CLL Support Association

Hello all,

I didn't' expect to be posting a neutrophil question again so soon, but I came down with a digestive bug last week, spiked a big

fever and ended up in my hematologist's office. After the visit he ordered a blood CBC and my ANC had tripled. It was .9 in Jan. (and sinking) and now is at 2.58. Interestingly, my ALC dropped by about 15%. Has anyone had experience with this? This may be wishful thinking, but do these improvements last or disappear as quickly as they appeared? My next CBC is not until May and I didn't want to wait that long to ask my Dr. Thanks for any insight.

3 Replies

You can take comfort in that your body has been able to generate additional neutrophils when it needed to do so.

Significant fluctuations in the different white blood cell counts with infections and allergic reactions is normal and you can get yourself caught up in an emotional rollercoaster if you start looking at changes rather than long term trends. Over time, you do get a better feel for what fluctuations are normal for you if you decide to track your blood test results.

The lifetimes of your different blood cell types vary considerably. Your bone marrow is a phenomenal factory for blood cells, churning them out at an incredible rate of about 600,000,000,000 cells per day. Platelets and neutrophils only last about a week in your body, so their levels can fall quickly if your CLL is impacting your body's ability to make them.

Encyclopædia Britannica article on blood cell formation:

As to what your experience will be, that's anyone's guess given how highly individual (heterogeneous) CLL is as a disease. My neutrophils dropped to 0.4 five years ago, which lead to my SLL/CLL diagnosis, but recovered somewhat and averaged around 1.3 for years without intervention. They've never been higher than 1.6 in that time in around 50 blood tests. Obviously you'll need to keep a close eye on yours given the increased risk of infection when they are low until you are satisified that they have stabilised at a satisfactory level.


1 like

Thanks for the prompt reply. I feel encouraged by my ability to muster up more neutrophils when needed. So far so good :) If they last, that's a bonus.

I was glad to hear that your own experience included an upswing in your neutrophils that lasted.

I am fairly new to diagnosis (last May) and trying to gain an understanding and to acquire some patience. This site has helped me with both.

Again, thanks.


Opps... my post doesn't apply...


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