Not quite ready for Round 3
Today is my scheduled day for the 3rd round of chemo but it just didn’t happen. The reason lies within my blood. Yes, my blood test result is the determining factor if I my body can cope with chemo. In my case the 2 key criteria that was the show stopper are my haemoglobin and total white cell count.
My oncologist asked if I am including red meats or other good sources of iron. Since my last hospital visit and based on dietitian’s advice, I have kept to a low fibre diet. Mind you I have consumed more fish and white meats like chicken and pork. I only eat red meats maybe once in a fortnight. I do take iron supplements on a daily basis but it seems that it is not enough. My doctor says that I should be consuming at least 200mg of iron per day. I just checked the over the counter iron supplement and the real dosage of iron is 18mg plus 10mg of iron in my multi vitamins . In total I am only consuming 14% of the recommended daily intake – yikes. Here I am thinking that other iron in the natural foods that I take should be enough. I guess not. This is not the first time I have been told that I am iron deficient. Hence, I self prescribed to take store-bought iron tablets. As of today, my doctor has prescribed higher dosage of iron tablets to take over the next few days to boost my levels. Of course the alternative is to eat more red meats like beef and liver. Isn’t that a great reason to go out and eat a thick slice of delicious prime roast.. Ha!
As for the total white cell count, it was one particular cell called polymorphs that was particularly low. Based on my understanding it is this polymorphs in your body that fights any infections or bacteria. The blood test indicated that it is below the normal range. If my doctor proceeded with the chemo, she has to administer a lower dosage of the drug which means less effective to kill the cancer cells. It also means that I maybe more susceptible to catching infection post chemo. The doctor strongly suggested that to postpone the treatment a few days after taking the prescribed iron tablets.
This is the first time in my chemo treatment plan where I had to wait for a few days till my body is ready. I rather be safe and have the drug work effectively. Wednesday, 13 July is the D Day. My body will be ready then.