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Start Chemo next week Start Chemo next week

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  #1  
Unread 01-24-2003, 01:07 PM
Start Chemo next week

Wednesday the 29th I will start my chemo treatments. I will be having taxol and carboplantin. My dr stated that I will definetly loose my hair, so I'm going wig shopping this weekend. He doesn't know how long my treatments will be for, he says as long as it helps or until he feels no more cancer.

I'm trying to stay positive about this, but frankly I'm terrified. My BF is taking next week as vacation, so he can be with me during this first treatment. I will be treated one day a week every three weeks.

Anyway, I would like to hear about the experiences of others who have had these treatments.

Thanks
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  #2  
Unread 01-24-2003, 02:11 PM
Start Chemo next week

(((Tammy)))

I've had no experience with chemo but others will be along soon. Just want to send my best wishes to you. I'm so glad that BF will be with you at such a scary time.

You're in my prayers.

  #3  
Unread 01-24-2003, 02:27 PM
HI Tammy

I had 6 treatments of carbo/taxol in 2001. Yes, your hair will go and besides a wig I'd advise some hats/scarves for around the house and running errands--and a cap for sleep at night--your head gets cold! Each of my treatments was different in how I'd react. I did work full time (pretty much) during this time--I'd go to work on Thursday a.m. until it was time to to go for chemo. Then I'd take off Friday. Sometime on Friday I'd start feeling really crummy and that would last until sometime on Sunday. I'd be back to work on Monday but as I was clerical in an "orphan" job I could fix it so that I'd have the easiest work to do. On two of the six treatments, I did have minor vomiting--once twice but it was very gentle. The first time I had the major joint pain you hear about and the followup Prednisone the Dr. gave me did nothing except make me an emotional wreck. I told him at #2 no more Prednisone--and when the joint pain started I took two Tylenol--no more joint pain. Fatigue was a big factor--I hired a lawn company (owned a house then) and scaled back my cleaning but I managed that. Went to bed early and watched TV there. I finally went to a 4 week schedule because of blood problems. I needed transfusions twice (vs. Procrit which I don't want) and after #6 I had a neutrophil count of 800 and a sinus infection.
Remember, we're all different but it's do-able. Are you getting a port. I really would advise it. Ellen
  #4  
Unread 01-24-2003, 02:28 PM
Start Chemo next week

Tammy,
Here's a big for you!
I was diagnosed with leiomyosarcoma in January 2002 and received chemo (Adriamycin) on the same schedule, one treatment every three weeks. I realize that all chemo is different and not everyone reacts the same even when receiving the same drug(s), but I can tell you a little of what I went through. I did lose all my hair, including body hair (even in my nose!) shortly after the second treatment. As it started to thin and fall out, I had a hairdresser friend cut my hair very short and bought a wig. I did all I could to "get ready" for the loss ahead of time. It was still very disconcerting to have handfuls of hair come out in the shower. Once it was gone, I was able to move on. The anti-nausea drugs that I received (Zofran, Decadron, Compazine) were very effective in controlling most of the nausea. I got some in the IV as I was getting treatment and more to take home for after treatment. The fatigue was very difficult to get used to, but I just listened to my body and tried not to push it. My chemo nurse was the best and she watched over all results like a hawk. I did develop anemia and had to take Procrit injections once a week, but that was not bad. I even learned how to give myself the shots. I had bloodwork done each week and watched my temp and appetite and fluid intake religiously. I stayed away from crowds and all other potential infection risk situations. In the 4 months that I received treatment I was able to go to work and stay all day most of the time. I got treatments on Fridays which gave me Saturday and Sunday to recoup. The side effects steadily increase, so you may feel ok after treatments 1 and 2, then worse as time goes on. But there is Hope! There is an end and there is recovery! My last treatment was June 14, 2002, so I am 7 months further along than you, but each clear CT and check-up make it all worthwhile. I am still wearing my wig, but think by summer 2003 I will be comfortable to go without it. I could probably do it now, but it keeps my head warm! I got a short synthetic wig for $70 and everyone that knows I had chemo says it looks very, very natural. Some people that don't know have asked me where I get my hair cut!
I know you are terrified...so was I, but I really encourage you to learn to take this one day at a time. I know that sounds impossible right now, but your body will tell you to do just that. Take it easy and admit it when you feel bad, enjoy the days that you feel good, and take this time to learn more about yourself and life. Catch up on your book reading, learn a quiet new hobby, write letters to friends and family. Also, keeping a journal will really help you, now and later. You can keep track of how you feel both physically and mentally. Down the road you will realize that you are much, much stronger than you ever knew you could be!
Be encouraged and know that it's not forever. Sometimes the biggest of God's blessings come in the strangest packages! It sure did for me!
May God bless you too!
  #5  
Unread 01-24-2003, 03:30 PM
Start Chemo next week

