. #1
    Regular User
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    Low white blood count

    Hi

    I just came back from the doctor's and I was scheduled to do my second Chemo tomorrow but today the doc told me that my Chemo will have to be postponed until next week because of low white blood count.

    I never thought I say this, but I was looking forward to doing the 2nd Chemo (not that I enjoyed it but it is one Chemo towards the 16 I have to do).

    I am quite worried now. With only one Chemo and my white blood count did a nose dive. Is this normal?

    Any natural way (or stuff to eat /drink) to help boost the white blood count so that I can be ready for the Chemo?

    I used to exercise a lot (before Cancer) and last week I just started to a do a 3km slow jog. Is this ok when my white blood count is low? I have read somewhere in the forum, exercise should be good for Chemo.


    Thanks
    ThOng
    Age 49
    Stage 3 Nodular Lymphocyte Hodgkins Lymphoma
    Started Chemo (ABVD): 28th Dec 09
    Undergoing Chemo .. not sure how many sessions yet. Expected 6 cycles (12 sessions)

  2. #2
    Administrator Top User ChemoMan's Avatar
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    Hi thong

    Low white cell counts are not unusual. normally a shot of neulasta will fix it up and maybe you will get that later on. Your doctor will monitor your situation, no need for you to worry about this. Stay away from crowds as you will be prone to picking up any infection which may be going around and even a cold will knock you flat. Dont even think about supplements without talking to your doctor first.

    Exercise is good do as much as you feel comfortable with.

    I'm hoping one of our HL people will pick up on your post soon, in the meantime feel free to ask questions and keep fighting the good fight.
    Age 58
    Diffuse Large B cell Lymphoma
    Stage 2a
    Finished six cycles of R chop 21 26th May 2008
    Officially in remission 9th July 2008
    Remission reconfirmed 1st October 2008
    Remission reconfirmed 17th June 2009
    Remission reconfirmed 7th June 2010
    Remission reconfirmed 6th July 2011
    NED on the 2/01/2013
    No more scheduled visits to the Prof
    http://cancerforums.net/viewtopic.php?t=9620

    RULE NUMBER 1.....Don't Panic
    RULE NUMBER 2..... Don't forget rule Number 1

    Great moments often catch us unaware-beautifully wrapped in what others may consider a small one.

    I may not have gone where I intended to go,
    but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.

  3. #3
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    Thanks again ChemoMan

    Thanks for the advice.

    It is a relieve to know about the white blood count thing.

    TH
    Age 49
    Stage 3 Nodular Lymphocyte Hodgkins Lymphoma
    Started Chemo (ABVD): 28th Dec 09
    Undergoing Chemo .. not sure how many sessions yet. Expected 6 cycles (12 sessions)

  4. #4
    Administrator Top User ChemoMan's Avatar
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    Hi thong

    With low WBC you need to be very careful about infections. Wash your hands well and wash them often, stay away from sick people and crowds and you should be OK.

    Take care and good luck
    Age 58
    Diffuse Large B cell Lymphoma
    Stage 2a
    Finished six cycles of R chop 21 26th May 2008
    Officially in remission 9th July 2008
    Remission reconfirmed 1st October 2008
    Remission reconfirmed 17th June 2009
    Remission reconfirmed 7th June 2010
    Remission reconfirmed 6th July 2011
    NED on the 2/01/2013
    No more scheduled visits to the Prof
    http://cancerforums.net/viewtopic.php?t=9620

    RULE NUMBER 1.....Don't Panic
    RULE NUMBER 2..... Don't forget rule Number 1

    Great moments often catch us unaware-beautifully wrapped in what others may consider a small one.

    I may not have gone where I intended to go,
    but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.

  5. #5
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    Hi TH,

    I believe your response is perfectly normal. At the time of my 2nd chemo my neutrophyls level had plunged to 0.1. My doctor however is known to be very aggressive with treatment, especially with younger patients, so he chose to treat me anyway but also give me a dose of Neulasta, which provokes your bone marrow into producing extra White blood cells. It hurts like hell, like arthritis in your hips (for me anyway) and it's very expensive (over 1,000 here in the UK in the private health system) but it worked. By the time of my 3rd treatment my neutrophyls had shot up to 3.8. I understand a healthy person's would be between 4 and 11. I had my 4th treatment yesterday and my neutrophyls were back down to 0.3 but once again I was treated and I got given the Neulasta.

    I asked the doc and the nurses but there is nothing you can eat or take that will boost your White blood count - it's not like red blood cells that can be boosted nutritionally. Do follow the advice given to you above re: avoiding public transport and crowds and sick people - if you catch a cold you may very well end up in hospital and your treatment would be delayed even further. Both times my neutrophyls were down my doctor also prescribed me a 7 day course of general antibiotic to help me fight anything I might be vulnerable to.

    My doc also said that, with ABVD at least, it is very important to administer the first 2 cycles on time. I don't know if he will be as agressive with the last two, but I hope so because just like you I'm also looking forward to the finish line.

    I hope this helps, and wishing you the best of luck with the treatment. Do keep going with the mild excercise. I dint know if it boosts the immune system specifically but it will definitely help you regain strenght and feel better both physically and mentally.

    Best wishes,
    Stephanie
    --------------------
    Age 31
    Diagnosed w/ Hodgkins Lymphoma on 25/11/09
    Started ABVD on 01/12/09
    Regimen 4 cycles ABVD followed by 3 weeks radiotherapy

 
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