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Treatment is Postponed

Annabelle41415's picture
Posts: 6722
Joined: Feb 2009

I was to take my 6th chemo treatment this morning at 8:00, drove 1/2 hour there, only to be told my platelet count was too low at 75. Last week it was 78 so it went down. I am sooooo bummed. It wouldn't be so bad if it went up some and they were just waiting for a couple more points, but going down and waiting, it's like is it even going to go up enough for me to try again next week.

I just want to get this over with. Now my schedule is going to be different and my daughter is coming in from the Army and I've only seen her once in two years and I'll be doing chemo the week she is here. I was supposed to be off chemo that week now I'm scheduled to do chemo that week. This is just not a very happy day for me. Has anyone ever gone three weeks between treatment twice in a row in case I just want that week off or won't they recommend that.

Does this usually happen on only the 6th treatment. Seems too early for a delay already.


idlehunters's picture
Posts: 1792
Joined: Apr 2009

Hey Kim...... My platelet count was borderline last time too and I have chemo scheduled for tomorrow so I too am concerned about blood count and cancellation just like you. I guess they cannot give you anything for platelets like they can white cells. I did hear organ meat would help so I ate a lot of liver this week. I am just curious to see if that gave me a boost in any area. I am sorry to hear they cancelled you. That really sucks. You will be fine next time. I will pray for it


tiny one
Posts: 467
Joined: Jan 2009

I had this happen to me once during chemo. It's unnerving because you just want to get it over with. See if you can not have it the week your daughter is home. All you can do is ask. My son is due to come home for a couple of weeks, he's in Iraq right now. Call them you need this time with her.. Remember everyone responds differently to this nasty chemo thing. Sending you hugs. Thank your daughter for me.

Annabelle41415's picture
Posts: 6722
Joined: Feb 2009

Thank your son for me too. It's hard when they are away.


Sundanceh's picture
Posts: 4408
Joined: Jun 2009

Hi Kim

Remember on one of the posts how I was telling you that the blood platelets would make all the difference between getting the chemo that week or not? That if they fell below 100,000 that it makes getting the chemo a no-go?

And the other thing I have talked about is how your schedule will get farther and farther out and you may be unable to do them every 2 weeks?

Don't be surprised if you go in next week and find you might not be able to do chemo that week either? It's hard to build back from 75,000 to 100,000.

It started with me on about my 4th treatment - and the times stretched to a treatment every 4 weeks, then 6 weeks, then finally 8 weeks, and then we discontinued the Oxaliplatin.

What is happening is that you are developing ITP - Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura. That's a fancy word for saying that your immune system has been compromised and your body begins having a harder time generating enough platelets to get to a safe level where chemo can be administered.

I found that the chemo would knock my platelets nearly in half. So, if I was at 100,000 then after chemo they would be 50,000. In 2 weeks they are not going to build up 50,000 more, so then treatment becomes delayed.

Remember I said that if the platelets get too low, like around 20,000 internal bleeding can occur. That is why the blood platelets are so crucial to chemo treatment.

I can't remember if you are on Xeloda or not, but if you are, then be aware, that taking the pills will also lower your platelet count - why? Because it is 5fu in a pill, which is chemo. Now, the big difference is that your platelet count would only drop 1,000 - 3,000 each cycle of those you do - not as big a dip, but you would still drop.

I've been off chemo for 8 months now and when I got by bloodwork done a month or so ago, my platelet count was only 80,000 - so I still could do chemo today even 8 mos. later. On any given day by platelet count will between 55-80,000 and they fluctuate because the platelets are being produced by my body, but also destroyed my body and flushed through the spleen - this is ITP.

See what I mean?

Unfortunately, once you develop ITP, it is a permanent condition and the body on its own will never produce blood platelets at the level of a non-Cancer person...the normal range is 150,000 - 450,000. So you can see how low your 75,000. If it helps, they made the right call by not administering that today.

My new oncologist told me that taking the Oxaliplatin causes the ITP.

I've heard of platelets being injected into the body...and there are 2 drugs that are supposed to forcibly raise blood platelet counts...Rituxan & Nplate. I did not do these, so I can't comment, but these are the drugs I was facing if chemo had continued for me.

Kim, you know I hate to tell you this but I've always been honest about the stuff I've experienced, and so I had to write you again this morning.

Not the news you wanted to hear, but this is from my personal experience. I hope you will be different, but expect some delays...you're at that point now, where every 2 weeks is probably not going to happen.

I'll be thinking about you...let me know if you have any questions, you know I will shoot you straight.


