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Unread 07-10-2002, 10:52 AM
Blood count low


My mom just went to her regular radiation appt and every weds they take her blood. It came back really low. She had chemo last week. They mentioned a blood transfusion and some sort of shot. I hear it is pretty normal for your cell count to be low.

She had a rad hyst. in april for squamous cell carcinoma in the cervix, spread to 2 lymph nodes follow up with 2 rounds of chemo and radiation external/internal.
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Unread 07-10-2002, 02:04 PM
Low Blood Counts

I can't address low blood counts with radiation, but I can with chemo. One of the biggest side effects of a lot of the chemos is a drop in red cells (hemoglobin and hematocrit) and white cells. With some, such as carboplatin, this is cumulative. Bone marrow is hit very hard with chemo. I had six taxol/carboplatin in 2001 and despite using special iron (dissolves in intestine, not stomach) of 150 mg twice a day, I needed two transfusions after the third and fifth chemos. Counts were "borderline" after #6 but that was right around 9/11 and I believe they were trying to save all the blood they could, hoping there'd be survivors who'd need it. I almost had that third transfusion. Procrit is the shot they use to increase red cell production. Also, I believe it's Neupogen they can use to stimulate white cells, which fight infection. Too few, and what someone would normally fight off, she can't. I've seen one source that says 3200 is the lowest/normal and another that says 4000 is the lowest/normal. All I know is, on 9/11 I had 800 and they were headed down. Yet, by 12/4, I had 5700 and by then red was up in the normal range. Didn't get the shots (I was afraid of some side effects) but if your mom has never had a transfusion, she shouldn't be afraid. They type and crossmatch and test your blood against the donated blood and then double check everything before giving the blood. The first time, they watch carefully just in case there's a reaction (I didn't notice a thing) and go a bit slower (it's much slower than donating). Good luck to your mom. She has a good daughter watching over her.
Unread 07-10-2002, 02:16 PM
Blood count low

s Jettali

Yeap, what your mom is experiencing is not uncommon. Just curious, how old is your mom? Other than that I have nothing to add to all of Margaret's info.
Nice to hear from you. Give your mom a hug for me!

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Unread 07-10-2002, 02:18 PM
Blood count low

She is 56. She has been healthy all her life. No real problems until this came along. In fact 3 weeks after her rad hyst she was mowin the lawn. She is strong! Her emotions have been a roller coaster which i am not used too.
Unread 07-10-2002, 02:31 PM
Blood count low

s again

I know it's hard to see your mom's emotions go all over the place. Just love her and support wherever she is at the moment. She obviously feels so close to you, that she has no need to pretend and is comfortable feeling how she feels. She sounds pretty strong and young and I think she's gonna be just fine. Hang in there!

Unread 07-10-2002, 02:33 PM
Blood count low

It is so good to 'talk' to people that have been through this. It is so sad walking into the chemo clinic and seeing how crowded it is. It breaks my heart.
Unread 07-10-2002, 10:39 PM

Hey sweetie,
I just wanted to pop in and say, Yes, about the radiation! I had radiation and chemo at the same time but the dr. told me the radiation can affect the blood counts, of course I had leukemia so it was already affected but tell your mom to hang in there. From January until my remission in June I had a total of 11 transfusions. They weren' t bad at all and they really helped me feel strong. I also took the procrit during chemo, and prednisone to help.
I'm with ya on going into the clinic and seeing all of the people there getting chemo. It's hearbreaking, but hey, up until June 7th I was one of those people! YAY!! Now I'm on maintenance which is oral chemo. but it's not bad at all. Tell your mom to rest when she gets tired! That was my biggest problem, resting when the rbc is low.
She sounds like a very strong woman. Tell her we all send hugs and many Prayers!!

Love and hugs,
In Christ
Unread 07-11-2002, 04:21 PM
Good News

Mom went back for radiation and blood work today - the count is up and she won't need a transfusion or a shot of procrit. She also found out she won't need that internal radiation.

Thank you for all your support.
Unread 07-11-2002, 04:53 PM
Blood count low

Great news Jettali!!!!! You and your mom and dad must be so pleased.
Thanks for letting us know.

Unread 07-11-2002, 06:56 PM
Blood count low


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