Low white count chemo/herceptin

My mother (78) was diagnosed last summer and although I can’t remember all her gradings/stage etc I do know that she was told it was aggressive and had 11 affected lymph nodes. She has just completed 6 rounds of FEC, resulting in her being hospitalised with infections 5 out of the 6 times! Her lowest white count was 0.01, so you can imagine she has had a rough time. Her oncologist has said she has only just coped. Radiotherapy starts next week, daily for 3 weeks .Today her oncologist has said that if heart scans are okay she will then have Herceptin for a year. I have tried to keep positive and always am in front of her, but am shocked after doing research on Her+. Is there anyone out there that has had falling white counts/infections during chemo and carried on with Herceptin. I don’t think she realises she may have the same problems with Herceptin. Hope this makes sense-I’m not too good at explaining myself.

I was neutrapenic (sp?) and in hospital isolation for a week at the end of chemo. I still had 10 cycles of Herceptin to go after this and didn’t have any problems, no real side effects at all. I had mines done at home first thing in the morning and I was able to get on with my day afterwards, although I was a bit tired.

I too was neutrapenic during chemo (FEC) but managed the 18 weeks of Heceptin. I think the side effects of Heceptin are still a bit of an unknown as its still quite a new drug. I’de say take one session at a time and see how she feels - I was totally kna****d after the radiotherapy but didn’t find heceptin too bad - execpt the nausea (which is a fairly uncommon side effect) I’m a lot younger than your Mum but everyone reacts differently. Like Cherub i had my Heceptin done at home (thanks to a health insurance policy) the nurses were great and it was so much better than having to visit hospital.
Starting any new drug is scarey especeially after she’s been through so much already. Hope things work out OK.

Hi Sandrasue

Only to say Congratulations to your Mum for having chemo. I am only 56! but have found chemo hard. Particularly taxotere which I have read recently on here has an upper age limit of about 62/63 I think. Chemo I think is harder the older you are. And I have spoken to some ladies in their 70s with infected lymph nodes who do not even seem to have offered it. So again I say congratulations of your mother and wish her well. Compared to chemo she should find radiotherapy easy.
I am also having Herceptin and have not noticed any side effects from that. Just go into hospital have the infusion and carry on as normal.