Patteee's picture
Posts: 950
Joined: Jul 2009

thanks for your post Craig. Very informative. I had no idea about the platelets to this extent.

Annabelle41415's picture
Posts: 6722
Joined: Feb 2009

Thanks Craig - yes you have always been honest with me even though I'm really not wanting to hear it. I believe you are right with the treatments coming further apart. It just really bummed me out when the counts went even down further even on my off week. I was hoping to get this over with. Thank you for all the information too. I'm sure they won't be giving me the Rituxan and Nplate as this morning they told me there was nothing to give me to boost my platelet count. So I'm just going to wait and see.


Posts: 19
Joined: Dec 2008

Kim, Sorry that you are postponed again. Maybe they will give you another week off to visit with your daughter. They postponed me this week for my Folfiri and Erbitux. Last week i had mouth ulcers really bad and they don't seem to be clearing up too much. So i have the week off and then have it next week. So i will miss going to my daughters in Pittsburgh. But they just gave me off a week for her wedding so i don't want to push my luck.
That said, i am really tired of planning my life around chemo. There should be more we should be able to do. So go for the phone call and see if you can just have fun. Enjoy. Mary

kimby's picture
Posts: 804
Joined: Oct 2007


If you need the time for your body to handle more poison, take it. You will regret it if you don't and be very, very sick. Chemo can kill you!

As far as your daughter coming in, you can adjust your schedule to fit what works for your LIFE. I had chemo cancelled for blood counts a couple of weeks ago, I've been getting weekly IV vitamin supplements and B12 shots, neulasta, etc. and daily radiation to the lymph nodes. Had chemo last week (Thursday) and not again until August 27th due to travel plans. I will have rads everyday that I'm in the area and they are moving that all around, too. That means my 5 weeks of rads is taking almost 8 weeks and I'm missing 2 consecutive chemo treatments. My docs even are making sure I'll feel well for my travels. It is important to THEM that I have a good life while all this is going on. It should be to you and your team, too.

Go forth and LIVE!!


angelsbaby's picture
Posts: 1171
Joined: May 2008

Angel would get a shot and it would bring his level up Neuletsa i think . I hope things will get better, Seeing your daughter will be awesome even thou you will be on chemo. thinking about you have a wonderful day


Annabelle41415's picture
Posts: 6722
Joined: Feb 2009

I'm so glad to hear that they scheduled chemo and radiation around your travel plans, that makes me think that they might do that for when my daughter comes home. I think that is so wonderful your doctors are so wanting you to feel good and work with you. Gives me hope for at least trying to work with them.

Hugs! Kim

lizzydavis's picture
Posts: 893
Joined: May 2009

Hang in there, Kim. I would feel the same as you do. It is disappointing but sounds like it is for the best. Hoping you have a great visit with your daughter!

TxKayaker's picture
Posts: 177
Joined: Jun 2009

I doing my 6th treatment this week but my DR told me last week he might have to skip a week between my 7th & 8th because of my WBC going down.

Posts: 453
Joined: Aug 2008


So sorry to hear about the postponement. It is enough just to deal with things day to day and then to have to postpone and mess up the "schedule" is hard. Twice during my treatments I had to postpone and I didn't like it because of course I had tried to plan my life around my treatments. They did not cooperate.

Your body is letting you know that it needs a break. You don't want to get into a situation that you can't bounce back from. Talk to your docs about not having chemo when your daughter is here it may not be a big deal. Many people delay for vacations,weddings etc.

Looking back ,though frustrating, the weeks I postponed really weren't a big deal. My body got the rest it needed and extending another month was ok. It allowed me to be able to complete all 12 treatments and hopefully extend my life for many years.

Hang in there and take care,

betina61's picture
Posts: 644
Joined: Aug 2006

SO familiar to me what your going through,about my 5th or 6th treatment same thing happened to me, they will do my blood test same day of my schedule chemo,and then I had to wait until they call me to start chemo, I remember that when they call me with the O.K for chemo I felt like if I have won the lottery (strange feeling) I was sent home in a couple of times, but to give you an example if I was sent home on a Monday because of my low platelets I will come back for new count on a Thursday and the platelets will be at least border line and and I could get my chemo,only once I had to delate it one week, everything got better I remember that I was given a shot called Neulasta for this and Procrit for low red blood count,for your own relief I could finish my 12 treatments, so relax you will go back to normal counts pretty soon.

PhillieG's picture
Posts: 4912
Joined: May 2005

I personally have never had this happen to be but I know the feeling of looking forward and mentally preparing for one result or thing to happen, then to have the opposite happen. Often it screws up other plans too.
It's hard to say what is 'normal' with cancer.

