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How to keep immune system up during chemotherapy?

Discuss Lymphoma, Hodgkins Lymphoma, Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma

How to keep immune system up during chemotherapy?

Postby benjaman » Fri Jul 27, 2012 7:21 am

Is it possible to keep the immune system functioning and up during chemotherapy?
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How to keep immune system up during chemotherapy?

Postby rhys » Fri Jul 27, 2012 7:28 am

2000 + units of vit D a day.
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How to keep immune system up during chemotherapy?

Postby isham » Fri Jul 27, 2012 7:45 am

There's nothing you can do to prevent the destruction of white blood cells from chemotherapy. Some chemo drugs kill white blood cells and WBC loss is the usual reason why immunity is reduced. All you can do is maximize the rate at which the cells recover. In general, recovery is fastest if you eat a healthy, balanced diet, get plenty of rest when you are tired and get in at least a little exercise each day.
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How to keep immune system up during chemotherapy?

Postby fred » Fri Jul 27, 2012 7:51 am

Chemo does a number on all fast growing cells, so your immune system takes a huge whack. I was given a shot of Neulasta after each chemo round which is supposed to help restore blood counts.
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How to keep immune system up during chemotherapy?

Postby lir » Fri Jul 27, 2012 8:00 am

You can get a Neulasta shot (very expensive and some insurance companies balk at paying for it) or a series of Neuropen shots (daily for a certain amount of time).

CoQ10 is supposed to help with the immune system, but ask your doctor before adding any supplement to your daily routine.

Also, I'd avoid refined sugar as it weakens an immune system. While there's not much you can do to strengthen your immunity during chemo, at least you can try to avoid weakening it any further.

My biggest struggle during chemo was with skin infections. It seemed that every little bump or scratch would get infected. I got a hangnail on a toe this last cycle and the entire toe swelled up and turned purple! Fortunately, once I was past nadir (and after days of soaking it and using triple antibiotic cream), the infection went away on its own. I've had to take antibiotics three times due to skin infections.

In light of that, I shower twice a day using antibiotic soap. I wash my bald head with antibiotic soap. I carry around hand sanitizer and use it all the time. While it would seem that none of this helped, all we can say that is if I didn't take such measures, then perhaps I would have had many more serious infections or ended up in a hospital for an infection. Thank goodness, I've not had to be hospitalized once! (One chemo cycle left!)

Avoid raw foods so that you can avoid micro bacteria that your compromised immune system might not be able to handle. Avoid large crowds and wear a mask if you are around anyone who is even slightly sick.

Best wishes to you in your journey.
lir
 
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How to keep immune system up during chemotherapy?

Postby bercnan » Fri Jul 27, 2012 8:05 am

You can get a Neulasta shot (very expensive and some insurance companies balk at paying for it) or a series of Neuropen shots (daily for a certain amount of time).

CoQ10 is supposed to help with the immune system, but ask your doctor before adding any supplement to your daily routine.

Also, I'd avoid refined sugar as it weakens an immune system. While there's not much you can do to strengthen your immunity during chemo, at least you can try to avoid weakening it any further.

My biggest struggle during chemo was with skin infections. It seemed that every little bump or scratch would get infected. I got a hangnail on a toe this last cycle and the entire toe swelled up and turned purple! Fortunately, once I was past nadir (and after days of soaking it and using triple antibiotic cream), the infection went away on its own. I've had to take antibiotics three times due to skin infections.

In light of that, I shower twice a day using antibiotic soap. I wash my bald head with antibiotic soap. I carry around hand sanitizer and use it all the time. While it would seem that none of this helped, all we can say that is if I didn't take such measures, then perhaps I would have had many more serious infections or ended up in a hospital for an infection. Thank goodness, I've not had to be hospitalized once! (One chemo cycle left!)

Avoid raw foods so that you can avoid micro bacteria that your compromised immune system might not be able to handle. Avoid large crowds and wear a mask if you are around anyone who is even slightly sick.

Best wishes to you in your journey.
I gave myself a shot of Neulasta the day after each chemo treatment. Never had trouble keeping up my immune system, and it is compromised by an auto-immune disorder too.
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