It was expected. The entire purpose of chemo is to attack all your fast-growing cells and as that happens, it attacks all the good cells in my body too. Round 1 is the Carbo/Gemzar combination and it will knock down my white blood cell count (WBC), specifically the neutrophils (which is a major type of white blood cells used for fighting infection). The normal neutrophil count range is 2,500 to 6,000. My round 2 is only Gemzar which specializes in knocking down my platelets — hence the ER visit last week.
So today, I was going in for Cycle #2, round 1. Are you keeping up? They access my port and draw blood to check my counts each time. My platelets had risen from 54 at the ER to 400 today, normal range still being 1400-3500. But they were fine, I am expected to be low. However the WBC was too low to receive treatment. My neutrophil count was 600 with the minimum needed to receive treatment at 1200. 600 is the lowest that it has been in the last 3 weeks. The doc didn’t say why or express that he was concerned, it just meant that I couldn’t do the treatment. I will, again, go in daily for 4 days to have a Neupogen injection to boost those neutrophils. No side effects, not painful, just annoying. I will go back next Monday, the 21st for the Carbo/Gemzr combo. They will reduce the dosage by 25% to try to keep my counts higher so we can continue to stay on track with treatment. While I am all about a plan, the concern is really that the longer I go without the chemo, the more chance the cancer has to grow back. Today, I enjoyed lunch with my chemo-partner and felt good enough to do all my normal daily tasks, but I would have rather knocked the heck out of some cancer today.