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Blood Transfusion??

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kellybel1 View Drop Down
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    Posted: Jul 12 2011 at 7:11pm

Hello my friends,

I just completed my 4th and final chemo treatment which is fantastic news but my nurse said that I will need to go into the hospital and get a blood transfusion (BT) since my red blood cells are so low now along with my white blood cells!!  Well, a BT completely FREAKS ME OUT!! 
I have heard such horror stories of folks that had what they thought was a routine blood transfusion after having a baby, then died!!!  I think if a BT was the ONLY way to save my life, I might consider it!!

I can understand why they want me to have a BT because I am so weak, tired and feel near death, really!!  I have never felt this bad with the other 3 treatments.  I know the chemo accumulates in the body as it goes but I was not prepared to feel this bad!!  I asked the onc about Procrit which is a blood builder but she said our insurance doesn't cover it!  WTH, it will cover real blood but not a blood builder?  I did my blood work today so I know I will get a phone call tomorrow from the onc with bad news!!

Has anyone else had to get a Blood Transfusion? 

Has anyone used a blood builder like Procrit or recommend other options?

I appreciate any discussion/conversation right now!!  Wishing you ALL the best!!!

~Kellybel age 46
Dx 2/25/11, IDC-TNBC St1, Gr2, 2mm, BRCA-
3/4/11 DBL/Mast, Hyst, Diep Flap, 0/3 Nodes-
5/6/11 Taxotere/Paraplatin x4
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TNinTN View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TNinTN Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul 12 2011 at 8:34pm
Hi Kellybel,
 
Please do not despair. My wife, Susan, had a similar reaction to chemo and wound up having a total of six blood transfusions during the course of her treatment. While there are some risks with blood transfusions, as with any medical procedure, Susan had no adverse side effects or reactions to any the blood transfusions. Your blood will be carefully matched to the donor blood prior to the transfusion. They may also give you Benadryl to minimize the possibility of a reaction which has the added benefit of making you sleep through most of the process. Susan typically received two units of blood with each transfusion and the whole process took about five hours. The good news is that it will make you feel MUCH better fairly quickly.
 
I hope that sharing Susan's experiences will help alleviate some of your anxiety and pray that everything goes well for you.
 
Martin
Wife age 53@dx TN IDC Stage IIA 7/10; BRCA1&2 Neg; BROCA Neg; LN Neg; taxol+cisplatin+/-RAD001x12(clinical trial); lumpectomy 12/10;ACx4; 33 Rads complete 4/11; NED 5/5/11
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kirby View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kirby Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul 12 2011 at 11:34pm
Kellybel,
 
I had a friend that had metastatic her2. She had plenty of transfusions. She used to laugh saying how great it was. She immediately felt better. She would drag into the hospital and after the transfusion , skip out. Quick and easy.
kirby

dx Feb. 2001. Age 44
Lumpectomy

2cm. no nodes stage 1 grade 3

4 rnds AC, 35 rads
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harbin View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote harbin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul 12 2011 at 11:54pm
Hi Kellybel,  During my chemo treatment in past 7 months, I had total 5 BT. My blood count dropped low in every 4-5 weeks. Although I did feel very bad, but was told my count was really low and I must have BT. I did not like the idea of BT and worried about it. I was told the BT is now very safe and the risk should be very low. I never had any side-effect for all the BT I received and my blood count bounced back very quickly after BT.  I have also been given Aranesp which helps your body produce red blood cells (maybe similar to Procrit you mentioned) several times, but it did not work well for me and I still ended up with BT. It sounds like you only need this one time BT since you have completed your chemo. You should be okay and will definitely feel better after the BT.  Hope this helps. 
4/08 dx IDC,stg2,neg. nodes,4xAC,8xTexol& Avastin,BRCA-
3/10 Recurr Chestwall,surgery
6/10 Lung mets
10/10 Parp
05/11 Surgery on 2 lung nodules
08/11 Parp failed
10/11 Cyberknife 1 lung nodule
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KarenC View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote KarenC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul 15 2011 at 1:44am
Hi- I may be late in posting as I imagine you have already been transfused and feel better ( I hope so!)...but here goes. I felt the same way when I was told I needed a blood transfusion in May after 6 treatments of gemzar /carboplatin and 12 treatments of Parp inhibitor. My Hgb was 7.6 and I was only half-way through chemo at that point. I had pounding in my head and neck when I sat up, was short of breath, the whole bit.  I asked if Iron pills would work ( no) and tried eating spinach, liver, etc.  I also asked for Procrit because it had worked for my Dad when he had renal failure at age 85, but was told by my onc that it is not recommended for many breast cancer patients anymore, based on recent studies. I had two units, and for 2 days felt odd..not physically ( I felt better within hours) , but emotionally. Took time to get used to having someone else's blood in my body. After that I felt nothing but gratitude for the person who had unselfishly donated the blood that saved my life - severe anemia due to chemo really is life-threatening.  I know you'll be fine, and will feel better quickly. All the best to you, KarenD. 
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kellybel1 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kellybel1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul 15 2011 at 1:08pm
Kellybel again!!  I did have the BT and after the first bag I felt amazingly better, I had 2 bags, then 6 bags of platelets which made me feel so incredibly good, I never could go to sleep that night, not to mention they gave the blood through the night (felt like a vampire) but I was still energized the whole day!! Now the bad news is that my white blood count is so low......started at 1 but has now gone up to 1.2 should be 3 so that is why I am still in isolation in the hospital taking the nueperin (sp?) shot and on antibiotics which I had a reaction to yesterday so they changed to a different type!!  So 4 days in hospital and I don't know when they will let me out.....I am sure ready to go HOME!!!!  Doc did say the white will creep up slowly, than all of a sudden sky rocket to 5 so lets hope that happens today!!! My red blood count is still good so we are waiting on the white right now!!

I am also very grateful for the devoted folks that give of their blood so willingly!   My son and daughter were going to give blood to replace the blood that I was given but found out it has to be an exact match to my blood for a cost break on the medical bill.  They will still give blood just cuz it's the right thing to do!!

So anyway, my spirits are low now....appetite gone again, depressed!!! :(
~Kellybel age 46
Dx 2/25/11, IDC-TNBC St1, Gr2, 2mm, BRCA-
3/4/11 DBL/Mast, Hyst, Diep Flap, 0/3 Nodes-
5/6/11 Taxotere/Paraplatin x4
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