Annabelle41415's picture
Posts: 6722
Joined: Feb 2009

Thank you all for your responses and encouragement. I now have no personal oncologist as she is now on maternity leave so I get "whomever is on call." I hate that feeling of being in limbo as to who makes my decisions for my care, especially now that I'm starting to have these problems. I've never met any other oncologist except my own.

You are right Phil, I mentally prepare myself for having treatment just to be told no. I now have to go in for a blood test on Saturday to see if I can go next Monday for chemo.

What I thought was unusual is my red and white counts went up this week but platelet counts went down more. I just don't understand how that could be possible, but hey I'm just learning all this red/white/platelet count stuff.


Fight for my love
Posts: 1530
Joined: Jun 2009

Hi Kim,the blood cell counts thing is really strange.I check my husband's blood work report every week and compare them with each other,it showed his platelet drops very quickly,so I thought the first thing that would be under borderline was platelet.But I was wrong,finally it showed the red cell counts became low first.Luckly he is only on 5-fu,so it's not very hard for him to bounce back.Hopefully your next blood work will be back to normal and you can continue the treatment.Good luck with it.Take care.

lmliess's picture
Posts: 331
Joined: Dec 2008

I know that has to be frustrating...I barely made it this time too but got my chemo and now I feel like a bus hit me. But think of it this way, your body is telling you that you need to give it a little break. Take this extra week to build back up, then you can go strong again.

lmliess's picture
Posts: 331
Joined: Dec 2008

I know that has to be frustrating...I barely made it this time too but got my chemo and now I feel like a bus hit me. But think of it this way, your body is telling you that you need to give it a little break. Take this extra week to build back up, then you can go strong again.

Posts: 881
Joined: Feb 2007

Hi Kim. So sorry about the delay. However, the 5th treatment was when my counts started becoming lousy. At that point we reduced the dosage somewhat and I had to concentrate on hydration/nutrition. I had to postpone treatment twice due to the counts. The good news is that you get a small vacation from chemo!


tootsie1's picture
Posts: 5065
Joined: Feb 2008

Hey, Kim.

I didn't have chemo, but I just wanted to give you a hug. I'd be bummed, too!


ittapp's picture
Posts: 385
Joined: Jun 2009

Hey, so sorry they are making you skip and getting in the way of your treatments. I hope you can talk with the office and see if you can just one Onc. instead of having so many in and out. It makes it feel more personal when it's just one your seeing. Also, ask if you can work around your daughter's visit. I am just on #4 and am praying I can keep my levels up. I will pray for you as well. God Bless you, Patti

lisa42's picture
Posts: 3661
Joined: Jul 2008

Hi Kim,

Sorry I'm chiming in so late. You've been given good advice and although it's lousy to have happen, I imagine you can feel a bit of relief in hearing that the same thing has happened to other people too. It happened to me once also- I had to take an extra two weeks off from chemo- then I was okay after that again.

It was interesting reading Craig's reply- he always has a lot to add- thanks Craig!

You take care and I will pray that things will work out so it can be an "off" week when your daughter visits. If that can't end up happening, then my prayer will be that your side effects that time will be extremely minimal. I believe God does care about the details of our lives! (which seems ironic to say and believe since we're all dealing with cancer which definitely messes up a lot of "details" in our lives.. but I still believe it because I feel I have had "details" prayers answered). I used to feel bad when I prayed for things I thought God might think unimportant until I read that verse! (I wish I could remember where in the Bible it's from, though).

You take care!!


Annabelle41415's picture
Posts: 6722
Joined: Feb 2009

Thank you all again for your responses. I'm just going to ask to skip the week that my daughter is here. Like Kimby said they are working around her traveling plans and I'm sure if I had to skip this week and then go three more weeks like this time it is going to be ok. Like it was stated before, times can getlonger in between treatments because of the counts. Sure glad that I have all of you to turn to and get advice from

I'm feeling much better today. Just had to get my frustrations out yesterday. Yesterday I finally let my normally happy me just let out my emotions and it helped.

Hugs to you all! Kim

dianetavegia's picture
Posts: 1953
Joined: Mar 2009

I was all alone at chemo yesterday until a woman was brought back and told she needed to go over to the hospital for 2 packs of platelets, a blood transfusion and treatment next week. Her platelets were 'under 117,000'.

Kim, I have a cc friend online who is in her mid 20's. Her platelets are down all the time. She usually is going 3 weeks between every treatment.

Enjoy the time with your daughter!


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