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low hemoglobin

davidsonxx's picture
davidsonxx
Posts: 137
Joined: Mar 2007

I had my first 3 month check up after finishing my treatment. The blood work came back with a low hemoglobin level. I had my last chemo on 2/28 and had my ileostomy reversed on 4/16. My onc is having me redo the CBC to recheck it. I do have some minor bleeding from a fissure. How much do you have to bleed to impact your hemoglobin level? I don't know what may be causing this so I don't know whether to be worried or not (so of course I am worried). Any ideas about possible causes?

PGLGreg's picture
PGLGreg
Posts: 741
Joined: Jul 2006

How low? My hemoglobin count has been a little low for over a year, or maybe forever, for all I know. Three weeks ago it was 13.7gm/dL, and my test results give 14-18 as the reference range. My doctor hasn't expressed any concern.

Greg

davidsonxx's picture
davidsonxx
Posts: 137
Joined: Mar 2007

I'm not sure what the value was. The onc did say that if the repeat test is still low he will probably want me to have a colonoscopy to check for problems. I get the retest tomorrow and will have the results on Thursday. I keep telling myself it can't be anything too bad because I feel good. I just hope I'm right.

jams67's picture
jams67
Posts: 927
Joined: May 2006

Can't remember if you had chemo, but if you did, it takes a long time for your body to recover. My counts after 15 mo. are just now in the normal range. My onc says that it takes that long.
Jo Ann

Betsydoglover's picture
Betsydoglover
Posts: 1210
Joined: Jul 2005

Hi -
I don't have the exact details, but I was "very anemic" when I was diagnosed. I had only had rectal bleeding sporadically for 2 weeks. So I am thinking that it doesn't take a lot of bleeding to cause anemia. Perhaps your fissure bleeding is the cause.

Take care,
Betsy

jana11
Posts: 708
Joined: May 2004

Try no to worry (yea, I know). Chemo causes anemia in many people... but, your Hgb was checked pre and post op. So the trend is what is really important. Minor fissure bleeding shouldn't cause a big drop, but your "minor" may be different from my "minor". Sounds like your doc is on the ball - recheck the number and then just make sure! No harm.

If your energy level is great, it is most likely a lab error! Severe anemia makes you very tired. Are you pale? If your coloring and energy are good, try not to worry. :)

Keep us posted. jana

davidsonxx's picture
davidsonxx
Posts: 137
Joined: Mar 2007

I'm a little more tired than I have been but I've also had to travel for my job which is tiring. I think my color is good. I'm voting for the lab error.

davidsonxx's picture
davidsonxx
Posts: 137
Joined: Mar 2007

My retest results showed some improvement but are still low. Dr said not to worry about it. It's just something we need to keep an eye on. He wants to retest in 2 weeks to see if I'm still improving. I guess I over reacted because my treatment and recovery has been anything but smooth. Hopefully this is the last bump.

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