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After my hysterectomy on 10/16/06, the pathology report came back that the ovaries that were removed (both left/right) had cancer. They believe they got it all, but want me to go through preventative chemo. to be sure all the microscopic cells are dead as well. Does anyone have any experience with preventative chemo. I'll get 6 treatments 3-4 weeks apart. Any tips on what to expect that I may not get from my doctor,and how you dealt with them? Thanks. <><
to Cancer Concerns, the place we didn't expect to find ourselves but a wonderful place for support regarding cancer and treatment.
I had chemo for the same reasons you did. I thought of it as my insurance policy as they also felt they removed it all during surgery.
I had taxol/carbo combination. I would have it on a Friday and Sunday evening I would be feeling yucky, (flulike) until Tuesday or Wednesday. I found that if I took my antinausea meds starting the evening of the day I had the chemo I did much better. Make sure you drink lots of fluids too.
Let us know what your chemo agents are going to be and we can answer your questions related to those agents as side affects vary. Also, my chemo center did a wonderful job of letting me know what to expect and what to do for the side affects and when to call them.
I started losing the hair on day 14. The next day, I had my DD buzz it and I started wearing wigs and caps. I needed a cap at night as it gets cold here in the wintertime. The American Cancer Society and/or your chemo center would have information and/or free wigs. I also purchased a couple from paulayoung.com
I alluded to the antinausea meds and starting them early. Antinausea meds and pains meds can cause constipation and I found that I needed to start a stool softener at the same time.
These chemos also caused an achiness and bone achiness during the yucky days for which I took a pain med. These few days, I usually did very little.
I would get blood tested weekly and they always stayed in the range that the onc wanted them too so I never had to have any of the blood builders, but when the counts were low, I tended to not go too many places so as not to get the flu or a cold.
We each react differently to the same chemo agents. What one of us experiences another may not. It is important to talk with your Dr. My chemo center had me call the chemo nurses and they would talk with the Dr. They were great advocates for the chemo patients.
Also, Taxol is infused very slowly the first time. I was there about 6 or so hours. I tend to have allergic reations to everything and Taxol can be a problem with reactions for some people. They sped it up each treatment.
I would take a variety of things with you. Reading materials, videos (if your center allows that), iPod. Sometimes we just feel like sleeping. I found it best to be prepared though.
I am sure others will be along to talk about their experiences.
I was a stage1 ovarian and uterine cancer.
And they told me that it was contained in the ovary and
uterus. So I had precaution Chemo.Taxol/carboplain.
One sister to another. Everybody's body reacts diffrent.
My major complaint was muscle pain. Hairloss started
after the 2nd cycle so I shaved it.
Take one day at a time.
If you need to talk I am here.
Hi Libby and welcome. I had carbo/taxol the first time around also. My treatments were on Monday and by Wednesday and Thursday I would feel really achy, no appetite, metallic taste in mouth and no energy. Thankfully those symptoms go away after just a couple of days. I would just rest those days but please make sure to drink plenty of water to keep those kidneys flushed. My hair started falling about 13 days after my first treatment. My scalp got really sore so I knew what was about to happen. My son and I shaved mine when it got too thin to cover the spots. If you're planning on getting a wig, now is the time so you can match it to your own hair, or have some fun and go with a completely different color.
Best of luck to you. It'll be over before you know it.
I know what you are going through. I was diagnosed with stage 1c ovarian cancer and am going through 6 taxol/carbo treatments as insurance or prevention against surgical "spill". I could have refused but didn't want regrets down the road. I just finished round 5 and go every 3 weeks. I started to lose my hair on day 15 and washed 80% of it out 2 days after that because my hair "hurt". I continued to lose more as treatments went on. I now have a little left on the crown of my head and still have some eyebrows and eyelashes left but could still lose what's left before it grows back. I admit I still get a little startled when I look in the mirror sometimes and see me bald but it's OK. A lot of people just shave it all off when they start to lose it. I chose to watch myself go bald slowly.
I am allergic to Taxol and have to go through a very long infusion each time with a special protocol developed by a local allergist but quite frankly, the hardest part for me about this whole ordeal has been the constipation from all the drugs and stress. I try to eat properly, get some exercise, take stool softeners and laxatives in a preventative fashion but in the end I always have some really bad lower GI days.
Days 10-14 are when I feel weakest and am at my most vulnerable. I hide at my workstation, cut back to one walk a day instead of two and stay out of stores. Also, after treatment 4 my mouth started to feel like I was getting some canker sores. My dear friend bought me some special toothpaste and mouthwash (Biotene) and I've felt better since I started using them.
I hope this gives you some idea of what you may experience. It will go faster than you think and slower than you want it to but we're all here for you. Let us know how you are doing and you'll get lots of encouragement, hugs and prayers. You'll get through this with flying colors.
Closer to the time of the chemo you may have more specific questions but I think the overview here has been pretty good. There are also other threads with even more info on the the side effects, hair loss, what to do the day of, etc. But the major points are all covered: chemo will last almost all day and so bring something to do, even if you just end up sleeping; eat breakfast before and dring plenty of water that day and every day; take your anti nausea meds regularly for the days following the chemo; and have a wig plan in motion because the fallout will be sudden.
If you do have local stores that can help you find a wig you might see one you like and make a note of the manufactuer, model and hair color, as you may be able to find the same wig online for less money.