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Thread: Dropping hgb level with no apparent signs of bleeding

  1. #1
    Regular User
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
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    18

    Unhappy Dropping hgb level with no apparent signs of bleeding

    Hi,
    My mother was diagnosed with the stage 3 classic stomach cancer in December. She's been off of chemo med for about 4 weeks now. Her blood count was improving to 9.7. But last 2 weeks her count has been dropping. Now it's at 7.0. The doctors think it's a side effect of chemo. But how one can go up to 9.7 when she was on chemo and drop when she's off? She's been more active and eating better.

    Is this typical?

  2. #2
    I don't know. But red blood cells live for about 3 or 4 months -- so a low red blood cell count today could be a result of something that was happening a couple of months ago. It takes time to rebuild them.

    I've been off chemo for about two years. A year ago my hemoglobin dipped from 11 to 7, and they don't know why. They gave me two units of blood and the hemoglobin went up to 13 (normal range) after a few months and has stayed there ever since.

    But I would think they'll want to watch her -- the worry is internal bleeding, etc., but if she's feeling good and eating well, as a patient I think that's a very positive thing.
    Diagnosed with stage 2c papillary serous cystadenoma borderline malignancy of the ovary in 2009. Hysterectomy, omenectomy, appendectomy, debulking.
    - 2010 - laparoscopy showed inoperable recurrence, so started chemo.
    - Frontline chemo - carboplatin and cyclophosphamide, six cycles
    - Additional chemo regimens: Avastin - ten cycles; Weekly Topotecan - 4 cycles.
    - Spring 2012 developed pleural nodules. Topotecan plus Avastin - 1year.
    - April, 2014, had surgery to remove Aspergillus infection from right lung.
    - September, 2015, started on Megace because my tumors are PR positive. Stopped Megace after three months.
    - September, 2016, hospitalized for shortness of breath and back pain.
    - September, 2016, respiratory failure reversed with prednisone. Maintaining on 50 mg Prednisone per day and supplemental O2.
    - October, 2016 left hospital with no supplemental oxygen. Feeling great! Will start tapering off the prednisone Oct. 10.

  3. #3
    Regular User
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    18
    Thank you SO MUCH for your reply! She has had the chemo from Jan. to Mar. But even during the chemo her blood count didn't drop like this so I was very concerned. Her doctor thinks it's because of the chemo. Unfortunately because she is a Jehovah's Witness, she doesn't take the blood. So she's been on Iron Dextron and Procrit.

    At least it's good to know that this CAN happen. Meanwhile we'll be watching out for any sign of bleeding. Thank you again.

  4. #4
    Ah. If she's unwilling to take a blood transfusion no matter what, then I would think the doctors would watch her especially carefully.
    Diagnosed with stage 2c papillary serous cystadenoma borderline malignancy of the ovary in 2009. Hysterectomy, omenectomy, appendectomy, debulking.
    - 2010 - laparoscopy showed inoperable recurrence, so started chemo.
    - Frontline chemo - carboplatin and cyclophosphamide, six cycles
    - Additional chemo regimens: Avastin - ten cycles; Weekly Topotecan - 4 cycles.
    - Spring 2012 developed pleural nodules. Topotecan plus Avastin - 1year.
    - April, 2014, had surgery to remove Aspergillus infection from right lung.
    - September, 2015, started on Megace because my tumors are PR positive. Stopped Megace after three months.
    - September, 2016, hospitalized for shortness of breath and back pain.
    - September, 2016, respiratory failure reversed with prednisone. Maintaining on 50 mg Prednisone per day and supplemental O2.
    - October, 2016 left hospital with no supplemental oxygen. Feeling great! Will start tapering off the prednisone Oct. 10.

  5. #5
    Regular User
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    18
    Yes, true. Thank you again. I see that you've been through a lot. I hope 2015 is a great year for you.

 

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