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low platelets...bone marrow test?

johnnybegood's picture
Posts: 1122
Joined: Oct 2008

hello all, i have got a question about a subject i have not seen on here.i have been on xeloda(1000mg)per day 7days on 7 days off since march 2012 and avastin(every 2 weeks) i believe it was in april my platelets dropped into the eightys so was taken off everything for a week checked blood again and platelets dropped into the seventys.put a hold on things again a week later platelets went into the high eightys and started back on xeloda and avastin.my last dose of xeloda was the week of july 15 and avastin on july 16.had blood work done on july 26 and platelets dropped to 50,000.had blood tested again on july 30 platelets went up to 55,000.still holding all chemo had my blood drawn today august 6 and platelets are now 47,000.sooo onc wants to do a bone marrow test on friday.nurse did not give me much info on the procedure as she seemed to be in a hurry to get off the phone.has anyone had a procedure done that bone marrow is taken from your bone at the sternum to check and see why platelets are not going up.thank you for your help...Godbless...johnnybegood

Sundanceh's picture
Posts: 4408
Joined: Jun 2009

I have been where you are at....upper 40's...that's cutting it close to say the least.

I have not heard of the bone marrow test. I'll be very interested to see what you find out. Oxy destroyed my platelet making ability.....I hover now in the 70's and if I see an 80, it's a big day.

Folfiri knocked me down to the 60's but I was able to recover some, not much but stayed in treatment...oxy knocked me down and I stayed down and was the reason I had to stop.

I'm with you...I'm a little concerned that we're not seeing a small rise...and seeing a significant drop...8000 drop is pretty big swing.

The one thing you onc might have mentioned or might not have...if they remove your spleen - your platelet counts will go back up...I found that in some research and my onc confirmed it.

How much of a rise I don't know - and unless it's broke, I wouldn't fix it...but that's what would happen.

I'll be waiting to hear all that you find out...with my numbers hanging so low over a year out of treatment, platelets are a big concern should I have to fight some more.

They've been really bad now for about four years....prior to cancer, they were okay very good.



herdizziness's picture
Posts: 3642
Joined: Apr 2010

I found something on regenerating platelets the other day, I can't remember what the heck it was.
I'll try and remember, I should have marked it.
Has anyone asked their doctor why they don't do a plasma transfusion? It doesn't work? I kept forgetting to ask mine.
Keep calling their office until they decide to find the time to explain it to you.
Winter Marie

Sundanceh's picture
Posts: 4408
Joined: Jun 2009


How could I have forgotten this procedure? Too many miles under the hood of my car is how:)

Yes, I did have a bone marrow test...it does hurt....the doctor ground really hard in my lower back close to my hip to get a sample...he really leaned into it...I could hear my wife's groans and saw the nurse's expression on her face

She held my hand, more for her than for me:)

I laid there and took it - it hurt for several days after that.

I hope they find the right spot and that you will be in no pain.


Posts: 172
Joined: Jul 2012

We go through so much don't we? I've been told it's not pleasant but remember that each person can have a different experience with the same test.

Good luck on Friday :)

Annabelle41415's picture
Posts: 6722
Joined: Feb 2009

I'm not sure, but I've heard of them asking for one with counts being low for R/W counts and/or plateletts. My plateletts went up after chemo but were down a lot during, but R/W counts are still below normal but that is due to the radiation. Praying that all goes well for you on Friday. If you have questions, you should call their office and get your answers that you need first. You have a right to demand that someone explain what is going on.

Hugs! Kim

Lovekitties's picture
Posts: 3372
Joined: Jan 2010

So sorry to hear that your platelets are not cooperating. While I have no experience with the procedure you mention I did find a web page that gives a fair description:


I would suggest that you call your doc before Friday to discuss it, and whther or not they will sedate you. My feeling is there is no reason for suffering pain or anxiety over the procedure if not necessary.

Praying for those platelets to climb!


