How common is a blood transfusion during chemo?

My dad has stage four nsclc, he has gone through 37 radiation treatments and six chemo tratments. After the fourth chemo his scans showed significant shrinkage of tumor and they were impressed with how well he was handling all treatment. After the fifth treatment my dd became very anemic and needed a blood transfusion. He's been incredibly tired and short of breath. He had his itch treatment ten days ago and is now in hospital for slight pneumonia and his red blood cell count was well below where it should be nd he is receiving to blood transfusions along with antibiotics for pneumonia. My question is did anyone else have problems with anemia during their course of treatment? And did you need a blood transfusion? If so how many and did they help especially with shortness of breath?

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Hi, while receiving four rounds of Cistplatin/Vinorbine I was hospitalized twice due to neutropenia (low white blood cells) and received two units of blood due to anemia. I could barely make it up the steps without gasping for breathe. Even after the transfusion I was still gasping for air. It was that way for me the whole while. Its been four months since my last chemo and I'm breathing fine. It took awhile, though, to get out of my system.

Linda

Linda

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I had to get a transfusion as well. Had 2 units and I felt so much better. It's because the chemo ruins the r/w blood cells. Without it I wouldn't have made the last 2 weeks of treatment. It will make him feel much much better and I think it is fairly common. :) Take care and God Bless you and your Dad.

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Same story as Linda and Missphyl. My wife had to have two units this week. She's on Alimta and Carbo. Turned what is normally a 90 minute infusion into a 7 hour epic, but she's feeling considerably better as a result of the extra blood, was fairly grey and exhausted beforehand. Clinic staff said it's common.

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My blood transfusion took several hours, also. :(

Linda

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Twice here. Two units each time and it felt like an eight hour day both times. It made me feel better within hours. I had four rounds of cisplatin and etopicide. The red blood cells carry oxygen and nutrition to all cells of the body. When cells don't get enough oxygen fatigue sets in.

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Blood transfusion is very common. My mother also had it after 3rd cycle of chemo. It really helped, and she was better the very next day. She was able to continue treatment and also her strenght came back at least partly. Before it, she was very weak, anemic, not able to go to the toilet by herself.
I think it is the fastest way to recover your blood counts.

All the best

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I personally never had any but my neighbor who I was taking care of had 3 blood and 2 platelet transfusions during 4 chemo treatments. She felt better after. As noted, it's very common. Take care, Judy

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It is very common to have blood transfusions during chemo. I had two , two units each. When I was through with chemo I started Tarceva. My doctor said I would not need blood transfusions again. It has been 18 months and my blood work is good. It is amazing how much better you feel after getting the transfusions. I am thankful for the wonderful people out there who give blood so we can live.
Wishing you the best.

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Been there, done that!

When I went for my third chemo, they gave me two units of packed cells because my hemoglobin was so low. The same when I went of my fourth.

What amazed me was the almost immediate effect - I was dragging my tail when I went in for the transfusion, I almost was jumping and skipping when I left!

It's a common thing. Lots of luck!

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My husband had his 3rd round of carbo/alimta on December 18. Since then, he had had the following transfusions:
12/26 - 3 units of blood
12/28 - 2 units of blood
12/31 - 6-pack of platelets
01/09 - 2 units of blood

The transfusions have definitely helped, as he really felt crappy when his hemoglobin dropped so low (6.9 on the day of the first transfusion).

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you all are so amazing and i am so happy snd lucky to have found this site. so nice to be able to throw a question out there and not get a doctors response but rather real people with real experience. you all are truly amazing and strong individuals. thank u.

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Hope you don't mind if I add on to this question...

Once a transfusion is done, when can chemo be resumed?

Thanks!
Robin

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Robbie S - In my husband's case, they told him he could't get chemo because his platelets were too low. That was the reason for one of the transfusions.

As soon as his platelets got back up there, they gave him his next chemo. (It held him up for one week.)

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For me, I had a one week break.

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hmmm...my sister had low RBC last week. It wasn't a chemo week so they gave her a shot to boost red blood cells. Today she was suppose to have chemo but her RBC was still low. They gave her another shot and said let's see if the RBC comes up next week, when they have rescheduled her chemo. They said if numbers are still low they would do a transfusion. Now I'm wondering if that would put her off another week. Should I push for a transfusion this week?

Also, let me know if I'm not following the proper etiquette for posting. I searched for RBS and found this very recent thread and thought my situation is somewhat the same and that it would be okay to ask more questions. I can certainly start a new post. Let me know!

Thanks! Robin

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Robin,
I wish I could answer your question. A week doesn't seem like a long time - apparently they have reason to believe her numbers will bounce back up.

My husband is getting procrit injections every week for his red blood cells - but they only send him for a transfusion when his hemoglobin drops below 9.0.

Regarding your post, you would likely get more responses if you would start a new thread. That's really the right thing to do. In this case, though, your question is related to the original post, so there are some folks here with experience in this area.

Best Wishes!
Laura

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Transfusions do take a while. I was there about 6 hours for 2 pints so it's about 3 hrs each. My R/W blood counts were critical and I skipped that week. He sent me to get the blood the very next day and went right back on schedule for chemo the next week. He didn't let me skip the radiation though. I am now waiting to start Traceva and hopefully the pills will get here next week sometime. Been going to the process of getting help to pay for it so it's taken about a month. So far I still feel OK. Some rib pain from the fluid but ibuprofen works fine. :)

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One thing to remember while taking your blood, don't let them juice too fast. Bad for the kidneys. But BT always made me feel better. My average during all the treatment was pretty close to once a week. Some days it was three days in a row then maybe a couple weeks off. My blood work was really bad during the treatment. Shots in the stomach, bags of platelets, IV fluids. I too was a sick little puppy.

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