CSN Login
Members Online: 14

Low platelet count, so chemo postponed for 2nd time. Anyone else have this?

lindaprocopio's picture
lindaprocopio
Posts: 2022
Joined: Oct 2008

I don't have ovarian cancer, but none of my UPSC Sisters have experienced the same challenge I've been having with my chemo. I know that some of you have experienced delays in scheduled chemo and could advise me. I am supposed to be getting 6 rounds of paciltaxol/carboplatin every 3 weeks, and have 4 rounds in me to date.

Once again, just like when I went in for my last round of chemo (Round 4), my blood work today showed that I wasn't recovered enough to have my chemo this morning (supposed to be Round 5) when I went in. All of my counts were low, but the one that kept me from getting the chemo was the 39 for platelets (needs to be 100). My contingency plan of getting a transfusion today and chemo tomorrow was also nixed. The transfusion could have helped my low hemoglobin count, but even a platelet transfusion wouldn't make having chemo a safe option for me this week. (Apparently transfused platelets only live a short amount of time and chemo tomorrow would have killed all of the new ones pumped in, plus more of my own platelets, making me too vulnerable to bleeding out or internal bleeding.) So I must wait another week and try again.

It's so discouraging to keep pushing back my treatment calendar. My GOOD news is that they drew blood today for a CA-125, and my CA-125 dropped from 26 down to 17.5. Can I interpret my lower CA-125 as a reassurance that the extra week’s delay in my last round of chemo didn’t affect the success of my treatment? And so I shouldn’t let this new delay scare me? I like to think that God is slowing down the pace of my treatment in answer to my prayers that I come out of this without long-term chronic side-effects from the chemo.

kris43
Posts: 277
Joined: Sep 2007

Linda - I was bumped from chemo twice during my 6 rounds of IV/IP chemo and each time was so distressed because I felt like I couldn't even do chemo right!! I was bumped after round 2 and round 5 and ended up having 2 units of blood transfused towards the end of chemo because of that. I was also getting the neupogen (spelling??) shots to boost my levels but it didn't always work.

You will eventually get all of your rounds and it will all turn out to be fine. I was to get 6 rounds of IP Cisplatin and could only handle 2 because of complications and infections - so I had 6 rounds IV Taxotere, 4 rounds IV Carbo and 2 rounds IP Cisplatin. I think you just have to have faith that things are working and as long as your numbers continue to drop that shows that chemo is working. Chemo is cumulative so that is why you feel worse as you go, numbers go wacky and at times things get put on hold.

Hang in there! Take care and let us know how you are continuing to do.

My thoughts are with you.
Kris

BonnieR's picture
BonnieR
Posts: 1549
Joined: Jan 2004

Hey Linda, it happens all the time, especially after several treatments. Give it a week and it will jump back up there. Congratulations on the low ca125 ~ that is awesome.

Hugs N Prayers Bonnie

knarrly's picture
knarrly
Posts: 24
Joined: Oct 2008

Although I haven't had to have my chemo interrupted, I came pretty darn close. I was hospitalized for 6 days being neutropenic. I had Neupogen injections to boost me in time for chemo. Ever since, I get Neulasta to prevent it from happening again.

saundra's picture
saundra
Posts: 1390
Joined: Mar 2007

I think the chemo works for a long time after a dose and it is continuing to knock out cancer cells. I would be disappointed as well, at not getting the chemo, but it is probably still working from the last dose. The platelets will come up, it will take time. I like to think it's God's plan too.

I will add platelet count for you in my prayers as I like to be specific. Meanwhile, eat well and walk and get plenty of sleep to let your body build back up.

(((Hugs and Prayers)))♡ Saundra

green50
Posts: 318
Joined: Feb 2008

Linda can they give you platelets? I had blood given to me when iron low. And the lady next to me was getting platelets. When they give platelets and it goes back normal then they can treat you again with chemo. They can seperate red cells white cells platelets and just give you that. I was surprised. My platelets go low and they give me an extra week to build up. I only had to have blood once in the 7 years. Good luck
Prayers and Hugs
SAndy

BonnieR's picture
BonnieR
Posts: 1549
Joined: Jan 2004

Hi Sandy and linda

It is best to wait and give your body time, I have had gotten platelets but only because they were 12 or soemthing like that. If over 25 or 30 they prefer you wait, you'll see once they start to take off they climb fast. Red Blood is different if you get below 8 you usueally get a transfusion, caries oxygen and so much else for you. They don't give it so you can have chemo they give it so you are well. :-) Okay nurse hat off ~ for now. It's pretty bad when one has discovered so health info without having to go to medical school. HEHE

