low platelets means no chemo again and cancer pain is back

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    I have had considerable dealings with low platelets because I developed a blood cancer from my bile duct chemo.

    It was explained to me that normally, platelets are not transfused until they get down to 15K (in my case). That may or may not be different with low platelets from the Oxiliaplatin. Anyway, the reason for waiting until 15K is that at that point, it starts to become too low. They don’t usually transfuse before 15K because platelets only last about 4-7 days in the body. However, they “can” rebound fairly fast. The only time I got a platelet transfusion was when I had a port put in and my platelets were too low for good clotting….and one time when the platelets dropped below 15K.

    I would certainly raise the question of a platelet transfusion though….and also your concerns of not being able to have her do chemo, which was obviously helping. You deserve some answers…and more than she’s just having chemo pain.



    Dear Debbie,

    Thank you for your kind words and advice. My MIL lives a little ways away so we don’t get to go to the Dr with her to be able to help and get the dr to try different options.

    My husband can contact the dr and speak to him, but I was just curious as to what we should ask for or push for at this point?


    Dear Hopeseeker,

    I am sorry your MIL is experiencing low platelets, thus preventing her from staying on schedule with the Chemo (especially since it seems to be having a positive effect). I know low platelets is a common complication, but I don’t know much about how to address that. I’m sure others will chime in with good advice. You can also use the search function at the top of this screen and type in “low platelets” and you should pull up many prior conversations on this topic- perhaps there will be some helpful info applicable to your MIL’s situation.

    Your MIL is young so hopefully with the break/rest, her body will produce higher platelet levels. I would also suggest raising the topic of transfusions with her onc. They may have a good reason for not considering it, but sometimes doctors can be a bit passive and family members need to be more assertive.

    I hope this gets sorted out soon and her platelets improve quickly.



    My MIL is very discouraged right now because her cancer pain is back and she has only been able to have one chemo treatment in June and one in July due to infection and then platelets being too low . She is now back to experiencing the cancer pain she had when she went to the ER back in March when she was diagnosed. The chemo was helping with the pain when she was on a regular schedule of 2 weeks on and 1 week off for most of May and some of June

    Her dr told her to take her morphine more often and her breakthrough meds less often to help with the pain, but she does not like to take the morphine as often because it makes her sleepy at the onset. She said she can still feel some of the pain and sometimes a lot of it even with the high doses of pain meds (30 mg of morphine and oxycodone for breakthrough pain). This worries her and us too because her dr told her it was just cancer pain.

    Her dr has not suggested giving her platelets which bothers me some. Also my MIL said the chemo she is taking is the best one for where she’s at. I am not sure I agree since I have seen so many on this site talk about many different effective chemo treatments. She is on Oxaliplatin. Should my husband call and try to get the dr to change up the chemo? Is a transfusion not always an option with low platelets? Her’s have been hovering around 43 and they even lowered the dose of chemo the last time she had it but her platelets still stayed low.

    I have read a lot on this sit and I know that sometimes the cancer becomes resistant to the chemo and begins to grow again. Her tumor had shrunk form 6 to 4 at her scan in June, but w fear it may be growing again. She has mets to the lymph nodes also and that is worrying me also.

    I just hate to know she’s in pain and chemo keeps getting delayed which is so discouraging to her. She is determined to fight this off, but it seems she is hitting some major obstacles for it.

    Sorry for the long post and I sure am thankful for all the input and help I have read on this site

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