Low Platelets....

Hi all.....my platelets have been dropping pretty steadily since I started chemo on 2/25. I went in yesterday for my 4th round, and my blood work showed I am now down to 82,000 platelets. My Onc said no chemo until the platelets go back up, but according to him, there is no transfusion I can do, that I just have to wait. But when I came home, I looked around on the Internet and it looks like there IS a platelet transfusion. ??? What experiences do the rest of you have with low platelets? Thanks and happy spring to all of you. Jeanie

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Hi Jeaniet, I looked back at some notes I made during my treatment and a week after my last treatment I had "my platelets were still low - 66,000 and 144,000 is normal." A male nurse told me to be very careful with knives and getting bruises, also, be very careful with intimacy as you can cause damage. He is the only one that ever came close to discussing anything like that we me. Just thought I would tell you for whatever it might be worth.


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A few time my count was too low to have chemo. Once I had a transfusion. Other times I had a shot of Aranesp (sp).

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Hi Jeannie, I feel for you as I had the same problem. I could keep up the white and red counts with shots, but nothing for the platelets. I was also required to have my platelets up to 100 before I could have my chemo due to the study protocol I was on (doctor said he usually uses 75 as the cutoff). Platelets were always the reason for my delays. I was told by my doctor that they didn't do platelet transfusions usually unless you got down in the 10 range. At that time I was 38.

I had a regular blood tranfusion after surgery due to low red counts, and it definately had an effect on platelets too, as they shot up over 200. They can also do just platelet transfusions.

I was also told by someone that exercise and getting excited was about the only way to increase the platelet counts. Once when I was on the borderline of being able to donate, I walked really fast around the building a couple of times before I had my blood tests. Don't know for sure if it was the reason, but my platelets did rise quite a bit and I was able to have my chemo as scheduled. At 82, you seem to be at or close to being able to have chemo, so maybe this will work...

Hang in there, and best of luck getting your counts up.


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Hi jeanie.......There is a transfusion for platelets, but usually they only do them if you platelet count is really low, below 10 or 15. You will build them back up. The exercise sounds like a good idea. Maybe just a short walk will help. Hope all goes well. Take care.


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Hi Jeanie,

At one point when I had a very low platelet count I also asked about transfusions to enable me to get the next chemo cycle on schedule. My med onc told me that the "problem" is that platelets only last a few days, so that the count is basically artificially high after the transfusion. Another chemo cycle on top of that could put us in a life threatening situation with a total inability to form clots of any kind.

Hang in there.
Sheara W

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hey Jeanie,
I had a infusion. They called it a 20 pack. It took about 30 minutes or so. However, my platelets were at 7000!! I found out that was a bit low!! lol...after the infusion my count went to 72000, that was a Friday, and by Monday they were at 207,000!! I don't know how low you have to be before they do that. But they did tell me not to fall, and not to cut myself!! Like I had that planned or something! wow!! I did bruise easy though. hang in there. kick some a$$!! take care.

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when my chemo caused my platelets to go down to
5,000, I was sent to the ER. I had a lot of spontaneous bleeding, and peteekeyae were appearing on my arms and legs and chest before my eyes! I had a transfusion of platelets--6 units. I had a severe rejection of the platelets in the first three units--life threatening, which is why they don't give transfusions of platelets unless yours is critically low. Mine go down to 35,000 and 20,000 without anyone getting alarmed. My oncologists prefer mine get over 75,000 before I can continue with chemo, and then they give me a reduced dosage.
Don't worry. We have other clotting agents in our blood in addition to platelets. Just be careful of knives and don't run with scissors!

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Hi, My mother has suffered with low platelet counts for awhile now. Unfortunately, on top of everything else she was diagnosed with myelodysplasia a pre-leukemia (often chemo induced). She has received platelet infusions, but they do only last a few days. Before she can begin chemo again for the OVCA recurrence, she now has to have chemo to help her blood counts. She has had two one week sessions on of a drug called dacogen-and it has helped. But, I don't know if they only use it in people with MDS. Good luck.

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