Love Bonnie

green50
Posts: 318
Joined: Feb 2008

Yea I remember them saying its to get ya healthy. I saw the platelets in a bag woman next to me its different most defineately. Nurse said they can seperate out them and different cells thats something. They do give ya chemo again if everything looks good. Just in time to knock ya down again huh? It does give you energy to get platelets though, right? I know the red blood helped me. Still a little low but not too bad. Hope you get built up on your own Linda. Thanks Bonnie for info all of you are great. I had Etoposide today with some steroids so doing ok.
Prayers and Hugs
Sandy

lindaprocopio's picture
lindaprocopio
Posts: 2022
Joined: Oct 2008

My last successful chemo round was Round 4, and that was ALSO preceded by an extra week's delay because my platelets AND my hemoglobin were low. After the extra week of waiting, my platelets tripled and were well within the safe range, but my hemoglobin (red count) was still low. But they allowed the chemo anyway, since I'd already lost a week, and because I promised to come in for a blood transfusion in a week. They were very clear that the blood transfusion was to 'keep me SAFE' until my next blood test. So Bonnie is right; she knows her stuff. And that blood transfusion didn't do me any good two weeks later (2 days ago!) when I went in to try and get Round 5 of my chemo, and my counts had tanked again.

I was so sure that if my counts were low on Monday that I could get a transfusion and get my chemo the next day. But they said a platelet transfusion is always a 'keep-you-safe' intervention, and that getting chemo the day after a platelet transfusion would just kill off all the pumped-in platelets PLUS more of my 'homegrown' platelets.

Both times when I had to take these 'extra week delays', the oncologist said "We want to kill your cancer; we don't want to kill YOU." So when you're denied chemo, it's because the consequences of GETTING the chemo can be more dire than NOT getting it. ARGH!

BonnieR's picture
BonnieR
Posts: 1549
Joined: Jan 2004

I just have to tell I love your picture and your attitude. Seeing your smiling face always makes me smile. Thanks for the smile this morning. Hugs Bonnie

BonnieR's picture
BonnieR
Posts: 1549
Joined: Jan 2004

Platelets just help your blood clot, no energy from them, read linda's post she explains it well. Now the red blood cells give you lots of energy, I have several transfusions when I was on topotecan and then on other chemos, I would get the procrit or aranesp for rbc while, boy does that make a difference, but Medicare doesnt' cover it and at 6,000 a shot I pass and just wait for my body to respond. Love Bonnie

green50
Posts: 318
Joined: Feb 2008

I am lucky if I just give it one more week my platelets go up before chemo. I didn't realize it doesn't give energy I guess I should of known since iron is what does. Thanks Bonnie. I have had cancer 7 years or more and still have to ask about what people are talking about and initials for certain things because I haven't had any test but CTs and blood. and of course chemos. I had full hysterectomy and then thats it. So any info I do appreciate. My aunt took her angel wings before Christmas leukemia so writing my uncle to support him and my cousins. Thanks again Bonnie for the info. I appreciate you my friend as others. Well time to go for the martini(chemo).
MUch prayers and big hugs
Sandy

LPack's picture
LPack
Posts: 658
Joined: Oct 2008

Linda,

I too have had to postpone chemo and my gyn/ono gives treatments every 4 weeks NOT 3 weeks so as to give more time for her patients to recover. Mine got low enough and did not recup so that I ended up with 7 treatments instead of the 9. AND I believe that God did intervene on my behalf. I had become toxic.

The same with my maintenance of Hexalen. Cycles are 14 days on 14 days off for 5 treatments. I have had 2 cycles in 4 months instead of 4. Remember God is our Great Physician and our doctors are the bonus!

Great CA-125 count there. I get my blood work first week in March, longest between blood work since diagnosis.

Love you,
Libby ♥

lindaprocopio's picture
lindaprocopio
Posts: 2022
Joined: Oct 2008

I so appreciate you all sharing your stories of chemo delay; that makes me feel better about my own mutinous body that keeps letting me down. Thank you.

