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Thread: White Blood Cell Count too low for chemo?

  1. #1
    Newbie Regular User
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    Aug 2012
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    White Blood Cell Count too low for chemo?

    I went to the hospital to get my 3rd chemo, but was told that my white blood cell count and another related count were too low to proceed. I have to wait another week to see. And starting with next round, I will be given a shot to boost my WBC production.

    Anyone has experienced the same issue? I was told it is pretty common. Should I be worried?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Super Moderator Top User Baz10's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    5,429
    Claire,
    Welcome and thanks for your post but sorry your here and need to ask the question.
    You will find there are many posts from members that are relevant to your symptoms and your question.
    I'm no expert on chemotherapy as it wasn't advised for me but most on here seem to have had low WBC counts.
    I'm sure as soon as our members pick up your post, they will give you invaluable advice.
    Best regards
    Barry

    We have a l
    Diagnosed stage 3 March 011
    Radical resection April 011
    Restaged 2b April 011.
    12/09 Colonoscopy clear but picked up hospital infection.
    Aorta & femoral arteries occluded.
    Clot buster drugs put me in ICU with internal bleeding. 9 blood units later they got it under control.
    Aortobifemoral surgery 5th May. yughh.
    PET scan indicates clear
    DEXA bone scan clear
    13/5 CT showed "unknown" but no concern from docs.
    Inguinal lymph nodes and severe groin pain.
    Ultrasound and MRI show no nasties. Pheww
    Groin pain and enlarged lymph nodes still there.
    October -still the same pains but under semi control.
    Additional chest CT scan ordered for 11th November prior to surgery.
    Sinus surgery done and dusted.
    July 2014 PSA at 5.10. 2months of antibiotics in case of UTI, jan 2015 PSA at 7.20, 23/08 now 8.2, current 8.1
    Prostate Cancer confirmed Gleason 3+Marginal 4.
    Active surveillance continues.
    PET CT Aug 2017 indicated lung nodule changes
    CT Guided biopsy 7/09
    November 1 Vats Wedge section pathology Glomulated previous infection
    no Cancer.

    Not all's rosy in the garden, but see following.
    Stop grumbling Baz, your still alive and kicking so far.
    Age and illness doesn't define who we are, but more what we are able to do.
    Motto
    Do what I love doing, when I can until I can't.
    and dodging bullets in the meanwhile, too many bullets at moment.

  3. #3
    Senior User
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
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    182
    Hi, Claire -- my understanding is that the low WBCs are quite common. I had low counts one time, and was given a Neulasta shot to bring them up, which was no big deal (it was expensive, but fortunately covered by insurance.) I only needed them that once, but was told that a large percentage of people got them each treatment.

    It's always rattling to get off schedule or not have the treatment you anticipate. Hope it's completely smooth from here on out.

  4. #4
    Cheer up, they said, it could be worse! So I cheered up, and sure enough, it got worse! (Dumb joke, I know). But back in 08, during my primary treatment, low platelet count put in in the hospital for 9 days. For the first week, I essentially had no immune system. So be very glad they are being catious. When I reported for chemo, my count was low, they gave me the golden shot (Neulasta) and threw me in the chair, and you see where it got ME!
    DX with Lung Carcinoid Tumor 12/04
    Double Lobectomy 3/05
    DX with Rectal Cancer 12/26/07 Merry Christmas!
    Radiation/Chemo 1/08
    Rectal Resection 3/08, permanent colostomy. Stage 2C
    More chemo 5/08
    Chemo fries bone marrow, 9 days in hospital isolation 7/08
    Recurrence confirmed in pelvic region 12/09
    Tumor radiated with Cyberknife treatment 3/10
    Recurrence/metastasis in pelvis/abdomen 11/10
    Xeloda/Avastin 12/10 to 01/13
    Progression to lungs found 1/13
    Erbitux 01/13 to 01/14
    Acute renal failure, six days in hospital, all chemo stopped for now, 11/13
    Restarted Erbitux, lower dose 12/13
    Kidney function dips again, chemo suspended again. 2/14
    New chemo regimen of low-dose Irrenotecan started 4/14.
    Further progression into lungs, chemo halted, referred to Huntsman Cancer Center for possible clinical trials.
    Lung biopsy confirms that nodules are metastatic, enrolled in clinical trial at Huntsman. 11/14
    Sounds like a lot of fun, doesn't it?

  5. #5
    Experienced User
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    94
    My white cell count was down 3 weeks ago and therefore did not get chemo. My platelets were down to half of normal but they weren't too much of a worry. Its the white cell count that fight off infection. My dr has now taken me off chemo and I have had a break for the last 3 weeks. I am now waiting to go onto another medication (3rd in 6 months). I think it is quite normal to have low WCC.

