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Low neutrophils = Kidney infection?

LynnFish profile image

Hey Ladies!

Okay, I realize that it's late, and I'm probably the only one up, but I have a question/concern. For the past few...weeks?...I've had "left flank" pain and tenderness just above my waist. It seems to sometimes move a bit, up to my left, rear, upper ribs, and then back down to my lower ribs. Touching the area with any pressure causes meaningful pain. I've mostly ignored it, complaining just a tiny bit, but now I'm concerned because it's so sensitive that I can't lean back against a bed or chair, and I have to hold back coughs due to resulting pain.

When I did labs a week or so ago, my ANC was at 500, a new low. So I know that i'm vulnerable to infection. So I'm thinking maybe kidney infection? But I'm not peeing a lot....I don't know if I have a fever, but if I do, it's kind of low.

My temperature has been slightly elevated for...years...pretty much since I was diagnosed, re: which I always joke with the lab tech, feeling all Kathleen Turner in "Body Heat". But I sort of took it as either an immune response to the cancer (like, great! cancer cells don't like heat; go body!) or a sign of just persistent low level infection related to blood counts. Sadly, no Kathleen Turner...and no young William Hurt, either!

But I'm by myself at our NY apartment, which was meant to be a visit with the accountant, some fun with friends, and a good dose of solitude (I'm an introvert...need solitude!), but I'm mildly concerned because I understand that infections can take over quickly if you don't have a strong immune system.

I plan to go to like a CityMed place tomorrow (actually, today...), a Saturday, pee into a little cup, and see if it's an infection. So that should de-mystify this. It's actually a bit ironic since, when I first went metastatic, i was having pain in "all my organs", and was in NY for work at the time, so I went to like the minute clinic at the dusty back of a CVS and said "I either have a kidney infection or metastatic cancer...". After analyzing my urine, the very nice doc said "Go see your oncologist". It turned out to be radial pain from a tumor in my T12 vertebra.

So once again I'm going to the (not necessarily deserved...) lowest rung of the medical care ladder for something potentially serious!

I don't want to worry my family, so I figured I'd just vent online! I appreciate anyone who reads this, as I stay up all night to avoid lying down, which hurts! :)



4 Replies

I’m pleased you’re going to get checked out

I had a kidney infection about 9 years ago not related to mbc..I very quickly developed septicaemia and ended up having a drain in kidney and a urine bag for weeks followed by surgery..you are much more vulnerable with low white cell count

Hope you’re ok

Let me know

Barb xx

Hi Lynn,

You are doing the right thing getting this checked out. Let's hope that it is something that can quickly be treated. I'm sorry you are in a lot of pain. Please let us all know how you are getting on.

Take care,

Sophie x

Hey guys...Okay, it turned out not to be a kidney infection, so I'm relieved sort of "small picture" because that leaves radial (?) pain from my T12 tumor as the likely culprit.

This pain did bear a striking resemblance to what I was experiencing when first diagnosed w/ mets/T12 tumor, but this time is a bit worse. I'm actually choosing to take the optimistic view here and interpret it as hopefully my T12 healing since my tumor markers have recently taken a sharp turn down after a few months of Faslodex.

I will bring it up Onc, whom I see tomorrow....Thanks!

Barbteeth profile image
Barbteeth in reply to LynnFish


Glad it’s not a kidney infection

And tumour markers down is brilliant..I would be celebrating

Barb xx

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