I have read on several of the cc blogs this year that others have had to suspend their chemo at various times. I went off Gemzar for a week while I was doing the melodrama and had a bunch of family in town two weeks ago and yet my bloodwork did continue to improve. I have also had to suspend my Xeloda on two occasions, one of which was last week, due to my feet swelling (hand-foot syndrome), but I still had improvement in my blood chemistry.
I haven't had problems with my white blood cells or platelets, but my hemoglobin has usually been just below the anemic borderline, but not enough that I've taken the shot that was discussed above. I am trying to eat more iron rich foods - red meat, broccoli, raisins. I hate spinach, but I have had it on pizza recently. I can tolerate it if it's disseminated in lasagna.
I do get fatigued from the Gemzar (gemcitabine) - some weeks it's only two days but intense, some weeks it's four days but milder.
I read in my cookbook, Eating Well Through Cancer, that during low white blood cell counts, you should avoid meat, seafood, and raw fruits and vegetables as they are prone to bacteria which could cause an infection. It further said that the white blood cell count usually lasts four to seven days. (The website for the author of this book is www.hollyclegg.com.) She also has a chapter on what to eat the day of chemo and just after, among other chapters that addres weight loss, diarrhea, constipation, mouth sores, etc.
Hope this helps. My best to you and your father.