  6. #6
    inevitable- rare if it doesnt happen here and there- happened to mom a few times and then also the red blood count as well dont worry too much if they want to give you a transfusion-to boost your blood. and in some cases when your body doesnt keep up fast enough with the white they can give that and injections as well. sometimes just a week or two off the chemo regimine is enough. hang in there
    MOMS Journey
    April06- Emergencysurgery,exploratory,10units blood,largetumor and 10inches of colon removed,temp.colostomy.diagnosed stage IV colon.
    oxyplatin,5fu
    Oct06-radiation,surgery,several lymphs,cervix,1 ovary,fallopian,40% remaining colon,large tumor to adipose tissue,appendix,gallbladder removed.permant colostomy/iliostomy
    oxyplatin,transfusion.
    April 07-xeloda-overdose
    surgery-1/3liver,partial diaphra, removed clipped and questionable spots oblated.
    port-port rejection-port removed 1week.
    picc line,5fu,oxyplatin,camptosar.
    Oct-08-surgery-remaining ovary engulfed in tumor,partial bone scrape.
    transfusion central line TPN 1 month.
    oct-09-surgery tumor ,colon and jejuneum removed.
    xeloda reduced. severe dehydration,heart attack.
    april10-remission-avistan
    oct-10-erbitux,camptosar
    Jan-11-5fu
    mar-11 return to original site-oxyplatin,5fu
    Aug-11-erbitux,camptosar.
    dec-28-blood transfusion
    dec-30-back to chemo erbitux camtosar
    Jan-16 injections neulasta and aranesp
    feb16-transfusion
    feb 21-Tumor found stomach,liver, and liver "hot spots" inflamed lymph in rt ureter in kidney causing obstruction-surgery schedualed Mar 16.
    march 16/12-no more kidney obstruction not lymph ...dehydration is causing blockage, two litters blood for anemia, stomach liver tumor small-med,abalation, 1 hidden tumor deep in muscle mass on side flank(hid from scans) -gone!
    june/15/12-blood transfusion
    starting a regimine of celebrex
    aug/16/12-blood transfusion
    aug/30-12 discontinued celebrex -failure one kidney. needed to see urologist
    sept/10-12-good urologist report one kidney functioning well for now.
    oct/23/12-chemo pill Stivarga(regorafenib)
    Nov/22/12-blood transfusion
    dec/18/12-blood transfusion chemo pill dosage cut back to 1 pill.
    Feb/21/13 neulasta injection
    Feb/22/13-blood transfusion. still taking stivarga.
    mar/20/13-arenespt injection rehydration and magnesium IV
    mar/21/13-acute renal failure-kidney infection
    april/1/13.-recovery from 4 day coma infection cleared/4 units blood/ off stivarga/starting rehab therapy,
    swollen hand no apparent reason black spots in vision off and on. both cleared up.
    may/22/13-home oxycodone for pain shoulder neck arm
    june/1/13 pain subsided off oxy onto aleve
    june/09/13-pain back off aleve on vicodin
    june 10/13-cancer in back/neck- starting radiation for arm neck and shoulder pain.
    june24/13-last day of radiation-on steroids
    july1/13-swollen legs and feet-lasix off steroids still on vicodin and xanax
    july 23/13 vicodin cut in half blood transfusion.
    sept/6/13-off all pain meds since late aug
    scan results fracture in spine mid back
    sept/12/13-spine healing on its own,weaning off steroids, no visible tumors.
    nov/7/13-edema both legs and one arm on lasix since oct.
    nov/21/13- leg edema subsiding still alot in one arm- she is talking but keeps her eyes closed. achy but no major pain. nurse and aide to visit once a week schedualed. having trouble standing.
    nov/24/13-sadly but peacefully moms cancer journey is at an end, she will start her new spiritual journey together hand in hand with dad.

  7. #7
    Welcome. Happened to me about 2 weeks ago. WBC were basically too low to count with me. Put me on antibiotics and then gave me the Neulaste shot (also known in my house as the shot from heell). But it really kicked my bone marrow into high gear and my treatment was only delayed 2 days.

    I kid you not, I was expecting flu like bone aches and I got the dwarf with a hammer pounding on my legs.

    Worth it though to stay on track.

