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Fec & Neutropenia

8 REPLIES 8
Lola65
Member

Re: Fec & Neutropenia

Chemo is now a thing of the past for me. I finished 7 months ago but am still on Herceptin.

 

I had Neutropenia about day 11 of my first cycle (Tax/Carboplatin/Herceptin) when my neuts went down to 0.1. I had no symptoms at all other than a temp of 37.5 rising to 38. I was given an immediate IV infusion of antibiotics at the chemo unit (They sent me there after I rang the emergency number). I was then hospitalised for 3 days on IV antibiotics. After all the tests they could throw at me they found no source of infection, so as my neuts were rising again they sent me home. For all subsequent cycles I was given the Neulasta single injection on the day following chemo. I had no more problems and my neuts were normalish before the next chemo.

 

I also got OCD about germs and drove my family mad with it, but most of it was probably a waste of time and money on all the extra cleaning agents I bought. My oncologist simply said to wash my hands after touching anything suspect, which included bird seed and bird feeders, plus to wear LEATHER gloves when gardening and rubber ones for washing up, and avoid enclosed places where there are crowds or children. Other than that, he said maintain sensible hygiene and live normally.

 

On one occasion I needed to see my GP. She insisted on visitng me at home saying I must not go to the surgery under any circumstances; and our Trust allows us to by-pass A&E by sending us direct to the Medical Assessment Unit should we need to be seen at hospital. 

 

xxx

Gellybean999
Member

Re: Fec & Neutropenia

Third round of FEC, 3 days before my neutrofils were 0.8 so had to have bloods done agian on monday before chemo, levels had reached 1.6 just enough to have chemo. I am having 5 injections of GCSF this time, doing them myself at home. Feeling quite vague, could this be a side effect of the injections?

Bas_B
Member

Re: Fec & Neutropenia

Hi,

 

I had neutropenia after my first cycle of FEC - day 12, no temperature just a red mark near my scar.  Ended up in hospital for 6 days on IV antibiotics. Neutrophils went down to .2

 

Had the GCSF injections after second cycle of FEC administered by district nurses (I could mix the powder and everything but a bit of a woos when it comes to injections).

 

Am relieved to say I had no obvious side affects from injections, although my blood pressure the mnornings after the injections had plummeted to 88/47 which is a tad low. Apparently sometimes there can be aching in the hip and thigh bones. The injection site will bruise if you rub it.

 

Just had my third cycle of fec and my blood tests showed neutrophils were only just over 2 which is quite low for me but still above the lower limit so was able to go ahead with usual dose of fec and will start gcfs injections tomorrow again.  Not sure how it will all go this time as my neutrophils were at 6.7 at the start of the last fec treatment so I'm starting at a much lower level.

 

I asked the onc about walking the dog, feeding the hens, going out, not eating grapes etc after the neutropenia and the only thing he really adivsed me to stop doing was cleaning out the hens. Probably getting a little ocd about washing my hands now and have the gel cleanser everywhere and use this all the time too. I virtually live in a pair of rubber gloves for house work these days.  Otherwise I'm carrying on as usual.  I've avoided any people with colds and will walk out of shops etc if anyone coughing or sneezing.  Most of the family and I have had flu jabs to avoid getting anything along those lines.  My GP suggested having the pneumonia jab too as my immunity was compromised but the oncology unit were a little surprised by that.

 

Hope this helps

 

best wishes Jx

 

 

 

EveL
Member

Re: Fec & Neutropenia

I had exactly the same happen to me on my second treatment back in November, I found the isolation and no visitors in hospital the worse thing!! I also was put on the 5 day course of injections for all following treatments but no reduction in FEC dosage. The injections seemed to work well for me I hope the same for you. Yes I understand how you feel about not going out, I do go out a little but tend to cover my nose and mouth when in confined places, I do get some funny looks sometimes but I don't let this bother me. I have just spent the day in hospital due to infected Picc Line which I think would have been worse if not for the injections, so I think they are a good thing and hopefully will work well for you.one piece of advice try and self administrate if you can as they do tend to knock you out for an hour or two so best done at night! I wish you good luck
EveL
Gellybean999
Member

Re: Fec & Neutropenia

For the next cycle they are going to give me 5 days of GCSF and may tweet the chemo. Having bloods done agin on friday(3 days before chemo) and they will make the decision then. I am actually fit and healthy so that is in my favour.
Tracy1967
Member

Re: Fec & Neutropenia

I also ended up with neutropenia septis on FEC 1, neutrophils when down to 0.1. For FEC 2 and 3 I had my dose reduced to 80 % - neutrophils still dropped but I was ok. Starting T next week and will definitely need the G-CSF jabs to help with the WBC. My CCG doesn't offer the 1 jab as it's too expensive so it's going to 5 individuals. I managed really well on FEC 80%, hardly any side effects, hope I can say the same for T but I doubt it 🙂
Lola65
Member

Re: Fec & Neutropenia

Hi,

 

There is nothing you can do as regards the huge drop in neutrophils. In my opinion, your oncologist needs to be thinking about reducing your dose of FEC. Has this been suggested? I also had neuts of 0.1 during my first cycle last April and ended up on IV antibiotics. For my second and subsequent cycles I was given the Neulasta (another GCSF) jab once only, the day following chemo. Fortunately this worked for me. I wasn't on FEC I was on Docetaxol/Carboplatin/Herceptin for 6 doses.

 

I hope you can get things sorted. I know just how worried you must be. xxx

June_BCC
Member

Re: Fec & Neutropenia

Hello Gellybean999

 

Welcome to the forums, this must be very difficult for you.  I’m sure other users will be along to support you soon. 

 

In the meantime, maybe you would like to talk things through with a member of our helpline staff who are there to offer emotional support as well as practical information. The free phone number is 0808 800 6000 and the lines are open Monday to Friday 9.00 to 5.00 and Saturday 10.00 to 2.00.

 

We also have a publication on FEC Chemotherapy,  I have attached the link if you would like to have a look at it.  http://www2.breastcancercare.org.uk/publications/treatment-side-effects/fec-chemotherapy-bcc96

 

Best wishes

June, moderator

Gellybean999
Member

Fec & Neutropenia

Hi, just joined this group and have questions re Neutropnia. I had my first FEC cycle on Dec 12 having been diagnosed on Nov 20th, discovered I had neutrifil level of 0.0 on Dec 24th so was put on oral antibiotics however a raised temperature and reading of 0.0 on dec 27th dec meant a 5 day stay on IV antibiotics in hospital. Second FEC cycle on Jan 6th and GCSF injections on day 3/4/5 to stimulate bone marrow, however on Jan 17 & 20th nuetrofil reading of 0.1 so GCSf had no effect. Next cycle due Monday 27th with 5 days of GCSF. Has anybody else had the same problem and any ideas what I should do to help? I am crawling the walls as i have not been able to go out in company or go to the shops since before christmas.