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Chemo questions! Chemo questions!

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  #1  
Unread 07-01-2003, 12:54 AM
Chemo questions!

Hi Everyone,
Wow has this been a ruff couple of weeks , i feel like i have been through hell and my chemo has not even started yet. This is all about to change. Today i had a meeting with the top specialist in the Lymphoma feild to talk about the results of all the tests and plan an attack. Just walking into the oncology department alone was a real shock as i meet face to face with lots of people having chemo at different stages (no hair, some vomiting, some really really skinny) i felt like i wanted to turn around and run away as it was a face to face reminder of some of the things that i would be needing to face and go through in my own walk with chemo and i didn't feel like i was ready to face them yet ( i guess the truth be known i am still very much in deniel regarding the hole cancer thing)

Any way before this post gets to long i better stop babeling and get onto it . The specialist has said that i am stage 1 ( The cancer is only in the cervix and has not spread) and will be having 6 to 8 cycles of CHOP (Cyclophoshamide , Doxorubicin Hydrochloride (Adriamycin) ,Vincristine (also called Oncovin) and Prednisolone (which i start tomorrow and the rest i start on the 18th of july. )

I am really glad that things are on the go and i am finaly able to start fighting the cancer but at the same time after seeing some of the side effects of chemo face to face i am scared that i am not going to be able to cope or handle things.

I would love to be able to talk to someone who has had this chemo and to be able to learn from them about how they handle the hole things and the side effects.

Any way in the mean time my Question is :- When you went for your first chemo was there anything you do beffore hand or during or after your first chemo that made the first chemo easier to hand. Also was there any thing you did before, during or after your first chemo that you did that if you could change you would not do?

A big hug and thankyou to everyone for all your surport and i wish everyone a good healing restful week......

Bunny_Rabbit
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  #2  
Unread 07-01-2003, 06:33 AM
Chemo questions!

Hi Bunny...

I did have chemo but different drugs than you are going to have. I had 6 treatments of taxol and carboplatin for ovarian cancer.

Everyone reacts to chemo differently but we all somehow managed to get thru it. I personally am the kind that does not always like to know everything because if someone told me that my nose will itch before and during chemo, MY NOSE WILL ITCH no matter what!!! Do you get my drift??? All I can say is that it is doable and that there is no need to be sick at all from the treatments other than some boney aches usually days 2 and 3 after the chemo.

There are wonderful anti nausea pills out there also. Just make sure that you follow your doctors instructions on how to take them even if you do not feel nauses. They do help

Good luck to you and keep in touch

Rosalie
  #3  
Unread 07-01-2003, 08:04 AM
I had my first treatment yesterday

I'm undergoing chemo, Cisplatin, 5 treatments. But mine may be a bit different in that I have to check in for 24 hours and then I have a constant drip of medicines and hydration along with 3 hours of Cisplatin. I only had my first treatment yesterday, so don't know what the affects are. I went in terrified that I would start throwing up, have a heart attack, or some other horrible side affect that I heard about. I felt nothing like that! It was quite doable. I did feel a slight bit of nausea but not bad at all, more of a warm tummy feeling, and I was a bit tired. I felt something, but it is so light that I can't possibly complain at this point. You are right though, when you first go to the oncology ward, it's a bit frightening, just remember, everyone is different.

Be Strong!
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  #4  
Unread 07-01-2003, 10:07 AM
Your treatment

Hi Mrs. Rabbit!

I am sorry but I don't have any advice for you as I did not have to go through chemo. With all the great ladies on this site, I am sure you will get all your questions answered.

Question for you - are you having a hyster for the cancer? My CC was a stage 1 confined to my cervix and my onc told me that I would not need chemo.

Good luck. My thoughts are with you!
  #5  
Unread 07-01-2003, 03:02 PM
Chemo questions!

Hi, Bunny.

Since you're dealing with a rare lymphoma, it might be hard to find someone on this board who has had the same drugs that you will be taking. I read a great book called "Bald in the Land of Big Hair" by someone who took the CHOP course of chemo for lymphoma. It's a novel based on her story, and I enjoyed it a lot. The author is Joni Rodgers or Rogers. It made me laugh, and it made me cry, and it was painfully honest.

There are a couple of things that can make chemo easier, which your doctor will probably tell you about. One is stool softeners. I don't know how your chemo will affect you, but the Taxol/Carboplatin regime that many of us here are on creates incredibly painful constipation -- the likes of which I'd never before seen. Thus, Colase or another stool softener should be taken at least twice a day. But check with your doctor, as your chemo might create the opposite effect.

Water is incredibly important. Right after chemo, I try to drink around 3-4 quarts a day (minimum). I take the nausea pills in the morning, before I get out of bed. If any nausea does creep in, it usually hits at night. If you're like me, you will cry when your hair falls out. I'm over it now, but it was definitely traumatic for me.

