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Mom's blood counts LOW

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Mom has had her first 2 rounds of chemo. 1st week was Gemzar / Carbo. 2nd week was only Gemzar. 3rd week was "off". Then she had her bloodtest to see how chemo was working. But when we returned from our 5 days at our summer cabin, she was suddenly very tired. So we thought we might have overdone it up at the cabin. Once home, she was taking 2 hour naps in the morning and afternoons. We knew that fatigue was going to happen. But then Thursday she went for her bloodwork and all the numbers just crashed! Her platelets were 288 the week before and then last week they dropped to 27 !!!! They said they still do chemo - with doctor's OK, at 100, even though 144 is considered low. But 27 ????? Is that ok? Her feet have always been dry & our cabin has very dry dirt/sand that really dries your heels. Mom woke up the day after we returned from the cabin and her heels were bleeding on her sheets. Her oncologist said that now is the time that we need to wash our hands and keep her home very clean -- because of both the platelet count AND the low white blood cell count. The only thing that didn't drastically drop was her red blood cell count. I wonder if it had anything to do with the small, but substantial protein shakes we were feeding her between meals??? We've all been reading books I've checked out from the library about healthy cooking for cancer patients. It lists the top foods that help build the immune system and blood cells during chemo. If anyone is interested, (I'm sure it's been talked about on this site before)...it's called "Cancer Lifeline Cookbook". Great tasting recipes. =)

After Mom's bloodtest, she looked pale. A bit jaundice. But today, she had pink in her cheeks again. She's still tired - but has been laying around, keeping cool as best she can....reading all the NY Times Best Selling novels I've been buying her. =) I'm hoping that the pink cheeks means her bloodcounts are up & they won't have to postpone chemo this Thursday.

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My platelets went really low too during chemo and I had to have Arenesp injections and have chemo postponed a couple of times because of low platelets.

It happens, I was eating right and getting as much rest as I wanted, and except for the cancer issue, I was an otherwise extremely healthy person.

Those drugs work on your blood counts, that's why they do all that testing prior to administering chemo. They told me the only thing I could do about it was continue to eat right and take care of myself and the Arenesp would take care of the rest.


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This disease is just so darn confusing and it doesn't help that each person reacts differently.

My mom's counts were always on the low side. She rested alot (naps are a good thing) and tried to eat the best she could.

Just keep doing what you are doing. I am going to the library today to find that cookbook!!!!

Keep us posted and positive thoughts snd prayers are being sent your way!!!


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Mom relied on the Aranesp to keep her counts up, and even received blood transfusions several times to help boost her platelets (down to 12 at one point). Bleeding was always a problem when her counts was low---it can look pretty scary. They were able to help get her back on tracck each time, though.

Hope things improve very soon for your mom.

:) Kelly

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