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Any suggestions for chemo side effects?? Any suggestions for chemo side effects??

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Unread 01-06-2004, 07:40 AM
Any suggestions for chemo side effects??

Hi everyone,
Thanks to a few great suggestions from you all I survived my surgery on December 15th. They did a TAH, BSO, bilateral cystectomies and debulking for stage 3C ovarian cancer. Trouble was, they also found metastasis so they aren't sure the ovaries were the primary site. Now the hunt is on for THAT.
I'm due to start chemo on January 15th and am a little scared about it all, especially the side effects. Can anyone offer any hints as to what helped whilst undergoing treatment? Any help would be so much appreciated.
Thank you all ...
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Unread 01-06-2004, 07:45 AM
Any suggestions for chemo side effects??


I hope your recovery from surgery went well. What kind of chemo are they doing? Is it the taxol/carboplatinum or something else?

Unread 01-06-2004, 07:53 AM
Any suggestions for chemo side effects??

Hi Dorrie,
Yes, it'll be the taxol/carboplatinum regimen I'll be having. They say that lethargy, achiness and some nausea will be the most common side effects for a few days afterwards but I'd like to know the "truth!" I want to be armed and ready.
Thank you for replying ... :-)
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Unread 01-06-2004, 08:13 AM
Any suggestions for chemo side effects??

Well, for most, hair loss is the most feared side effect, and you should give some thought about how you feel about that. Some women like to wear a wig, and if so, it might be nice to get one before the hair loss sets in so that you can match it to your hair. If you prefer hats or turbans, you might want to order one or two so you are prepared.

Nausea is a common side effect, but can be well managed with medications. I would suggest asking the doc for the prescriptions in advance so that you have them at home. Zofran is especially effective in preventing nausea, but it needs to be taken in advance, as well as after the chemo. The doc can also give you other pills or rectal suppositories for the nausea. Women are often tired for a few days after the treatment as well.

You also need to be aware of the "nadir" - the time after chemo when your blood counts will go quite low and you will need to be careful to avoid infections.

Unread 01-06-2004, 08:29 AM
Any suggestions for chemo side effects??

I'm hoping the doc will give me Zofran as it has worked well for me post operatively in the past. Guess I'll have to start the begging process! I've also been advised to shave my head prior to the second treatment to avoid the trauma of my long hair coming out in clumps. They say bald is beautiful, so we'll find out!
Thank you for reminding me about the post treatment "quarantine" period; there's so much to think about. Wouldn't it be nice to just hibernate for 6 months while this is all going on??
Unread 01-06-2004, 10:27 AM
Hi Judy

Another ovarian 3C here. You've had good advice there from Dorrie. What I can add is from personal experience--each chemo can be different as to side effects. I only had the bone pain the first one and since steroids didn't help I said no to them after that--only never to have bone pain again. Fatigue is pretty universal--my chemo was on Thursdays when I had both and by Friday sometime I'd be down until sometime Sunday. You may have constipation with the chemo/Zofran, so a stool softener can be helpful. I've found I go within a cycle from constipation to a day or two of diarrhea, which I tend to anyway. if you're concerned re: nausea and vomiting, I found it to be far less fearful than I thought. It wasn't consistent for me and is gentle when it occurs. The hair loss is the worst even though you're prepared--for me what was much worse was the long wait (I thought) until it grew in enough to go out like that. Just ask away on questoins, and we'll help you the best we can.
Unread 01-06-2004, 12:36 PM
Any suggestions for chemo side effects??

I, too, am recovering from TAH in which they removed a huge (nearly 10 pounds) ovarian tumor that was cancerous (stage 1-B). I completed four treatments of Carbo/Taxol on Dec. 8. I would have my treatments on Mondays and would notice mild fatigue with achy legs until about Fri. My dr. gave me anti-nausea med. that I took for about 3 days following a treatment. (He also gave me med. to prevent nausea and allergic reactions before each treatment.) I am not a person who is generally prone to have an upset stomach so I lucked out. Actually, I gained weight during my treatments because I seemed to be hungry most of the time.
The most traumatic part for me was the hair loss. Mine began coming out on the 13 day following treatment. I never did lose all of it, although it is very thin now...nearly all gone! I just couldn't bring myself to shave it. I tried a turban one day and it just screamed CANCER to me so I never put it on again (just a personal thing for me...). I do wear a little wool cap to keep my head warm when I don't want to wear my wig. It is pretty cold and a bald head can get pretty chilly! (The good news...I actually have a little "fuzz" beginning to return! Can anyone tell me how long it might take to actually get enough hair to ditch this wig???)
My dr. also recommended that I stay away from crowds, pharmacys, dr. offices, etc. when my count was the lowest. Even with all the sickness/flu in our area, I have managed to not even have a sniffle. Guess it does pay to be cautious during that period of time.
I expected the worst when I first began my treatments and they were not nearly as tough as I had anticipated. Hopefully, you will have a similar experience. I have also received wonderful support from .
Best wishes and prayers for good health.
Unread 01-06-2004, 02:39 PM
Any suggestions for chemo side effects??