Marie who loves kitties

tanstaafl's picture
Posts: 1302
Joined: Oct 2010

Nutrition is used in the integrative world to reduce chemo toxicity, including WBC drops.

This paper mentions PSK's successful use with Folfox. My wife uses mushroom extracts for her immunochemo formula, including a PSK clone, 40+% water extracted Coriolus versicolor, along with a mixture of extracts from Shiitake, Maitake, Reishi and agaricus blazei mushrooms. The agaricus is tricky stuff for the liver, limited dose. She also eats daily liver dishes (about 2-5 oz) and occasionally bone marrow soup (needs to work on that). I think the mushrooms raise her WBC about 2 points, sometimes 3 points with everything. PSK helps platelets form, too. Platelets running in the 190s after 2+ yrs of straight chemo, partly a less noxious formula.

Other possiblities include juicing and alkylglycerols from shark liver oil.

steveandnat's picture
Posts: 887
Joined: Sep 2011

Those darn plates they cause nothing but trouble. Mine are like a yo yo but have been lucky to recover after a weeks rest. I had a bone marrow test last year to check out if something was going on. Cant remember what they were looking for right now (chemo brain). I'll ask my wife she'll remember. Have to be honest the ptocedure isn't to pleasant. You may need more than one week rest to get you plates back up. My Dr wont give chemo if less than 100000. I'll be praying for you and your plates. Jeff

Posts: 1956
Joined: Oct 2009

process that occurs in bone marrow,hence test....Chemo kills "megakaryocytes" which are needed for platelets to form......If its still accessible, sciencecodex.com on 9/25/11 had this, from which above came:"Why chemotheraphy causes a drop in platelet numbers"

Hope all goes well......

pete43lost_at_sea's picture
Posts: 3908
Joined: Nov 2010

its along time since i upset you about the irotecan post.

so really sorry to hear about the platlets, following from tans excellent suggestions.

i have one that i remembered, i am on chorella.

you could ask what am i not on ?

the answer at present is chemo!

checkout the link, chorella may be interesting and its not expensive.

for all those who only enjoy the mission position or the conservative approach.
only read this if you are over 18! and you like to be more radical.

warning I grow my own wheatgrass and drink it, even my kids are into it.
look at what its done to me. you have been warned.

give that beautiful horse a hug.


ps you will be fine, smile tomorrow is another great day!

Posts: 1428
Joined: Feb 2011

JBG...have you always been on 1000 mg./day of xeloda or was it a higher amount previously and reduced down to 1,000 due to side effects etc.?? My onc. has me on 4,000mg/day two weeks on one week off. Is 1,000 mg. keeping your scans stable.

Vickilg's picture
Posts: 281
Joined: Jan 2011

The only time I have heard about platelets being low is recently. Mine are right now at 90 but were much lower before but my old onc never mentioned it. They let me do the chemo for the first time yesterday but they are watching it closely. He told me there was nothing I could do to bring up the platelets except not do the chemo but that if they got much lower then we would talk about it. I will be thinking of you during your test and praying that it will be over quick. Did they give you a timeframe? Can't they just put you out to do that test?


johnnybegood's picture
Posts: 1122
Joined: Oct 2008

for your replies they mean alot to me.pete no hard feelings about all that we are all in this together just doing the best we can do one day at a time.hey smokeyjoe my original dosage started out at 2000mg/day 7 days on 7 days off.after about 1 month thats when my platelet trouble began so they reduced my dosage to 1000 mg/day 7 days on 7 days off now even after being off chemo for 2 weeks my platelets are just not recovering very fast.my last scan showed no growth just stable.take care my friends i love you all...Godbless...johnnybegood

Posts: 1961
Joined: Aug 2003

I've been having trouble with my platelets on the new regime I'm on (GOLFA -- Gemzar, folfox, avastin). I have had one transfusion but no bone marrow test. Trying to eat well but it's hard to boost those platelets. We've found I need to go to a 3 week cycle (or sometimes 2.5) instead of 2. That seems to be doing the trick.

Good luck


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