I have cervical cancer and am scheduled for daily radiation and weekly chemo for five weeks. Has anyone else experienced this? I hear that chemo or radiation by themselves aren't that bad, but what's it like to have both?
I had invasive endocervical adenocarcinoma diagnosed Sept. 16, 2002. I underwent chemo(cisplatin) and radiation at the same time. The doctors told me I wouldnt loose my hair (which I didn't, but that was the least of my worries).
During my treatments, I would have cisplatin on monday and radiation monday thru friday. Mondays and tuesdays were okay, wednesday I felt like I was on a rollercoster all day, (but that eased up by friday or saturday) and had some diahrrea. Towards the end of the treatment week 5 & 6 were worse than weeks 1 thru 4, mainly diahrrea was a little worse (my fault, didn't take medicine like I should).
All in all, it is very doable. If I would have had a job that I had to drive to and work I believe I could have done that. Like I had said the last two weeks I was wanting to quit it mainly because of the drive back and forth. (but I used that time to pray and while I was in town I did my Christmas shopping.)
I did take a nap on tuesday mainly because I wanted to, I have a very active 8yr old and needed to be at my best.
If you want pm me or email me if you have any other questions.
I had my surgery on 4/17 and have to have both chemo and radiation. (They found cancer in my ovaries as well as in my uterus which spread into the cervix. From the pathologies, they have to take the most conservative route and assume two separate primary cancers. Whew!) Anyway, my first chemo treatment is tomorrow and I met with my radiation oncologist this past Tuesday. This Dr said he wanted me to have the radiation at the same time as the chemo. He felt that I was young enough and strong enough to tolerate the combined side effects of both treatments.
I've talked with all my doctors about this and nobody's blinked an eye. They all agree that there may be some additional benefits to having the combined therapies and all agree that I should be able to tolerate both well. My chemo Dr said that it would be that much more important to keep to the 21 day schedule for chemo.
Both chemo and radiation doctors talked about the increased possibilities of impact on the bowels and I'll be watched like a hawk for all side effects.
I'm looking at 6 cycles of chemo every 21 days and 5 1/2 weeks of external radiation followed by a week off or so and then 3 or 4 once-a-week cessions of internal radiation.
The biggest consideration for me... I'll be done with all this therapy that much sooner!!
By the way, I do not have cervical cancer but my chemo Dr mentioned that cervical cancer really seems to benefit from the combined therapies. Thought you'd be pleased to hear that.
Thank you all for the positive reports! I just didn't know what to expect, even though my doctor didn't seem too concerned about it. But of course, I doubt he ever had radiation and chemotherapy at the same time.......
On May 29 I'll have my first radiation consultation. I'll have a big commute for radiation, but my HMO offers a shuttle, so I'll have time to rest and relax. My plan is to continue working part-time through this as long as I can. But I must admit, being home full-time is really pleasant! I haven't had this much time off since I was a kid during summer vacation.
And hang in there Maureenie. I'm sure you'll be just fine!