This extra week's delay for my chemo had an unexpected bonus. I never take appointments outside my home office on 'chemo week', but I saw that there was a Bank Board meeting yesterday on my calendar scheduled for 8 am. I have my own small grantwriting business (www.procopiofundraising.com) and sit on a little regional bank board. So, since I wasn 't dealing with post-chemo side effects like I expected to be, I thought, "what the heck! I'll go!" So for the first time in 6 months, I put on HIGH HEELS and a SUIT, popped on the wig I bought but never wear, drew on my 'Look Good/Feel Better' eyebrows and smokey eye shadow that substitutes for eye lashes (ha!), and went to the bank board meeting. It was a little distracting at first to have everyone asking about my health, etc., but on the whole I felt like a regular person. Then when I got home, I had an email from our regional representative from the state department of recreation, saying that he would be in town today and did I want to meet for lunch to discuss the municipal park grant. Instead of explaining how I was in treatment for cancer, blah blah blah, I figured I may as well get some mileage out of those carefully drawn-on eyebrows (ha!), and made some calls to see if someone from the municipality could join us and someone from the design firm. Then off I went, (high heels and low platelets!) to have a business lunch with people who don't know I have cancer. And I was like my old self, schoomzing and planning and animated.

It was like stepping back in time, "pre-cancer Linda", for 6 or 7 hours. Fun while it lasted; bittersweet after I got home. I immediately pulled off the wig and high heels and collaspsed into bed, business suit and all, exhausted. (hemoglobin must be low now too). Maybe you can't ever really go back and be who you once were 100%. But you can go back for a little while. Here's a link to a photo of "pre-cancer Linda," someone even I almost forgot existed: http://www.procopiofundraising.com/mission.aspx

green50
Posts: 318
Joined: Feb 2008

I talked to nurse today and she is a nutritionist of her own reading a lot. She told me yes sugar can make cancer worse. My sugar is a little high and the ca125 highest its been over 18000. I have been eating brownies and cookies my nephew baked. The nurse said eat brown pasta wheat and try stay away from sugar. Asked her about the substitutes she feels there are chemicals and she said we have so much cancer now because of the chemicals in the food and air. She said its better to eat the refined sugar then subs. Subs are chemicals. But to also eat veggies and fruits which now they say to eat 10 to 12 veggies and fruits a day! new food permid. But anyway I am going to try to stay away from bad carbs and see if it helps both my sugar and cancer count to come down. I did ask her about the dark chocolate and she said thats the best because it has the least sugar. The darker the better plus the cocoa beans are good for you. So she said you get a sweet tooth eat that. I do love dark chocolate best. As the Dr said its hard to keep away from chemicals because other then natural food foods have chemicals in them. Guess I know what to eat its just bad habits. But I will try no sugar and low carbs. Anyway I may have been wrong about sugar in past thinking it was ok and its not. At least for me. Doesn't cause cancer just can increase it.
Prayers and Hugs
Sandy

saundra's picture
saundra
Posts: 1390
Joined: Mar 2007

That is a great attitude you have developed and I am glad that you got out. Mostly, I think we all should take your story to heart and jump in with both feet. It's hard to get used to this fatigue but getting out with friends really helps. I am soooo... proud of you. (hugs and prayers))) Saundra

LPack's picture
LPack
Posts: 658
Joined: Oct 2008

Linda,

You make me smile. And I am going out to shop for some necessities before we go to Columbus Airport tomorrow and fly out to Texas for our mission's trip. I am happy to do something for someone else!

You go girl!

Love ya,
Libby♥

JoanC's picture
JoanC
Posts: 225
Joined: Jan 2009

Linda,
I went to your web site and saw your picture...you were/are indeed a beautiful woman.....But now WOW! Your NOW picture shows us how your eyes sparkle, your skin glows, and your smile is so beautiful.....so enjoy the wonderful beautiful woman you are now..we can see that you are beautiful inside and out. I am so inspired by you doing all you do.
(((HUGS))) Joan

lindaprocopio's picture
lindaprocopio
Posts: 2022
Joined: Oct 2008

You are all so sweet to me! Did you see the beautiful children on my website? (http://www.procopiofundraising.com/foundation-research.aspx ) My 2 grandchildren! The web designer argued that using their photos on every page makes it look like I only do grantwriting for children's causes, but I insisted they use those photos anyway. I like to see their sweet faces on my website when I go in to post updates, and the kids love showing their friends that they are on the web. I miss them so much since I have been in chemo treatment, as I was used to having them here every day. But now my son worries that they tire me (they do! so what?) and he isn't as quick to drop them off all the time. But the grandkids just had a sleep-over with me last night and that was wonderful. Although now I am DEAD tired! But I can see their compassion for me and they take turns curled up in my lap in a way they didn't before I had cancer. They are the most open about my cancer. Right after my surgery, Jakey (6 years old) asked me "Are you trying not to die, Grammy?", and I said "Yes, that's it exactly, honey." And he said "Good." And after that, they both just relaxed about it.

