Chemo round 4 delayed because of low platelet count. Has anyone had this? (Recap of Lost Posts, Topi

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This recap includes posts that were lost during CSN's data outage from 10/29/18 to 1/30/19.


Dec 28, 2018 - 12:59 pm

I was supposed to have carbo/taxol/herceptin round 4/6 today, but oncologist said I had to delay it for at least a week, because my platelet count was 88K.  Before treatment began, my platelet count was at the very low end of normal (about 150-160K) and I had an intermittently enlarged spleen, for no definitive reason.  Last round of chemo, my platelet count was borderline for treatment (I think 98K), and we went ahead with it.  This time, oncologist insisted we delay, feared that platelet count could drop very low with this round, and since I'm on an anticoagulant, that could be dangerous.

My initial reaction was one of immediate relief, because I'm always as scared as a dog being taken to the vet when I'm walking in there for chemo.  But I'm also concerned that delaying chemo gives the cancer cells a chance to multiply, that the chemo may be less effective, what with the delay.  And since the carboplatin toxicity is cumulative, I suspect that I would have to be on an every 4 week (or longer) schedule for the rest of the treatment course.

I don't think that there is any currently approved treatment to try to increase platelet count that could permit me to continue on schedule for chemo.  Anyone been through this?



Dec 28, 2018 - 1:26 pm


Quick search of this website's forum shows melatonin is associated with increased platelet production in setting of chemo and/or radiation.  Has anyone tried this?


Red Corvette

Dec 28, 2018 - 1:45 pm

Platelet Counts

Low platelet counts with carbo taxol chemo is completely routine. Mrs. Red had to delay chemo treatments from every 3 weeks to every 4 weeks because of low platelet counts. Most doctors say there is nothing you can do to increase platelet counts other then time and rest and positive attitude. Yours will pop back up on a week or so. No worries almost everyone has delays during treatment.




Dec 28, 2018 - 1:53 pm

Afraid of reduced efficacy with prolonged schedule

Thanks, Red.  I'm so nutsy about all this.  I am an over-educated medical professional, fully cognizant of  the implications of uterine serous/clear cell.  Even though I HATE going for the chemo, I don't want to delay the rounds because I'm afraid that the already questionable efficacy of the carbo/taxol will be reduced by the prolonged schedule.  If I'm gonna have to go through this, I want the most efficacy I can get from it!



Dec 28, 2018 - 2:42 pm

I had a delay

My platelets popped back up in less than a week. My doc then reduced my chemo dosage for the last 2 treatments. That scared me but I'm still here and NED.



Dec 28, 2018 - 4:01 pm

I could only tolerate three

I could only tolerate three of the six prescribed chemos and here I am, over three years later showing NED from UPSC. Who knows what works and what doesn't, and more importantly,  WHY? One size, fits all sure does not apply to cancer treatments!

Good luck with your blood!





Dec 28, 2018 - 4:34 pm

How to increase your platelets.  This looks like a good article.



Dec 28, 2018 - 8:31 pm

It'll be OK to delay until your platelets come back.

I had the same situation when I was trying to do chemo 5 or 6 a few years ago?  One thing I remember my doctor telling me is that the first 2 or 3 chemos with taxol are the most important, they are the hardest on the cancer cells.  The treatment protical is only a recommendation based on average peoples ability to tolerate chem.  My doctor said he would only treat me and my body, not an average.  So when my body balked at a certain level, he dialed it back to match MY body.  I went on reduced taxol, and even skipped one round of taxol so my body could recover.  All in all, although I'm not going to say I'm NED, I haven't had treatment for almost 3 years and I'm still symptom free.  It'll be OK.  Hugs Nancy



Dec 28, 2018 - 10:19 pm

Thank you for all the reassuring responses!

I have to say, this one week reprieve is like a vacation!  And now I'm less worried.  

I am starting melatonin.  I'll take half a 5 mg tonight, and if I don't have any side effects, I'll try 5 mg tomorrow.  Platelet toxicity from carboplatin is cumulative, so if I don't need to delay chemo again with the three remaining rounds while I am on melatonin, I'd say that's pretty strong anecdotal evidence.  Time will tell.