And another 3C Grade 3 here.

Do not be afraid of chemo - it is the second step, after the op., on your road to recovery. Remember that Taxol and Carbo are the "Gold Standard".

As Margaret321 points out, have something for possible constipation on hand; but ask your gyn/onc first. I take it the night of a chemo. I feel 'antsy' enough after a chemo, so why suffer from that too!

And, as I have mentioned before on this board, I get really 'mellow' - read: quite high, on the various drugs given. I have not, though, seen anyone else posting about this.

I only once experienced a little bit of nausea, and never again. I had mentioned it to the oncology nurse, and maybe that was factored into whatever anti-nausea meds. that I was given the next time. Please remember to tell your oncology nurses any symptoms. They are there for you.

Re: hair. This past summer, I met a British woman with Ovca who was being treated in France. Apart from the info given that, in France, after chemo, one is given a bottle of red wine!!( French, of course), the other point she mentioned was that if one shaved one's hair, it really felt bristly when growing in again. There was no way that I could ever have felt comfortable shaving my hair off, so I didn't. And, though I did have handfuls coming out, that stopped. But, it was thick to begin with. However, it then broke easily. But, it looks like I have a short hair cut now. Re: eyelashes - mine fell out, but grew back really quickly - in about 4 days - when they did.

And I am due to do a chemo tomorrow - if the hospital pharmacy here gets Carbo in stock!!!!!!!! They have run out of it! Imagine that it's being Fedexed from the good old USA!!
Unread 01-06-2004, 05:46 PM
Any suggestions for chemo side effects??

s IBBritlady

Another 3cer here to say welcome. You have come to a wonderful site for tips, support, and hugs.
I was diagnosed in May of 2001 and completed six treatments of taxol and carboplatin in Oct 2001. My onc told me before chemo began that my anticipation of chemo would be worse than the reality. For me, that was definitely true.
Your hair will come out before your second treatment. Once my hair starting freefalling, I shaved my head. Although I had wig set to go, I found I was a hat, cap person. Your brows and lashes take a bit longer to fall out, but they return the first.
Taxol worked great for me to prevent nausea and vomiting.
I received it IV the day of chemo and took it by mouth for the next three days.
I always felt great the day of and the first day after chemo. They the blahs would hit for the next two or three days. I only had bone pain with the first two treatments.
Ward off constipation before it sets in. For me, Senakot was the answer. I used it as stool softener.
Get ready to drink lots of fluids after chemo. I was instructed to drink 64 oz of decaf liquids after every chemo.
Are you having a port inserted? If so, I will write more about that.
All of us with 3c have ovarian cancer that has spread. My cancer had spread to one lymph node. What other spot was your cancer found in? Are they thinking that the spread not not be ovarian cancer?
Best wishes to you.

Unread 01-06-2004, 06:05 PM
chemo side effects

I am a ovca stage 3C. Last summer, I completed my six cycles of
carbo/platininum, and am now on consolidation chemo, twelve cycles of taxol(I am now on number 5). For me, the nausea was not as bad as I expected because of the Zofran, although as the others have mentioned, the Zofran can cause constipation. I dealt with that side effect by eating beans, which for me worked well. I did have a weird taste in my mouth that lasted for about three days. I also had strange food cravings, particularly for sweets. The hair loss was hard for me, and I cut my hair short, but did not shave it. I kept a little bit of hair and with hats, it simply looked like I had very short hair. I did buy a wig, but did not wear it much. One thing I learned was to use eye liner and
brow makeup, because I lost almost all of my eyebrows and my
eyelashes were very sparse. I felt tired, but better than I expected to feel. Take good care of yourself, rest, eat healthy when you feel better again, and do things to pamper yourself.


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