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Blood transfusions

Posts: 12
Joined: Sep 2011

This is my Mother's 3rd round of carboplaxin and altima for stage 4 lung cancer. She handled the first two treatments very well. The 3rd round has been extremely hard. The symptoms have been the same except usually at 2 weeks she is back to her ol' self. Her fatigue is much greater - had to rest after taking a shower this morning. I sent an email to Dr. this afternoon expressing concern for her extreme fatigue. His onc nurse called right away and wants us to come in for blood work tomorrow. Said it is not uncommon for some cancer patients to have an "accumulative" reaction. Depending on blood work, may have to have blood transfusion. WOW! I will not jump to any conclusions but am just startled at the complexity of treating this disease - emotionally and physically. Just trying to stay one step ahead...

Has anyone out there had to have a blood transfusion? Are the benefits of transfusion immediate?

My Mother is 79 and in otherwise GREAT health - no diabetes, heart disease, etc.

Posts: 6
Joined: May 2011

I too have stage 4 lung cancer. Currently, I am on "maintenance chemo" where I get chemotherapy with Alimta once every three weeks. I always have bad side effects where my tongue and mouth get very sore, so sore I can't eat most of the things that I like. As a result, I have lost a lot of weight. I can get very weak. There have been a couple of times where I was given a blood transfusion to quickly boost my red blood count. The red blood cells carry oxygen to the rest of the body. What a difference a transfusion makes!!! Over the next day or so my energy level went up dramatically. People said that I looked a lot better, too! LOL.

Posts: 12
Joined: Sep 2011

Thank you for sharing your experience. Mom gets the blood tested this afternoon. We will hear back from the doctor today or tomorrow morning.

soccerfreaks's picture
Posts: 2800
Joined: Sep 2006

I had a number of transfusions over the course of my treatment. It might also be that she simly needs to rest to let her platelets regenerate or maybe get a shot of neupogen or neulasta to pick up the white blood cell counts.

Best wishes to mom and her family, knowing that this is not atypical.

Take care,


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