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Combination Chemo Combination Chemo

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Unread 01-06-2004, 03:49 PM
Combination Chemo

Yes, it's me again
As I sit here today enjoying my first full day with radiation over!!yippee!!....I notice my sneaky little thoughts turning toward the upcoming chemo in February.
So I'll just come on in here and ask a few questions.

Have any of you have chemo that takes two days to complete? I will be getting two drugs (doxorubicin aka adriamycin and cisplatin) on Day One, and then Taxol on Day Two.
I'm wondering how this is going to work out concerning nausea and other side effects.
Won't the side effects from Day One be happening on Day Two while I'm getting the third drug?

oh my. You all think maybe Hubby and I should plan on staying in the hospitals Hospitality Room for a few days instead of heading it on home (100 miles away) right after Day Two?

Nancy j.
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Unread 01-06-2004, 05:03 PM
Combination Chemo


Congratulations on finishing radiation. That's a major step. (I did not have radiation, as no facilities here; otherwise...).

Re: your concern about chemo over 2 days effects. Please ask your gyn/onc re: this, and also ask the oncology nurses. I think that you are very smart to consider this pre: the 2 day chemo sessions.

Unread 01-06-2004, 05:11 PM

I am not familiar with this combination but it is entirely possible that they have to do it over two days due to the time it takes for cisplatin and Taxol. They couldn't get that all in in one day because Taxol is 4 hours and I think cisplatin can be 6 hours. Your question about side effects is an excellent one--I'd hit the doctor and the oncology nurses on this one. Also remind them of that 100 mile drive and see if they'd suggest a stay in the area for an extra day or two. Good luck!
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Unread 01-06-2004, 05:49 PM
Combination Chemo

s Nancy

Definitely check with your doctor and the chemo nurses.
But I am leaning toward your not feeling as badly as you are anticipating. That urge to be home may kick in.
You will be getting anti nausea drugs before each chemo as well as medicine to take by mouth at home to prevent nausea and vomiting.
Watch out for constipation and remember to pus those fluids.
Best wishes.

Unread 01-06-2004, 06:00 PM

Wild Rose, Margaret and Karenann,

I think you all are right. I will definitely check with my doc and especially the chemo nurses. And Karenann, I hope I am anticipating worse than what will happen. It is just amazing how many people in my 'circle of life' insist on telling me about 'their friend ol' so and so who had cancer' and all the horror stories about their chemo even down to how someones toenails came off in the bathtub. And then, can you believe it, some of them even end with saying 'she died'.
Like, they felt the need to tell me that??????????? jeez.

About the fluids.....I know that two of the drugs are very hard on the kidneys and thus, the need for lots of fluids to flush them out quickly. water the only fluid they mean?
I do really well with two or three glasses of water, but honestly get very nauseous with many more than that. Do any other fluids help also?

nancy j
Unread 01-06-2004, 06:08 PM
Combination Chemo

Hi Nancy

You will be getting lots of IV fluids on your two days of chemo.
I only received taxol and carboplatin but I imagine our post chemo instructions will be similar.
I had to drink 64 oz of decaf liquids for three days after chemo.
It can be liquids other than water. I enjoyed decaf ice tea.
Some people are willing to share the most bizzare stories with us at a time when we are very vulnerable. That's what great about cancer concerns. Some of the stories people are telling you are probably from ten to twenty years ago. Things have improved significantly since that time. Mainly zofran. Worked like magic for me to prevent nausea and vomiting.

oxoxox karenann
Unread 01-06-2004, 06:13 PM
Combination Chemo

Oh thank goodness about the decaf iced tea!LOL
I completely quit any caffeine at the beginning of my radiation. So I really didn't want to get hooked on it again.
Decaf tea should work great, but as always, I'll ask first

And I remember now that my research nurse did mention flushing through alot of fluids before they even start the chemo drugs. And I think she mentioned compazine? And maybe steriods?

What do the steriods do?

Make me have muscles???? I hope!!!!!

nancy j
Unread 01-06-2004, 07:12 PM
Combination Chemo

Hi, Nancy!

The steroids help prevent allergic reactions. They can make you a little jumpy, but you mostly don't notice until you try to sleep. Sleep after steroids can be very difficult, so you might want to ask for a sleeping tablet or an Ativan if you have trouble sleeping in the hospital.