s Tammy

I received six treatments of taxol and carboplatin once every three weeks. Sounds just like your treatment.
With taxol, the head hair is usually gone before the second treatment is due. My hair started to fall about day sixteen. At that point, I shaved my head. Made me feel more in control. Once it was gone, I no longer grieved the impending loss. I had a wig all set to go. And wore it once. I was a hat and cap lady.
Make sure you drink lots of decaf liquids for the first four days around the time of chemo. Flush out your kidneys. Also, beware of constipation. The chemo plus the antinausea drugs will bind you up big time. I used senokot as stool softener.
The day after chemo was always a good day. Then for three days I just felt a little poopy. No vomiting though.
All in all, I tolerated the treatments very well.
My onc told me before chemo started, : that my anticipation of chemo would be worse than the reality. And for me, that held true. Not pleasant, but ohhh sooo doable.
Best wishes to you. I hope you keep in touch.

karenann
  #6  
Unread 01-24-2003, 04:17 PM
Start Chemo next week

Tammy,

I have had three rounds of chemo. I have it 3days in a row every three weeks. I knew the hair would go, so had a friend shave it. I wear bandannas or ski beanies. I have not been very sick with the chemo, just tired and a little queasy for about three days after each treament, with a little bit of bone pain for which i take ibuprofen. My blood counts dropped but rebounded with pro crit and neuppgen shots. Chemo is not pleasant but doable and i feels good to know I am attacking the cancer. I hope your chemo works quickly to kill off the cancer. I am glad your BF is taking time off to support you. You are in my thoughts and prayers.
  #7  
Unread 01-25-2003, 06:40 AM
Start Chemo next week

Tammy
Monday I have my 6th and final cycle of Carbo & Taxol. I began loosing my hair 2 weeks after the 1st cycle. I had my head shaved when it came out in clumps. This was easier for me to deal with. I have a wig I wear for church, etc. but find I am more comfortable in turbans and hats. Often i am bare headed at home. You wear what you are comfortable in.

The nausea meds kept my nausea controlled, no vomitting, but I still felt nauseated at times. Lots of clear liquids and crackers helped.

Also my blood counts went down so I am now on Procrit. This began only after my 5th cycle.

Chemo is not fun. Chemo is also frightening at first. Chemo nurses are a great group of people tho and will answer any questions you have and give you lots of support.

I wish you all the best.

Ruth S
  #8  
Unread 01-25-2003, 10:06 AM
Start Chemo next week

My chemo is taxotere/carboplatin, 3 every 3 wks for a total of 6 treatments. Taxotere has less side effects than the taxol.
My side effects: day #3-4 I feel "achey" and like I have the flu, I get a stuffy
nose, constipation from all the drugs, fatigue (but not too bad), and some things taste
"off". I am not working since I teach students w/ autism and they are a tough
bunch, but if I had a regular class or another job, working wouldn't be much of
a problem for at least 2 1/2 wks out of the 3.

My hair began coming out day #14, I got it shaved due to the mess and the discomfort
that I was having (scalp felt sunburned but OK once shaved). My wig is getting
lots of compliments and I have learned to wear scarves all kinds of ways!

Check into the Am. Cancer Society's LOOK GOOD FEEL BETTER class. It was fun
you learn a lot and get many nice products from major cosmetic lines!

I get my 3rd treatment in one week.

My advice: go in w/ a positive attitude and thinking that it's not going to be so
bad. My nurses were great! Hubby and I read, watched TV and he would go
out and get lunch for us.

CindiM
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