Low red blood cells

My husband has low red blood cells and may require a blood transfusion this week. He is extremely tired and a little short of breath. He don't even want to talk very much. Is this normal with low red blood cells. I am worried about him.Is there any thing he can do to build up his blood cells?

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Having low blood cell counts is quite common in people who are being treated with chemo. My Mom has had problems with low blood cell counts many times and her doctor has given her shots to boost them. You should ask your husband's oncologist about the shots. If his platelets are low there is nothing that can be done except wait for them to return to normal or if they are severely low a blood transfusion.

Hope this helps!


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the name of the shot is Aranesp - it'll make him feel better in no time....

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I have had 2 blood transfusions after having symptons similar to your husband's. My doc said I was anemic. The transfusion helped a lot and perked me up. Wishing you both best of luck.

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Ask for the Aranesp shot for sure. I had that one time when my red cells took a nose dive and it kept me from having to get a blood transfusion. It makes you hurt as it stimulates the red cell growth, but it works. ;) If they are too low, then a transfusion is all they can do. And yes, it can make you feel really crappy when you are low. Plus chemo makes you feel crappy, too. It's a double whammy going on right now.

My prayers are with you both. :)


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Thank you all for your reply. My husbands doctor didn't mention a shot for low blood cells. He just mention a transfusion. He has already had one platlette transfusion. My husband is currently taking Alimta chemo every three weeks. When he was on the other chemo he didn't have this problem. I will tell my husband to ask his doctor about getting the Aranesp shot. May God bless all of you.


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Alimta does suppress red blood cells. Aranesp will work, but know that it does have a black box warning based on findings that those who get aranesp live less long than those who do not. I get a shot occasionally because when my red blood cells drop too low, I also have trouble breathing. It does help, like I become a different person.

Transfusions work too, but for a shorter time and they also carry potential side effects. I eat liver every day. Does it help??????? Cancer's not fun, but it's almost a bitter game to keep it under control.

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Just to let everyone know my husband got a shot for his red blood cells. They didn't have to give him a blood trasfusion. But, he is dehydrated and has pneumonia now. He lost his appettite again and is very weak. Please remember him in your prayers.

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