Topic: Low platelets

My third round of Gemcitabine was cancelled today as my platelet reading was too low (76 yesterday and 69 today).  Turns out that when I started, three weeks ago, the reading was also low at 102, but this was not commented on????  It's a bit concerning, to me anyway, that this has happened so early in the course (expected to be 7 weeks on, 1 week off).  So, any suggestions to get the numbers up and keep them high?  I wonder if my angina medication is contributing to this?  Any thoughts?

I was due to have a (late) base line CT scan tomorrow but learned today that the scanner is broken so my scan has been cancelled.  They are hoping to have it repaired at the weekend but heaven knows when I will be rescheduled.

All bad news comes in three's?  I put money into Icesave at the start of the year.  If you don't know, Icesave is part of the Icelandic bank that has gone bust today!  Money should be safe but could take a few months to be repaid.

Roll on tomorrow.

Ron

Re: Low platelets

Ron,
Urgh! I dont know if your medication causes low platelets, but cant you get transfusions of those things. I know that when I was in college people sold theirs.

I am sorry about the scanner. Do you have to wait or can they send you to Stirling or another nearby hospital?

Yeah, I have been following the iceland bank story. My bestfriend whose wedding I was attending when I turned that  bright cc yellow is/was planning on moving there with her icelandic husband. Their economy is so small that it is really getting beatup. But good news that your money is protected. So dont worry there, ok. You have too much other things on your plate.

Take care.
Kris

Cancer is a word, not a sentence.

36 year old patient with buckets of hope

Re: Low platelets

Ron....platelets became an issue really quick after my husband started his therapy.  A blood transfusion had been suggested however, a break of two weeks allowed his platelets to be back in the normal range.  The banks should follow suit.....

THIS INFORMATION IS NOT INTENDED NOR IMPLIED TO BE A SUBSTITUTE FOR PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL ADVICE. YOU SHOULD ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF YOUR PHYSICIAN OR OTHER QUALIFIED HEALTH CARE PROVIDER

Re: Low platelets

Hi Ron - Wow 7 straight weeks on!?   That would mess up anyone's chemistry, real fast.  I'm 2 weeks on, 1 week off, gemzar (gemcitibine) & cisplatin.  I've had 2 infusions so far, and my platelets are at 91.   This coming Friday I'm supposed to go for my double infusion day.  I was told if platelets aren't at 100 by then, all they will do is reduce the amount of chemo drugs I am given by 10%.
I have no idea if there is anything at home we can do to pump up our platelets.   Maybe you can ask them to reduce instead of completely stopping yours.   I'll keep up with this because I might be in the boat with you come Friday.   Good luck.

- Suzanne

Re: Low platelets

Platelet counts are always a big bugaboo with gemcitabine-based chemotherapy regimens. Lots of different "cocktails" being taken by our pals in this discussion group; gem alone, gem+cisplatin, gem+xeloda, gem+oxiloplatin, etc. There is a wide variation of dosing schedules too. Some have infusions every week, some every 2 weeks, some every 3 weeks.

I have had trouble with platelets too. I have cirrhosis and chronic hep B infection (which is controlled with Hepsera). My "normal" platelet count is around 100k. Regular normal is 150k-350k. After infusion I fall to around 50-60k and climb back up over 3 weeks. They originally wanted me to be on a two-week schedule, but the platelets would not cooperate. However, I am doing very well on the 3-week schedule, so it is not a big deal.

Chemo regimens are trial and error. There will be lots of adjustments to dosage and timing until they determine what works best for you personally. So don't lose heart if you don't fit into the "standard" plan. It is disconcerting the first couple of times that they pull the rug out from under you and delay treatment. It is not "bad" or "wrong", just part of the process of figuring out what is best for you. Good luck to you!

Violarob in Texas

Re: Low platelets

Thanks all for your encouragement and support.  The cut off platelet count is 100 but they sid they would have gone ahead with the chemo had I been above 90.  According to my GP, the angina medication will not have affected the platelet reading since it affects the stickiness of the platelets whereas for the chemo they are looking at the number of platelets.  Anyway, my wife has got her own way at last and I have agreed to start drinking freshly juiced beetroot with apples, strawberries and pears.  It's alright............... yes, it's alright.  I was pleasantly surprised to find Gatorade in our local store as I had only ever had it in Florida before.  BIG difference in the price.  So, see what happens next week. 

I am now feeling like I am back to my usual self.  Most of the discomfort has gone and I have a lot more energy.  Perhaps it has been the chemo I have had or perhaps all the financial shenanigans in Iceland have focused my mind (and bile) on something else for a change.  Kris, the Icelandic government announced last night that they were going to renege on their commitments under the deposit guarantee scheme, which would have left each depositor losing up to

Re: Low platelets

Ron,
When I lived in Glasgow, I frequently looked at www.moneysavingexpert.com. They will have the latest infor and suggestions. It is run by Martin something (a consumer advocate) and there is a forum plus his writings. It is a very helpful website and I am sure he is on top of it.

Kris

Cancer is a word, not a sentence.

36 year old patient with buckets of hope

Re: Low platelets

devoncat wrote:

Ron,
When I lived in Glasgow, I frequently looked at www.moneysavingexpert.com. They will have the latest infor and suggestions. It is run by Martin something (a consumer advocate) and there is a forum plus his writings. It is a very helpful website and I am sure he is on top of it.

Kris

Hi Kris

That would be Martin Lewis.  I subscribe to his weekly newsletter too and it's very interesting.  Good for finding cheap flights: unfortunately they are not long-haul as in UK - USA.  The UK government seem to be quite determined to resolve this in favour of the UK depositors, which makes a nice, unexpected change.  As I said, they are even freezing the Icelandic bank's UK assets.

Anyway, it is just after 7am here, so I am just about to have my beetroot juice to set me up for the day??? 

As they say - have a great one!

Ron

Re: Low platelets

Hi  gang

Had my third round  of gemcitabine yesterday and the good news was that my platelets had soared to 181.  Is it the beetroot juice or the Gatorade?  I don't know but I will just keep filling up with both.

The bad news was that my ct scan shows progression of the cancer.  Now there is definite mets to lung, abdomen and neck area.  This was a late baseline scan so we will see what the next one shows.

All the best

Ron

Re: Low platelets

Hi Ron,
Glad to hear your platelets rebounded.   Mine did the same and that was without me having to drink beetroot juice.  I do drink gatorade G2 electrolyte drink.   But I'm not sure that had anything to do with it.  I think the plateles will rebound or not, in some cases.  Of course we should all continue to do what we feel is the best thing for ourselves.
I'm sorry to hear about the progression of the cancer.   I will have a total of 6 rounds of gemcitabine before I get a new CT & MRI.   
Please stay hopeful!  You may be down, but you aren't out!

- Suzanne