Meanwhile, I have a week with no neutropenia!  Woohoo!  I'd love to take a vacation, but it's become heavy flu season, so too risky to get on a plane.  Maybe a driving vacation?  Honestly, just a week of not feeling so sick from chemo is a blessing.



Dec 29, 2018 - 11:45 pm

Delay in Chemo with UPSC

I've had chemotherapy in both 2010 and 2017.  In 2017, I had delays due to low platelet counts.  I was told that sometimes levels come up fast, so when I was due for a dental cleaning a few days later, I was told to have a repeat blood test to see if my levels had come back enough.  They were borderline, so I had to talk to the dentist and hygienist.  We decided to skip the flossing but get everything else done, and I was fine afterwards.  I am NED now and have been since my chemo ended in 2017, so putting off that chemo didn't harm me.  What upset me was that there were several summer fairs and craft fairs in the area, and my husband insisted it was too risky for me to go.  He was right, of course, but they are a big part of my summer entertainment, and a place where I get a lot of my Christmas gifts, so I really missed them.

I took melatonin when I couldn't sleep after getting home from my cancer surgery in 2010.  I'd had my total hysterectomy plus an appendectomy and cholecystectomy and a few other things out at the same time, so I was in a lot of pain.  The melatonin gave me such horrible nightmares, I was worse off after I took that.  I dreamed that somebody died right in front of me in a fall off a stairway.  I was sleeping on the sofa downstairs because I was in too much pain to climb up to my bedroom, and I wished I had my husband there to comfort me.  I stopped taking the stuff.



Dec 30, 2018 - 12:29 pm


I have had nightmares after a surgery, I'm wondering if you were on pain meds at that time? I have weird bad dreams if I am given percocet, but only warm fuzzies with oxycodone! I seem to have a pretty high pain tolerance so I have only taken the pain meds for 2 or 3 days after the surgeries. I don't ever want percocet again!! lol



Dec 31, 2018 - 10:41 pm

Pain meds

I did take pain meds (oxycontin) after surgery, but stopped taking them after about 4 days because I hadn't had a BM.  The pain meds always make me constipated.  I think I took the melatonin a week or two after surgery.



Dec 30, 2018 - 12:33 am


Twice. The second time, I had to wait two weeks.



Dec 30, 2018 - 12:24 pm

Neutrophils are low

I am scheduled for round 4 on Jan 4th. My platelets go down a bit but come back up by treatment day. With me it is my neutrophils. I have to have neulasta every time. So far I have not had to delay treatment, but I do see the counts going just a tiny bit lower every time. It is a pattern, first week after treatment, all blood counts are still OK, just down a bit from the usual numbers, second week they are at the lowest point and then the day of treatment they are back up pretty good again, well at least acceptable. I am going to try melatonin, I have used it before to try to sleep better, so I am curious to see if it makes any difference in my platelets. I have also discovered Airborne immune support, figured it can't hurt.



Dec 31, 2018 - 8:13 am

Ribbons, a co-worker loved

Ribbons, a co-worker loved using Airborne prior to her cancer and she was told to stop taking it while going through treatment.  I would suggest just checking with your doctor's office before taking things.  



Dec 30, 2018 - 1:55 pm

Oh, so that's why I'm having the dreams!

I'm trying the melatonin to increase platelet counts.  It doesn't help at all with falling asleep - still takes hours, probably due to my anxiety about whether cancer was really stage 4, and is really progressing despite chemo.  But when I finally do fall asleep, I'm having now, on the melatonin, vivid bad dreams.  I wake up, and realize it was just a bad dream, only to also awaken to the realization of UPSC/clear cell.  Now that I know that it could be the melatonin causing the dreams, I think I can cope better with it.



Dec 30, 2018 - 5:29 pm


Will help you sleep and you can take it every night.  You do not become habituated to it.    Sleep is so important.   Just a suggestion.  Doctors don't mind prescribing it.



Dec 30, 2018 - 8:46 pm

The only reason that I'm

The only reason that I'm taking melatonin is to try to increase my platelet count.  Sleep is a lost cause, unfortunately.