My immune system

I've been feeling so good lately physically and mentally. This past week I've been to the gym twice then to a yoga class and swam some gentle laps in the pool for a bit of aerobic excercise. Yesterday a walk on the beach with friends. After I'd been home an hour or two I started running a temperature 38c. I had no other symptoms. Perhaps a virus, this made me panic a little bit as it reminded me of when's I had neutropenia after 3rd FCR treatment in 2013 then a week in hospital. I worked hard to get my temp down doing the usual plenty of water drinks cold compresses and paracetamol. Thankfully My temp eventually did drop back down to 36.4c and was ok during the night Today now I'm feeling a little febrile. So I'm not through the woods yet. Of course our weather doesn't help as it's the hottest month with temps over 36c today and Sunday . I've got the fans whirling and air con on. So will just work thru it I guess. I was going to my granddaughters grad tonight but....

Just wondering if others have had same experience post chemo. I'm just asking myself did I overdo it last week or should I not have gone to the public pool? My blood works were good recently.

There's just me here so thanks for listening.

Sheila in fremantle

5 Replies

  • Hi Sheila,

    Yes it brings you back down to Earth with a bump when that happens after you've just started to enjoy life again, starting to do everyday things that everyone else takes for granted. You don't have to be post chemo for this to happen either; I had many months of that after a Cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection. I was spiking temperatures most afternoons; which I put down to neutropenia and CMV temporarily worsening my immune system. If I overdo it now, I just get very tired and have trouble waking up during the day, so I reckon you are right to suspect your immune system.

    You say your blood works were good recently, but how recently is that? Your Absolute Neutrophil Count (ANC) can drop many months post chemo with FCR treatment known for it. Your ANC can also bottom out from healthy levels in less than a week. If it is particularly low, you may have to avoid public pools and crowded places. Best check with your haematologist for their recommendation.

    Be encouraged that you were able to do those everyday things and will be able to do so again with a bit more care. But for the moment, you just might have to find other ways to stay cool other than public pools and shopping malls :( .


  • Hi Neil

    Yes I was rather pleased with myself.

    So what is CMV exactly? A general or specific term for viral infection?

    My blood test 27th Jan 2015 neutrophils are lower 1.2 than this time last year 2.2

    And there is a comment saying slight cells and platelets parameters are within notmal limits.

    My doc didn't mention it all


  • Miee has raised the same concern that I had about the possibility of you experiencing a drop in neutrophils months after treatment. If you keep getting those afternoon symptoms, get in touch with your haematologist. Even better, if you have a standing blood test form available, use it and see your doctor for the results and if your ANC is low, follow up with your haematologist.

    Cytomegalovirus is a specific virus that along with the Epstein barr virus, is a member of the Human Herpes viruses. Once you've been infected with them, they can come back years later i.e. become reactivated, generally when your immunity is low, such as when you are being treated or become neutropenic. They aren't pleasant company for immune compromised people like us.

    Let's hope you've just overdone it or have picked up a bug that you'll soon be over.


  • Hi Elliot43

    I have found a description on 'Late onset neutropenia after rituximab-containing chemotherapy'. You seem to get it 3 month ~ 12 month after treatment finished. Does your neutrophil number OK now?


  • Hi Miee,

    No... You're quite right.. Dropped down from 2.2 last February to 1.2 two weeks ago. And slight neutropenia was mentioned but my Heam didn't think to mention it.

    So I guess that I just nurse myself over the next day or two hoping that I will recover ASAP


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