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Chemo Looking Like Days Long Chemo Looking Like Days Long

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  #1  
Unread 02-14-2004, 08:05 PM
Chemo Looking Like Days Long

Hi all,

This is beginning to look awfully long and drawn out for once every 21 days.
Now it seems that when we travel the 100 miles for my first chemo I will be looking at staying Tuesday through Friday!!

Tuesday will be bloodwork.
Wednesday will be infusion of doxorubicin and cisplatin.
Thursday will be infusion of taxol.
Friday I will receive a shot of Neulasta?(sp)

Now, anyone besides me wondering what kind of shape I am going to be in for the 100 miles home on Friday?
Isn't Day 3 and 4 after chemo the sickest?

And has anyone else had this type of schedule?

Thanks,
nancy j
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  #2  
Unread 02-14-2004, 09:22 PM
Chemo Looking Like Days Long

Hi, Nancy. I had my bloodwork done on the same day as the chemo. So my chemo day started with bloodwork, then chemo (pre-meds and meds). Day 2 was a shot of Neulasta (like yourself) which was, frankly, a miracle drug. It kept me on schedule for all my chemo treatments. (I'd go to the doctor's office for just a 5 minute visit and the nurse would administer the Neulasta.)

On the face of it, I'm sure there are reasons for doing this over 4 days for you but I'd just be curious as to why they couldn't do the bloodwork on the same day as the first part of the chemo.

Anyway, how many courses are you going to have? Once every 21 days is really not too bad. And as long as someone else is doing the driving, you should be fine.

Good luck to you.
  #3  
Unread 02-14-2004, 09:26 PM
Chemo Looking Like Days Long

I'm wondering the same thing about the bloodwork. Looks like it could be done the same day. I'm going to ask when I call Monday.

The clinical trial calls for a maximum of six cycles. So I'm sure they will try to give me the max, but if I'm not holding up very well they can call a halt to it at anytime.

If I stay on schedule, it looks like hubby and i will be spending our 24th wedding anniversary together (May 21) getting chemo, what a bummer!!

nancy j
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  #4  
Unread 02-14-2004, 10:29 PM
Chemo Looking Like Days Long

I got chemo on my birthday this past year. But you know what? I looked at it as a celebration of doing something that would ensure many more years of life. So if you spend your anniversary getting chemo, just think of it as something you're doing to ensure that you can celebrate many more anniversaries! :-)

Seems like you're not taking Carboplatin, so maybe your Day 3-4 side effects won't be as overwhelming. But you should really ask your nurses, because I know that I wouldn't have been able to drive even 30 minutes on Days 3-6 after chemo. But I was taking Carbo/Taxol, and I had a pretty whopping dose.

Sorry you'll have to stay overnight. Will they keep you in the hospital, or will you stay in a hotel? The latter might ensure that you get more sleep. When staying in a hospital, the staff ensures that you get no sleep by coming in every two hours to take your vitals. It's very annoying to be woken up at 1:30 a.m., and then 3:30 or 4 a.m. just to have your blood pressure checked. Also, if you're lucky like me, you might have some patients suffering from dementia -- and screaming really loudly for hours on end -- on your floor. Which also prevents sleep.

All the more reason to opt for a hotel, if one is close by. :-)

I did not have Neulasta, but I did have Neupogen injections. They did not have to be administered in the hospital, though.

And yes, due to your distance from the hospital, you should be able to do your bloodwork the same day. But they will need the results early in the morning, since they have to get the results back, fax them to the doctor, get his OK, order up the chemo and then have someone pick it up and deliver it back from the chemo room. This is why they often want you to test your blood the day before. But you should be able to talk them into letting you do it the morning of . . . provided there's enough time to give you the full chemo dose before the nurses have to leave.

:-)
  #5  
Unread 02-14-2004, 11:53 PM
Chemo Looking Like Days Long

Nancy,
Are they aware that you are coming from such a long distance? For people who live nearby this schedule might not be any problem. Perhaps it hasn't occured to anyone that for you it is a MAJOR problem! My treatments, bloodwork, everything, was within 15 minutes of home so going back and forth wasn't a big deal. But that is not the case for you. Maybe it just hasn't occured to them that this schedule won't work for everyone.

Frankly, I can't see any reason why this can't be condensed to two days, max. Blood work and chemo I on one day, Chemo II followed by Nuelasta on day two.

As my grandmother always said, "ask them, the worst they can say is no".

Best,
Janie
  #6  
Unread 02-15-2004, 06:15 AM
Chemo Looking Like Days Long

This seems to be reallly drawn out for someone who will be traveling that far. I, too, had to travel 100 miles to the hospital and, though my doctor knew that, much of the staff did not.

Is there a possibility that you could get the blood drawn by a local doctor and the results faxed to the hospital? Could you have a local Dr. give you the shot on Friday? That would at least limit the time away from home.

Ask -- most will try to accomodate you when traveling that far.

Linda
  #7  
Unread 02-15-2004, 06:33 AM
Chemo Looking Like Days Long

Nancy,

Sorry that you have such a schedule, and especially on your wedding anniversary in May,--but as Sirensong says, you can think of it as a positive good-health measure that aims at lots more anniversaries.

I think it would be worthwhile to inquire about some adjustment in the schedule, given your distance from the hospital. In any event, maybe you could try to mentally reframe the whole thing so that it's like going for an intensive spa/health experience where all sorts of nasty cells are going to be given a good swift and shown the door permanently?

In any event, I pray your chemo is totally successful and that a year from now you and DH are looking back at this and smiling as you celebrate the big 2-5!

Blessings.
Marlene
  #8  
Unread 02-15-2004, 09:06 AM
Chemo Looking Like Days Long

Wow! That schedule does seem odd. I always have my blood drawn 15 minutes before I see the onc for my pre-chemo appointment. The results are ready before I leave his office to walk over to the treatment center. So far I haven't needed the additional shots.

Your drugs are a bit different from mine. But it seems like Day 4 is always my worst. If you could get your last shot the same day as your chemo #2 and go home the same day you should be fine. Even if you're going home Day 3 hopefully you won't be feeling too bad. It was only my first round that I felt bad day 3. I guess I mention this because even if you have a rought time this first round, it will probably get easier. The first is always the worst.

I'll be thinking of you all week this week. Let us know how things went as soon as you can.

Take care

Limbo
  #9  
Unread 02-15-2004, 12:29 PM
SCHEDULE

That is quite a schedule. It may have to be since it is a trial. Could you get neulasta at home to save one day? I would mention your travel problems and see what can be done. May this blast anything left in you right out of there for good.
  #10  
Unread 02-15-2004, 01:12 PM
Chemo Looking Like Days Long

s Nancy

I am with the others.
It certainly won't hurt to ask if more could be done locally.
Maybe even the blood work a day ahead at home. That way if counts are too low, you won't travel 100 miles for nothing.
Even the neulasta could be given closer to home.
Some of us are able to stick to the three week schedule without ever receiving blood booster injections.
Best wishes.
Hopefully you will tolerate it all better than you are expecting.
Even on my worst days a two hour car drive would have been tolerable.

karenann
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