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Frequently Asked Questions

 


My white blood cell (WBC) counts are so low during my chemo's nadir that I'm worried they will not return to normal when I am finally done with my chemotherapy. What do you think helped your WBC count finally get back to normal?

It is very common to have low white blood cell counts as you are describing during a chemotherapy nadir. Most people will have their blood counts return to within normal limits (WNL) before starting the next round of chemo and also after cancer therapy is completed. The time for that to happen is quite variable however. The importance of consuming adequate protein in the diet of cancer patients cannot be overemphasized, as our body needs the building blocks (amino acids) from the protein we eat to make the new WBCs for our immune system. I suggest consulting with the Registered Dietitian (RD) at your cancer center. She can review your food intake for protein adequacy and other nutrients both during chemo and later during recovery.

My white blood cell count (WBC) had been depressed on a long-term, chronic basis, even years after my previous cancer therapies were over, very likely because of damage my bone marrow initially sustained during the radiation therapy that cured my childhood cancer (all blood cells, including WBCs are made in the bone marrow). Therefore, it is unlikely that most other cancer patients will have similar chronic suppression and low counts like I did.

I cannot say for certain what part of my *healing recipe* has contributed to my WBC count coming up much higher during these past 7 years after my 1995 therapy than it ever did during the 10+ years between my 1984-5 breast cancer therapy and my1995 therapy. The reason is very likely to be multi-factorial due to the changes I made with my diet, a few dietary supplements, visualizations, relaxation therapies, exercise, etc, etc all playing a role.

It did take 2 years after finishing my chemo in 1995 for my white blood cell counts to finally be within normal limits (4,000 to 10,000), which was something never achieved when I was off therapy between 1985-1995. Even when my WBCs are below normal now, they are still averaging much higher than they were between 1985 and 1995. I just had them drawn again last week, and my WBC was perfectly normal at 4,800 including a normal distribution of the various types of WBCs

My best wishes to you during your cancer recovery journey.


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Miscellaneous

WBC Count What research studies have you funded with the proceeds from the sale of your book? posted 9/02, updated 9/05, updated 12/06
WBC Count Has your WBC count finally gone back up to normal?
WBC Count What do you think helped your WBC count finally get back to normal? posted 8/02
Lab Tests Can you recommend a web site or relatively user-friendly book that would explain the particular lab tests I am having done, results and what that means? posted 4/02
Coffee? Do you ever drink coffee? I just cannot give it up! posted 8/03
Black-outs What did you eat during the recent black-out? posted 9/03, updated 10/03
Cookbooks Diana, do you have a favorite cookbook? posted 9/03
Cookbooks Diana, I am a student entering the field of dietetics. One of my assignments is to find a Registered Dietitian on-line, view the web site, and ask a few questions. I am very impressed by your web page. I do hope you have a few minutes to answer a few questions. posted 10/03
Cookbooks Why don't you put calories and other nutrients on all of your
recipes? How can I figure this out myself?
 
posted 8/04
Cookbooks I could not get a flu shot this year. Are there immune-boosting foods that you can recommend? posted 11/04, updated 1/05
Cookbooks How do you know you are cured? posted 5/05
Cookbooks Can you give me some advice about self-publishing a book? posted 7/05

 

 


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These questions and answers are intended to be of a general informative nature. Please consult with the Registered Dietitian in your cancer center or your health care provider for nutritional advice that can be individualized to your specific medical condition.

Contact Information:
Phone/Fax: 734/996-9260

P.O. Box 130221, Ann Arbor, MI  48113

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