Diary of a Brain Tumor Patient's Wife

Nov. 4, 1998

Renette Davis

Paul wasn't able to get the chemotherapy today because his platelets were too low. They're supposed to be at least 100,000 and his were 90,000 yesterday afternoon and 92,000 last night. They came up to 98,000 today, but that still wasn't high enough.

The doctor who's head of clinical research said they should go ahead and give Paul the treatment even if they have to exclude him from the trial. He said the therapy for Paul was more important than the research. However, the doctor who is actually running the trial said they couldn't do it because the FDA won't allow the cyclosporine to be given if platelets are under 100,000.

They considered giving him the CTP-11 without the cyclosporine, but they would have had to give a higher dose and they decided it wasn't safe to do that. So they sent us home and said they would contact us about getting Paul's platelets checked each day and getting readmitted if they go over 100,000.

The doctor used the word "thrombocytopenia" when he was talking about the low platelets, and I remembered seeing words like that in the drug guide that Paul's sister had given us, so I came home and looked up all of Paul's meds to see if any of them could cause thrombocytopenia. Sure enough, glyburide, which is the new medicine for the high blood sugar, can cause thrombocytopenia.

I'm going to ask Dr. Nicholas whether Paul should stop taking the glyburide tomorrow. (He's out of town today.) The doctors today said his platelets should have recovered by now from the previous chemotherapy, and his counts were ok a week ago (before he started taking the glyburide) so perhaps that's the culprit.

Naturally we're very disappointed that he couldn't get the treatment today, but we're hoping that he'll be able to start next Wednesday, if not before.

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Created: June 4, 1999
Last updated: July 20, 2010