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Post Chemo-Anemia?

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NoteRed
NoteRed Member Posts: 59

Hello to all,

I'm now nearly 11 months post chemo. I've finished chemo 17 August 2018 and rads at October. I'm having my tests every 3 months. Pre chemo my Blood count was fine, after chemo my hematocrit is 36,6 and yesterday was 35,6. I'm a little concerned because all my other tests are fine (and blood tests -except hemoglobin 11,9).

Did you had something like that???

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  • moderators
    moderators Posts: 8,085
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    Hi NoteRed,

    We're sorry you haven't had any responses yet, but there will surely be someone by soon who can weigh in. In the meantime, we thought perhaps this page from the main Breastcancer.org site on Anemia could be helpful.

    We hope this helps and that you get some answers soon!

    --The Mods

  • Kkmay
    Kkmay Member Posts: 89
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    Hi

    My mom is now on chemo and her hemoglobin is so low I think around 90. Discuss with your MO whether you need iron supplements or IV to boost your counts. You can also try drinking healthy juices. My grandmother used to make us drink pure beetroot juice with parsley and kiwi twice a day to boost hemoglobin. It worked most of the time. I also heard wheatgrass can help with low hemoglobin counts.

    Best of luck

  • NoteRed
    NoteRed Member Posts: 59
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    Thank you Kkmay :) I'll try that. My MO said to have the test once again in a month and in the mean time to eat properly (which I dont do).

    Hope for the best

  • lacombattante
    lacombattante Member Posts: 143
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    My hemoglobin dropped to 84 after my 4th EC.My MO prescribed iron IV and ESA to stimulate red cells production. It worked like a charm, on today's test, three weeks later, my Hb is 113.

    ESAs are not without their risks and are usually considered as one of 'last resort' treatments, but my MO explained that in my case the benefits of chemo continuation and quality of life considerations far outweigh the risks.

    Hopefully, in your case, if you are still anemic on retest, iron IV or just oral iron supplements will be all you need.

    Re: diet - I fully agree that diet is a very important factor in addressing anemia.

    I try to juice daily. My goto recipe is mostly beetroot juice, with a bit of ginger, carrot, celery and lime. Does wonders to my energy levels! Will try adding parsley today, thank you for the idea kkmay.

    My family also relied on pomegranate and pomegranate juice for dietary support in case of anemia.

    Red meat, organ meat are all good dietary sources of iron and Vitamins B, esp in combination with Vit C rich foods.

    Good luck!

  • NoteRed
    NoteRed Member Posts: 59
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    Thank you for your answer LaCombattande, I hope my blood tests will come out better next time

  • Kkmay
    Kkmay Member Posts: 89
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    Drink beetroot juice daily until your next blood draw. The combination that Lacombattante suggested sounds great. If you don’t have time to juice you can find amazing combinations in healthy juice bars. Best of luck!

  • NoteRed
    NoteRed Member Posts: 59
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    thank you Kkmay I will try it and I will let you know :)

  • NoteRed
    NoteRed Member Posts: 59
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    I'm coming again with the same problem. my hematocrit still low after nearly 3 years after chemo...between 33 and 35. I'm not having a good appetite and I still working from home for 2 years now, which practically means that I've have grown roots at the couch....My B12 was very low but with a supplement was very good last time on December. Also my scans were fine....but I cant find joy in anything and I feel a little down and weak....

    PS also in November I lost the cat you see at my avatar....from kidney failure.......it was a very difficult time for me....

    Any suggestions?

    PS again: iron supplements make me to have constipation....even the ones that say they wont.... :(

  • threetree
    threetree Member Posts: 1,379
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    Do you eat seafood at all? I had some low numbers when I was taking chemo and at one point, I ate a can of smoked clams twice a day for about a week before they did the next test. When they did it, my hmcrt and B12 were super high - even to where I thought it was getting too high. People used to do liver a lot to get the red blood cells going, but I never see liver in the stores anymore. I've been told you can special order it. Clams have a whole lot of iron. Also, I have started eating more fish throughout the week in general; salmon and sardines with bones, and a lot of my numbers that were borderline or low have improved a lot. I was often borderline with the red blood cells, etc., but also with sodium and potassium - sometimes just plain below normal. Eating about 4-5 fish meals a week has really helped with a lot of things; more energy overall too. I think it's much better to get this stuff from food. IV iron sounds terrible, and I know the supplements can upset your stomach. Lots of food has B12, so not too much reason to do supplements there either if you don't have to. Salmon and other fish don't have nearly as much iron as clams, but they sure seem to have a lot of other good stuff that all goes into the mix and contributes to feeling much better.

    Just my thoughts. I know this wouldn't be everyone's solution, but for what it's worth. Good luck in sorting it all out. I have read on here where others say their white and red cell numbers never really got back to to normal after chemo, but since they felt OK, their dr's told them not to worry about it.

  • WC3
    WC3 Member Posts: 658
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    NoteRed:

    I'm very sorry to hear about your cat. I also lost one of mine to kidney failure and thought I would another one as well but he died from other causes.I miss them both dearly, as I do my other furry loved ones, but I know they lived long, pampered lives.

    I was anemic for many months after chemotherapy and while my RBC, hemocrit and hemoglobin levels have recovered, my WBCs are still on the low side. It took over a year for me to get most of my energy and strength back.

    I had lost a lot of weight, including much of my muscle mass during chemotherapy and ended up underweight so I was able to do a lot of eating to build my strength back. I tried to eat a varied and nutritious diet during that time and also started walking again though I had to start slow. I'm not sure how much my diet and lifestyle contributed to my recover though. Since you have been anemic for so long I think it would be worth pursuing with your doctor.