Jan 21, 2005 - 11:50 pm
I'm 10/12 of the way through FOLFOX 6 (stage III colon cancer plus Crone's disease). I was anemic before going into surgery and my red blood count has been low throughout chemo, despite my being on 2 iron pill supplements a day since late June.
A visiting doctor at my clinic suggested that because they removed my illium (sp.?) during surgery, it may be that my body can't use the vitamin B 12 to combine with the iron to help boost my red blood cells. So he says I should get a B 12 shot once a month for the rest of my life, plus do 8 weeks of intervenous iron at the oncology clinic. My oncologist agreed with this theory and treatment.
Has anyone run into this problem and treatment before? Does anyone know of any side effects or alternative theories I should be thinking about? Getting what amounts to vitamin and mineral supplements sounds harmless enough after chemo, but I have learned that one should check out even the stuff that sounds like a no brainer. Also, if the illium is needed to provide this function, and they knew they took out my illium, how come it took all this time to come up with a solution for my sinking red blood count? Thanks.