As Karenann said, the fluids are really important. I had to force myself to drink a ton of water. It always helped, and my kidneys seem to be doing wonderfully. Water is the best. Jochan, who also frequents this board, found that she could drink more water if she added a bit of salt to it. Do not have soda or juice. That doesn't count. For a variety of reaons, water is best, according to my medical oncologist.

I echo the advice of everyone else here re: the side effects. But some of them kick in worse on Day 3 and Day 4, so Day 2 might still be fine. I found that Day 4 was always the most painful. The anticipation is worse than the actuality, but it helped to be prepared. It's not fun, but you will get through it. Just be sure to drink a lot of water to protect your internal organs.

I wish you the very best of luck as you begin this journey! As others have said, be sure to mention your 100-mile drive. They might want you to stay close.

Unread 01-06-2004, 07:15 PM
Combination Chemo

hi, Nancy,
I am currently on Doxil and Cisplatin. Doxil is another form of doxirubicin. Doxil is doxirubicin liposome, meaning the doxirubicin is in little fat globules. It supposedly is a little kinder on the system then just doxirubicin. You may want to ask your MD about this. Those combined drugs keep me in the chem room for about 4 hours. So, Ellen is right that it would just be too long for the 3 drugs to be administered on one day. Zofran has been a wonder drug for so many for nausea but I had a hard time none the less after my first round. Fortunately there is a new drug out called Emend that was tested on those getting Cisplatin and I have used this for 3 rounds and it has been good for me. Remember as you read all of these posts that all of us respond to chemo a little differently. And your question about side effects the next day...I am sure the MD and the nurses will make sure you are getting the right anti-nausea meds for you.

Regarding fluids, sometimes I couldn't stand another glass of water. Someone I met in the clinic says using a straw made fluids go down easier and also putting a slice of lemon in plain water helped as well. Lots of tricks of teh trade so to speak will probably come your way!

Hope this helped!
Unread 01-06-2004, 08:01 PM
Horror stories

Why does everyone tell you a horror story? I honestly think that they believe that they are being helpful. It's like this, "I am telling you this awful thing that happened to my wife's brother's second cousin's wife's sister, because you need to be aware of it so it doesn't happen to you". Some variant on that. OR they want to 'share' and the only story they can remember about your cancer is the story of someone who had a horrible doctor, botched surgery, wrong kind drugs, blah, blah, blah.
When I was facing surgery my best friend in the world (married to a doctor) told me to be sure I didn't get the wrong kind of anathesia because 'people die from that more than surgery'. She was trying to be helpful! But of course it became all I could think of and what was I going to do with the information? I asked the doctor who administered it to be sure he gave me the 'right stuff'. How helpful is that? It isn't.

When I was pregnant, people couldn't wait to tell me every awful thing that could happen, and did happen, to someone they 'once heard about'. By the end of nine months I was fairly certain that most fetuses did not survive until birth, and if they did, they were horribly deformed, mostly likely have two heads on one body, and would die within a day.

When my 2 year old broke his leg, I heard that it probably meant something WAY more serious and it was unlikely he'd make it to adulthood. He's never broken another bone and is now 6' tall and 21 years old.

Why do people do this? Beats me. My best guess is that the more common things, that people are treated for cancer everyday, get well, and lead happy lives, is just too boring. So people think of these stranges cases. They believe that they are connecting with you, and perhaps even believe that they are being supportive and/or helpful. They aren't. But they don't know what else to say. When this happens, I suggest that you look at them as if they had been born with two heads. You might also ask "why are you telling me this"? They need to know that horror stories are not helpful or comforting.

What I find equally puzzling is the folks who never mention my illness or my treatment. I had several people, friends, who just didn't call me or ever acknowledge that I had cancer when I knew that they knew. The other group would occassionally call, never ask how I was, and act as if nothing had changed. I was knee deep in chemo and radiation and they would call to ask me to do them favors or pick up their kids, or distrube flyers or something else. When I reminded them that I wasn't feeling my best because of daily treatments, they'd say something like "ok, then I'll call you another time" and hang up. They knew I had cancer but NEVER acknowledged it in any way. Very strange, but I got used to it..

I guess what all these people have in common is they are clueless. They don't know what to say. We owe them some obligation to help them, but not all that much, IMHO. They need to learn what is helpful and what is not. Some never will learn and we aren't responsible for them. We need to remember that they are probably doing their best. Their best just isn't very good or helpful.

I hope this makes some sense!

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