low platelet count?

hi all,

my lovely mum is currently having weekly chemo for primary peritoneal cancer, but she keeps having to miss treatments due to a low platelet count. She has now missed two sessions in a row on two occasions and is getting very frustrated. She was on taxol and carboplatin at first, though she has been switched to cisplatin because it apparently affects platelets less.

I was wondering if anyone had had a similar experience and if there is any advice out there on how to mitigate the effects of chemo on platelet count, how to deal with the psychological effects of such a setback, and reassurance that this won't make too much of an impact on the efficacy of the treatment.

thanks in advance,

Sara

5 Replies

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  • Hi Sara,

    I missed two in a row on weekly taxol/carbo, and it does feel as if nothing is being done so i felt a bit lost, but my oncologist put my mind at rest, saying it is not unusual on a weekly regime to miss a few and it made no difference to the outcome, so I just enjoyed the break. I was given injections in the end to help with low platelets, not sure if that is an option for your Mum, (they have their own side effects) I was on a trial so I think they were keen for me to complete the course of treatment, I also had three blood transfusions. I had 16 out of the 18 treatments, I thought they would tag the two I missed onto the end, but they said there was no need. I wish your Mum well, it is quite a tough regime weekly, as so little time to recover, its lovely she has such a caring daughter as well...

    Take Care

    Andrea xx

  • I was told to eat more red meat and green leafy vegetables.

    Good luck x

  • Hi,

    I generally have a low platelet level and it has been difficult with chemo. They give me chemo at a reduced amount . I am on weekly taxol which surprisingly has less of an effect on my platelets and its only at 50%. There has been some positive responses to the treatment and my platelets are doing well. During the year they have been at 28 but oncologist will let me have treatment as long as they are over 40. He hasn't had anyone like me so it's a bit of guess work. I was back in the uk for a few weeks recently and I kept my treatment up. The oncologist I saw said he wouldn't have touched me so I'm happy im here in nz.

    im sure your Mam will be fine they may have to give her treatment every four weeks instead of three which worked for me in the past. Mentally it is hard because you build yourself up to it and then your let down.

  • Sorry it has taken a while for me to reply. I read the posts then shoot off to do something and forget to come back!!! I was delayed every time - if it wasn't white cells, it was red and then it was platelets. In amongst the chemo I had two blood transfusions to try to give things a boost. I remember being very disappointed when told that I couldn't have the chemo, mainly because I had a finish date in my head and on the calendar and delays just extended the time until it would be over. In the end I didn't get my sixth session as the oncologist said that the chemo was taking such a toll on my bone marrow that I was more in danger from that than the cancer. I remember being disappointed that I wasn't going to get my sixth session - fancy being sad that I wasn't going to have a chemo session!! Then I realised that actually I had finished the course and it was time to celebrate. That was 15 months ago and all is well. I think the good thing about this is that they are so good at monitoring us and know when it is safe to give chemo or not. Your mum will get to the end of her treatment and safely.

    Thinking of you and her as you go through it. Val.

  • Thanks for the replies all. It is really nice to get a bit of reassurance that this is normal and doesn't need to actually be a setback. I will pass on the advice and experiences you've given to my mum and hopefully it will set her mind at rest! Thanks again,

    Sara :)

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