Well here I sit again at chemotherapy. To find out I am now neutropenic(810). Oh so exciting. That result is forcing me to get a smaller dosage of gemcitabine. I could also be fighting some sort of bacterial infection. It would explain why I have been feeling a bit under the weather this past week. Although, I wrote that off to the chemotherapy. Only time will tell if I am actually sick with some thing.
Neutropenia is an abnormally low level of neutrophils in the blood. Neutrophils are white blood cells (WBCs) produced in the bone marrow that ingest bacteria. Neutropenia is sometimes called agranulocytosis or granulocytopenia because neutrophils make up about 60% of WBCs and have granules inside their cell walls. Neutropenia is a serious disorder because it makes the body vulnerable to bacterial and fungal infections.
The normal level of neutrophils in human blood varies slightly by age and race. Infants have lower counts than older children and adults, and African Americans have lower counts than Caucasians or Asians. The average adult level is 1500 cells/mm3 of blood. Neutrophil counts (in cells/mm3) are interpreted as follows:
greater than 1000. Normal protection against infection
500-1000. Some increased risk of infection
200-500. Great risk of severe infection
lower than 200. Risk of overwhelming infection; requires hospital treatment with antibiotics