    Good thoughts and prayers to you all!
    Age 49 Male
    5/18/12 - Family Dr ordered emergancy CT and colonsopy
    5/23/12 - Diagnosed with Stage 4 Rectal Cancer w/mets in Liver
    6/28/12 - Combined lower bowel resection and liver resection.
    9/7/12 - Last day of Chemo. Folfox Blood Clot in Leg.
    1/25/13 - Last day of Second Round of Chemo Folfox
    4/25/13 - Ostamy Reversal
    9/9/13 - Clear Scan-High CEA
    9/16/13 - Pet Scan shows 4 new spots in Liver
    10/3/13 - Second Liver Resection removes tumor #6,7,8,9.
    11/1/13 - Started FolFiri
    5/13/14 - Pet scan shows 3 large tumors in the Liver. Time to see Surgeon again.
    6/12/14 - Third Liver Resection removes Tumor #10,11,12.
    7/16/14 - Started Xeloda and Avastin
    9/22/14 - Fistula goes septic. 2 Major Surgeries later Permanent Ostomy.
    12/19/14 - Started Xeloda and Avastin again
    5/22/15 - 3 new tumors in my liver. No surgery this time.
    12/15/15 - micro-spheres(Y90) failed completely All tumors growing
    2/5/16 - Started Lonsurf and antibiotics

  8. #8
    mpoms symptoms werent as severe as strikes but it was bothersome.
    MOMS Journey
    April06- Emergencysurgery,exploratory,10units blood,largetumor and 10inches of colon removed,temp.colostomy.diagnosed stage IV colon.
    oxyplatin,5fu
    Oct06-radiation,surgery,several lymphs,cervix,1 ovary,fallopian,40% remaining colon,large tumor to adipose tissue,appendix,gallbladder removed.permant colostomy/iliostomy
    oxyplatin,transfusion.
    April 07-xeloda-overdose
    surgery-1/3liver,partial diaphra, removed clipped and questionable spots oblated.
    port-port rejection-port removed 1week.
    picc line,5fu,oxyplatin,camptosar.
    Oct-08-surgery-remaining ovary engulfed in tumor,partial bone scrape.
    transfusion central line TPN 1 month.
    oct-09-surgery tumor ,colon and jejuneum removed.
    xeloda reduced. severe dehydration,heart attack.
    april10-remission-avistan
    oct-10-erbitux,camptosar
    Jan-11-5fu
    mar-11 return to original site-oxyplatin,5fu
    Aug-11-erbitux,camptosar.
    dec-28-blood transfusion
    dec-30-back to chemo erbitux camtosar
    Jan-16 injections neulasta and aranesp
    feb16-transfusion
    feb 21-Tumor found stomach,liver, and liver "hot spots" inflamed lymph in rt ureter in kidney causing obstruction-surgery schedualed Mar 16.
    march 16/12-no more kidney obstruction not lymph ...dehydration is causing blockage, two litters blood for anemia, stomach liver tumor small-med,abalation, 1 hidden tumor deep in muscle mass on side flank(hid from scans) -gone!
    june/15/12-blood transfusion
    starting a regimine of celebrex
    aug/16/12-blood transfusion
    aug/30-12 discontinued celebrex -failure one kidney. needed to see urologist
    sept/10-12-good urologist report one kidney functioning well for now.
    oct/23/12-chemo pill Stivarga(regorafenib)
    Nov/22/12-blood transfusion
    dec/18/12-blood transfusion chemo pill dosage cut back to 1 pill.
    Feb/21/13 neulasta injection
    Feb/22/13-blood transfusion. still taking stivarga.
    mar/20/13-arenespt injection rehydration and magnesium IV
    mar/21/13-acute renal failure-kidney infection
    april/1/13.-recovery from 4 day coma infection cleared/4 units blood/ off stivarga/starting rehab therapy,
    swollen hand no apparent reason black spots in vision off and on. both cleared up.
    may/22/13-home oxycodone for pain shoulder neck arm
    june/1/13 pain subsided off oxy onto aleve
    june/09/13-pain back off aleve on vicodin
    june 10/13-cancer in back/neck- starting radiation for arm neck and shoulder pain.
    june24/13-last day of radiation-on steroids
    july1/13-swollen legs and feet-lasix off steroids still on vicodin and xanax
    july 23/13 vicodin cut in half blood transfusion.
    sept/6/13-off all pain meds since late aug
    scan results fracture in spine mid back
    sept/12/13-spine healing on its own,weaning off steroids, no visible tumors.
    nov/7/13-edema both legs and one arm on lasix since oct.
    nov/21/13- leg edema subsiding still alot in one arm- she is talking but keeps her eyes closed. achy but no major pain. nurse and aide to visit once a week schedualed. having trouble standing.
    nov/24/13-sadly but peacefully moms cancer journey is at an end, she will start her new spiritual journey together hand in hand with dad.

 

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