Platelet info!!!

rogina2336 Member Posts: 188
My husband has not had a treatment now for a month every time we go get his blood checked his platelets are too low (7-15 83, 7-22 89, 7-29 76). Why would they start declining if no treatment has occured??? totally confused. I have heard that after 12 tx's they usually give a break, but the oncologist seemed to think they could kill the tumors by keeping him going, but I don't see that now. Dr told us today to take 2 weeks off and then come back. Is this part of the roller coaster ride?? Please help I am very confused I know that they won't give a transfusion until they are really low and there was no mention of any shot. Maybe I am over reacting, but it is like reliving my dad's cancer he died 3 years ago at the age of 69 (Rhapidiomyocarsinoma) diagnosed in Aug and gone the following Feb I know this is totally different cancer from colon, but it seems that alot of things that went on with my Dad are similar??? Any words of wisdom most appreciated!!!! Thanks. Hopes and Prayers to you all Kim


  • Sundanceh
    Sundanceh Member Posts: 4,392 Member
    Hi Kim:)
    The standing rule seems to be no transmission under 100,00 for blood platelet levels. This is for safety reasons of course. The lower the platelets the less clotting factor.

    As I went through chemo (3rd time), my platelets went down as low as 72,000 and they still gave me the chemo. I did okay and suffered no ill effects.

    Sometimes, the oncs give you a break to see if platelet levels rise. In most people they do rise after a short break. I'm different though (what a surprise) and Folfox destroyed my platelet levels FOREVER. But that's just me. I'll never be able to generate platelets that other cancer patients do, much less healthy folks.

    In fact, I got my blood done the other day and my platelets were still at 72,000 and that's 3 months out of treatment. So waiting never did me any good, but for some it does. I'm a hard case, as you know.

    Folfox is harder on platelets than Folfiri seems to me; don't know which one that is being given.

    For chemo to really be effective, it really needs to be administered every 2 weeks or perhaps 3 weeks if they are giving you a rest. Waiting a month or more and then throwing another dose really does not do a body good.

    And if they do chemo again, it sounds to me that his platelets will drop more - then you'll wait till they rise but it could go another month or more - and then try and dose again...

    See where I'm going with this?

    Regular infusion of chemo is necessary to bust up the cancer's cell growth cycle - there are all of these cancer cells at various stages of growth - so regular chemo has the bigger capacity to knock more of those out when it can be introduced on a regular basis, you know?

    I'm gonna' guess that Folfox is the culprit here. One suggestion might be to switch chemos and try Folfiri - it will still affect platelets but the dips in numbers seem to be less and better to work with.

    White blood counts are the other thing - if they dip too low, this can stop treatment to, but the workaround is a shot they call Neulasta, which boosts white cell production and keeps your body upright to keep chemo coming.

    I want to hear more!

  • lisa42
    lisa42 Member Posts: 3,625 Member
    help with platelets

    I just wanted to let you know what I've been doing and how well it's helped my platelet count. The main chemo I'm on is gemcitabine (Gemzar) & it's main side effect is to drop the platelet count way down. When I first started on it, it dropped really low & my dosage had to be skipped once, then greatly reduced. In February, I started in on taking some natural supplements (because I've been on chemo so very long- 4 yrs now- & wanted to do something to support my immune system). Anyhow, chlorella and spirulina have been added and literally, ever since I started taking them, my platelet level has come up to completely normal. My onc raised my chemo dosage back up and still my platelet level has been totally normal. My onc has been amazed, but said maybe it was the chlorella and spirulina, so keep taking it. They are available online and in health food stores. I see you can get them even at Walmart, but I don't know that the potency or quality would be as good. I say it can't hurt for your husband to try these, especially the chlorella. They are known as "superfoods" and have many health benefits. The chlorella pills are little and easy to take. My naturopathic dr. said to take 15-30 a day of the small pills. The directions advise taking 15 a day. I was surprised at so many, but they are small and easy to swallow, so not a problem. Look into it-

  • rogina2336
    rogina2336 Member Posts: 188
    Thanks Your Info Helps me to stay positive
    Thanks Craig and Lisa

    My husband is on 5FU and Avastin,(they took the oxy away after 10 txs)his white count continues to stay up there he has been doing so very well I just hate to see things start to tank!!! They did mention on his last CT "stable mild splenomegaly. No focal splenic lesions." whatever that means? I will get him to try the supplements and I will ask if there is a chance to change his chemo, who knows maybe that is already in the works. I am one of those worry warts and I get very stressed easily although I keep my self calm around my husband. @Craig so obviously you are living proof that a person can survive and fight this crap with low platelets! Sure is nice to have all of you on this board to come to in times of need and wonder. Thanks for your help. Hopes and Prayers Kim
  • luvmum
    luvmum Member Posts: 457 Member
    peanut skin water
    Dear Kim,

    I've sent you a PM.

    I hope your husband's platelet will catch up soon.
    Take care,