I have had a lot of trouble with chemo-and-surgery-related insomnia, so if you can get a prescription for Ativan or Ambien, those might be handy to have around.

The one thing I would have changed was . . . not taking post-surgery pain medications (Darvocet) while I was undergoing chemo. The constipating action of narcotics combined with the conspitating action of chemo just made my bowel into a painful mess (and by pain, I mean days of hysterical crying) requiring another hospital visit.

As many people here know, after six days of not being able to eat during my first chemo, I started smoking marijuana . . . which was the only thing that got food into me. I didn't have to smoke it at all during my fourth chemo cycle, but it definitely helped with the nausea I felt during the first two cycles in particular. I am taking Anzemet, but many people swear by Zofran.

If it's any consolation, I haven't lost more than a few pounds. My weight has stayed right around 148-152. If I don't feel like eating much one day, so be it. I know I'll make it up another day. I look relatively normal with makeup, albeit bald. :-)

I hope some of this helps! I wish you the very best of luck with your treatment! Please let us know how it goes!
  #6  
Unread 07-02-2003, 01:54 PM
Chemo questions!

Dear Bunny Rabbit,

This reply is a bit late, but I am thinking of you.

Like Rosalie had, and as Siren Song is in the process of, I also am
on a regiment of 6 chemo treatments of taxol/carboplantin.

I have had my first two. The first one was before I got out of the hospital so really had no idea at all. But the second taught me this:

1. Bring warm clothes. I was freezing, so have sweaters/scarf out for the next chemo. The coldness of the air conditioning may also have been a factor in the great need to "spend a penny" (pee). Also, a factor in that was probably the amount of liquid being dripped in to me.

2. I could have had my chemo privately - no other chemo patients, but chose to be around people. It made it easier. And I got to know what I call my chemo buddies, as I smiled and said "Good Morning" to them. We had something in common, after all.

3. I really thought that I could use the, in my case, five hours of chemo each session to meditate or listen to some favourite music. Not so! It was nap time and and off.

4. I could have asked the oncology nurse for a cup of tea, so will bring a thermos from now on (hey, that will make me spend a penny even more!), and some biscuits.

5. I have not experienced any nausea so far, but that was due to the steroids given to take right after for the next few days.

6. Do not even think about driving home. I was too mellowed out, so took a taxi.


Hope this might help.
  #7  
Unread 07-03-2003, 07:31 AM
Just wanted to respond with my "tips"!

First of all, Rosalie, you are too funny. I am the same way when they tell me side effects. I immediately get them. It can be embarrassing!

I didnot experience constipation, which was good and bad. I am still experiencing diarhhea from radiation. But I believe it can be as painful as everyone says.

I get my chemo at my onc. office. There is a room with about 6 recliners and afghans on them. Yes, it does get cool. And I peed about a million times. They offer you tea, water & soda. My husband actually went out and brought lunch back for us. They have a small library there and music. Not that I could read...I too slept on and off. But I did make friends with the others there.

Siren: when did you lose your hair? What day? Mine still feels as tight as ever to my skull. I know, because I pull it every day.

My side effects lasted about 3-4 days.

Good luck, and keep posting!
  #8  
Unread 07-04-2003, 10:03 PM
Thanks !

Hi everyone,
I hope all the americans and canadians are having a great 4th of july and that everyone ealse is having a restful weekend. I just wanted to say a big thankyou to everyone that replyed to my post all you well wishes , tips, and advice are very helpful and i am very greatful for them. Please keep me in your prayers this week as my doctor rang today and has said that he wants me to have a bone marrow biospy this tuesday to make sure that the Lymphoma has not spread to my bone marrow. the hole idea of having somthing i dont know anything about really scares me. I sure hope the procudure is really quick.
Time for me to go and have a cup of coffee and relax.....
Bunny_Rabbit
  #9  
Unread 07-05-2003, 03:56 PM
Chemo questions!

Bunny --

One more thing. Ask your doctor about taking a B Complex vitamin. I had bad neuropathy (numbness in feet and hands) with my first treatment, but since I've started taking a B Complex vitamin every day, I've had no neuropathy at all.

Gucu --

My hair started falling out around Day 14 or 15. One day, I noticed one single hair jump off my head. Then, about an hour later, another single hair jumped off my head. By the end of the day, I'd noticed maybe six hairs do this . . . and I said to my mom, "I think my hair is going to start falling out tomorrow." I woke up, and there were little clumps hanging down lower than my regular hair. From there, it started to come out pretty quick. I cut it all off, but never really shaved it. We just trimmed it way down, which made more of a hair mess . . . but we were having trouble with my dad's old clippers. :-) My hair stayed put on my head until that one day. It just all seemed to happen at once. :-)
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