Sunday, October 25, 2009


Neutropenia occurs when the neutrophil count falls below 1,000 cells per microliter of blood, the risk of infection increases somewhat; when it falls below 500 cells per microliter, the risk of infection increases greatly. Without the key defense provided by neutrophils, people have problems controlling infections. In other words, Sam can get really sick when he's neutropenic!

Given that we have already experienced more low-grade fevers and two unscheduled trips to hospital, I get very jumpy when Sam's blood counts drop. Researching (as I tend to do), I have discovered that the neutropenic diet is not all that it is cracked up to be. Studies ahve shown there is not a need to be ultra-concervative with the diet when neutropenic.

Sam cannot eat raw fruit and veg when neutropenic but we have yet to get him to eat anything! My little tough guy, the one who could climb up my body with his amazing strength, now has the thinnest arms and legs and cannot stand for more than a few minutes.

The problem is, do I give him things that are not particularly healthy (mac and cheese, pizza, etc) which he will eat a little, or force the healthy stuff and hope? Sam was always a great eater and juggling this issue is hard. Today he ate three yogurts, the Spongebob type, not my preferred organic ones; some mac and cheese, again not organic as he only wants the fun ones with shapes; and a cup of water! He loves to eat out but that is impossible with low counts.

Once again I find myself having to go with the 'what works for now' mentality...get ANY food into him and hope we can go back to more healthy stuff soon. I am all geared for cancer fighting veg and organic, toxic free fare, I just have to wait a while.

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