saundra's picture
saundra
Posts: 1390
Joined: Mar 2007

I meant to write and ask about the children and puppy. Love them!!! Ours are all over 12 and even the teenagers are more loving to me and so compassionate. Don't you just prize each moment? Saundra

lindaprocopio's picture
lindaprocopio
Posts: 2022
Joined: Oct 2008

I just got back from my chemo! at 3:30 today! They gave it to me! My platelets climbed from 39 last Monday to 117 for today's bloodwork, on their own. All of my other counts also came up within normal range; I'm surprised and pleased! I think I need that extra week now between chemo rounds. But I have Round 5 in me, and if it ends up that my bone marrow won’t allow me to get the final Round 6, I’ll be okay with that as long as we roll into my radiation treatments pretty quickly. I know my bloodwork counts will tank again in another week following this new chemo today, but I have an appointment scheduled with my oncologist this Wednesday, and he can let me know whether I’ll be getting a blood transfusion next week to help me survive the cancer-killing poison that I just had pumped into my arm. And just maybe, if he schedules my final round spaced out 4 weeks instead of 3 like Libby's doctor does, I can get all 6 rounds in. Anyway I’m very happy to have been able to push on with this. Tired now after 10 hours at the clinic, but happy.

Saundra: Thanks for the compliments on the grandkids. They are such a joy and comfort for me. I think if I can just live 5 more years, they'll be old enough to remember me and how much I loved them, and I can make sure we have some really special memorable times together. I WANT 30 more years here on earth, but even 5 years could be enough, and I am at peace with that if it turns out that way.

saundra's picture
saundra
Posts: 1390
Joined: Mar 2007

I am so glad you got your treatment. Will pray for an easy time with the side effects just for you today.
That platelet recovery was tremendous and a great blessing we are all grateful for. (((Hugs))) Saundra

socrates
Posts: 1
Joined: Aug 2005

I am an ovarian cancer survivor, on my fourth round of treatment, and long into 2nd remission.

The treatments that I get now drop my platelet levels so low that I am confined to bed in the third week, they also mess with my red and white counts SO... AFTER each chemo I am injected with a huge shot of drugs, in my upper arm between shoulder and elbow, that dramatically make my body start producing platelets at a faster rate, and increase healthy
white and red blood cell counts. It kicks in around the end of the third week - just in time to get me ready for the next treatment on the 28th day, (4th week.) My doctor said I would notice it.

I thought oh yeah oh sure..blah, blah, blah. Well after the first treatment and the shot I hit bottom. In the end of the third week after treatment I RALLIED AND BABY IT FELT SO GREAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I RALLIED. On day number 28 I was ready for the drill again!!! So perhaps there is something like this that your doctor can prescribe for you. I hope so...I know what postponed treatment feels like. And as one of your new Cancer survivor friends - You take a very beautiful picture. And to answer your other question about your Ca drop- "Any drop is good as long as it is approaching your norm Ca Level. The trick is to be able to stay in the game, even if you get postponed because of rain. I will say a prayer for you tonight...

ocsurvivor
Posts: 3
Joined: Mar 2009

Happens all the time Linda. Enjoy your extra weeks vacation, LOL. That's how I like to think of it. Just think you will be stronger and at a better advantage when you do get your next treatment.

I recently had this problem but it persisted for 8 weeks. All my lab values on my CBC were low and steadily falling. I finally had a bone marrow biopsy to see what the problem was and unfortunately I have myelodysplastic syndrome or MDS. The easiest way to explain it is that your on the verge of having Leukemia. You can Google it for more info.

I've had stage IV ovarian cancer since July of 2005. I've been through 3 rounds (many treatments) of chemo along with surgery. I think all the chemo I've had over the years has just killed my bone marrow. I had 3 years of Taxol and Carboplatin, Gemzar and now Doxil.

The Doxil is now on hold so we can treat the MDS. I'm getting shots of Vidaza for the MDS, chemo for the blood. Wish me luck! :-)

I wouldn't worry about your temporary set back unless it becomes persistant and doesn't come back up. You can expect this to happen once in a while. Chemo is rough on the body.

God bless and hang in there girl! :-)

Remember there are worse things than cancer!!!

Subscribe with RSS
About Cancer Society

The content on this site is for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Do not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your condition. Use of this online service is subject to the disclaimer and the terms and conditions.

Copyright 2000-2014 © Cancer Survivors Network