Making blood with bone mets

  1. My best friend's mom has stage IV breast cancer, with mets to brain, lung, liver and bones. She had radiation for a tumor behind her eye (which is how they found it), and she is still blind and deaf on that side. She had radiation for a tumor on her spine that has left her pretty much wheelchair bound. She has not had any chemo, only a monthly chemo pill (not Tamoxifen....but can't remember the name). Her left breast (origin) is completely gone.

    She has had to have blood q 2 weeks since diagnosis, and her blood usually runs about 9. They don't want to get it too high as that is what her body is used to. They give her blood when it falls <7.

    Here's my question. The past month, she hasn't required blood at all. In fact, it has been going up (7.5 1 month ago and 8.3 last week). How can this be?

    She was diagnosed in August. This is the friend I'm going on my trip with, and I'm very concerned that something will happen when we are gone.

    Any help would be appreciated.

    Thanks a bunch,

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    About emily_mom

    Joined: Jul '02; Posts: 3,872; Likes: 18


  3. by   caroladybelle
    Sometimes patients with bone mets have anemia - some do not.

    Radiation and/or chemo interfere with blood component production. Has the radiation stopped? Radiation and the damage to other cells can sap the bodies energy. Also nutrition is usually poor during radiation.

    Dehydration can also "increase" the hemoglobin - just as hydrating a dehydrated patient can hemo dilute the blood so that the numbers appear lower.

    Also, occasionally pts may have a slight blood loss somewhere (GI, etc.) that stops, following many treatments.

    Or nutrition improves, allowing for greater hemoglobin production.

    As far as whether something will happen during -your trip - I cannot even attempt to predict - no one can - but consider that it may be the way that it is to be.

    Take care and I hope that all goes well.
  4. by   litepath
    ~~~Another thing to remember is that it's the bodies' natural tendency to want to heal and be healthy. Any kind of medical intervention should be designed with this in mind, gently nudging the bodies internal wisdom back in the direction on the continuum towards health.

    ~~~studies show that your friend's Mom will fair better if she joins group therapy and talks about her situation.

    ~~~ Be well~~
  5. by   emily_mom
    She only had 10 sessions of radiation for her eye and 10 more for her spine. She needed blood before, she needed it during, and she needed it after. The spine was done in December and her eye in August.

    I work in Oncology, and all of the chemo nurses that I work with have never heard of someone being able to start making blood again.

    I thought maybe it could be a fluke in the test. Happens all the time, but now this family thinks that she is on her way to recovery. They are all in denial and she feeds them a lot of B.S. too. She won't consider therapy or hospice b/c she doesn't think she's going to die. She has tumors everywhere and the CA has eaten through her breast (no tx to breast), but she still believes.

    I wasn't really asking for a date of death here. I just wanted to share that I am very close with this family and am concerned. I grew up next door to them, and she is like a second mom to me. It stings doubly bad to lose my mom and now to be losing her.
  6. by   MelRN13

    I don't know anything about oncology. I just want to wish you the best, and let you know my thoughts and prayers are with you.:kiss
  7. by   emily_mom
    Thanks Mel.....
  8. by   Jay-Jay
    I do a lot of oncology in the community, and weird things like this are not uncommon. For instance, I had a lady with grossly swollen legs due to tumors blocking the lymphatic drainage, and really really bad ascites. All of a reason ANYONE could come up with...they got better, and the ascites improved too. After a month or two, they got worse again. [shrug]

    The body will keep trying to heal itself, right up until the end. White blood cells will attack tumors, and in some cases, cause them to regress. Sometimes it can be a mind-over-body type of thing too (as Dr. Bernie Siegel has documented in his books about exceptional cancer patients.)