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Freaked about chemo Freaked about chemo

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Unread 05-12-2004, 05:41 PM
Freaked about chemo

Today I had a second opinion and it sounds like I will be doing the usual 6 treatments every three weeks of carboplatin/taxol. How do people deal with this? Will I be able to go to school? Exercise? Cook for myself? Walk up the stairs? I am not even scared any longer. Just bored of having cancer and putting my life on hold. Will I throw up for days? What is the general experience of going through this kind of chemo. I have a low stage cancer, 1b grade 2, but they think it might be a metastized cancer from my cervical cancer, even though that was a low stage 1A1. I have so many questions I don't even know where to start with researching the chemo treatment and what it will do for me.
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Unread 05-12-2004, 06:13 PM
Freaked about chemo

Chemo is different for every one and each chemo is different. I had 6 rounds of very high dose chemo and was terrified, but it ws not as bad as I had feared, 24 hours after each chemo I would begin to get extremely exhausted and a little queasy, but the nauseanesss was controlled by medication. Even though my body
was too tired to get off the couch. my mind was wired and I couldn't sleep. I had bone pain from Taxol after some chemo's but not all. The worst of the side effects lasted about 36 hours and then I felt good again. I shaved my head in advance, because I couldn't bear having it fall out. Except for the days when I felt bad from the side effects I was able to keep up all my usual activities, and even roller blade and walk. For me chemo was hard but doable and soon will get thru this too
Unread 05-12-2004, 06:41 PM
Debbie Is Right

We are all very different and react differently to the chemo, and each chemo. I worked full time through my first six rounds of taxol/carbo. I would get chemo on Thursday and be off Friday and then back the next Monday. I only had the bone pain once and only had mild vomiting twice. Fatigue was the big factor--coffee got me through that at work. I retired before the recurrence and second recurrence and it would be harder now. For me, the biggest problem was the blood counts--I needed two transfusions during that first round and during the recurrence treatments I've gone only 2-3 treatments without. They make a HUGE difference--so if you feel tired--speak up! I also have encountered low white counts in the recurrence chemos and take Neupogen biggie once my body adjusted. The truth of each chemo having different reactions is very real. I was to have chemo on Feb. 6 but I had surgery for a broken elbow scheduled on Feb. 9 so my oncologist pushed it to Feb. 13. Now there I was, elbow in cast/splint, four days after major surgery under anesthesia--I braced for a bad time. Nope--piece of cake. This last treatment...let's just say that it was day 5 when I finally got better after I lost lunch. Chemo is very scary--you can do it. I did it. If I can, and have done it a second and now third time, you can. Bring up all questions and concerns to your doctor. The hair loss stinks big time. Ugh.
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Unread 05-12-2004, 06:58 PM
Freaked about chemo

s Claudia

I had the exact same treatment you will be receiving.
My onc told me before it began and I quote: Your anticipation of chemo will be much worse than the reality.
And for me that held true. I tolerated it very well.
I would get chemo on Thursday and feel perfectly normal until Saturday. Then I would feel slightly yucky for a few days.
I did lose my appetite, had legs pains after treatment one and two, and didn't feel quite myself. I never vomited or had to delay a treatment. I did get very constipated the first and second time.
I learned quickly to start senokot (would act like a stool softener) every night from chemo day for the next four days to ward off constipation. I also took Zofran three times a day for four days after each chemo to prevent nausea or vomiting.
With each treatment the yuckies did hang on a bit longer.
Remember to drink at least 64 oz of fluids after each treatment.
Your hair will start to fall out at about day 16 after treatment number one. So be prepared with a wig or hats.
Best wishes to you. Remember we are always here to offer support.

Unread 05-12-2004, 09:13 PM
Freaked about chemo

Hi Claudia,
I am sorry that you are going through this! Just curious why they think that this was cervical cancer that spread? I had the same cervical cancer dx as you and know how rare a reocurrance at stage 1a1 is.

Good luck with the chemo. Hopefully, this will be behind you for good soon!

Unread 05-13-2004, 02:38 PM
you can do it

Hi Claudia,
I just finished chemo & radiation and got through it o.k. -- it was tough but worth doing. Every chemo is different and everyone will experience different things.

In my experience (I had a different chemo than yours) I felt good for the first 12 hours....had sore legs and felt queasy for the three days immediately following chemo. By the fourth day things were improving and although I was weak/tired I felt more like myself. I had weekly chemo.

They have wonderful drugs out there to help you cope with any side effects....I would recommend talking to your doctor immediately if you feel you can't cope -- there are always things that they can do to help.

Good heart goes out to you.

Unread 05-13-2004, 03:52 PM
Freaked about chemo

Hi Claudia
I'm getting the same kind of chemo you're getting. I've had 3 so far with three to go. The first was the worst, I think just because of a fear of the unknown. I have chemo on Monday and Wednesday and Thursday I have no energy and no appetite. I force myself to drink at least 64 ounces of water and eat small portions of fruit or whatever. By Friday my energy level is coming back up and I'm ready to get out of the house. I was nauseated the first time and took meds for it on Wednesday but have not needed any since.
I certainly know what you mean by being freaked out, I've been there too, but it really is doable and hopefully this will be over in no time. Good luck.
Unread 05-14-2004, 02:27 PM
Freaked about chemo

Hi Claudia,
Don't worry too much about the chemo...just go for it!!!! It is your best chance bar none. Chemo is looked at as being horrible and no one can survive it!!! Well...I have most of the rest of the people on this board. You will be given all of the meds and tools to get through chemo as best as you are able. I was never sick a single day!!!! So, good luck to you!!!!!!!
Love, Sally
Unread 05-16-2004, 08:08 AM
Chemo Not So Bad

Hi, I just had my 3rd chemo on Thursday of this week. I'm have the 6 rounds of Taxol/Carboplatin each 21 days. I agree with what everyone has said. I have chemo on Thursday, out of work Friday and rest that weekend. Monday, it's back to work. I really don't feel great until about that Wednesday after the chemo.

Don't be afraid of it. You can handle it.
Unread 05-16-2004, 12:31 PM
Freaked about chemo

I have chemo usually every 3 weeks. My low white blood cell counts delayed my 5th chemo by 2 weeks. I had a Neupogen shot to get my WBC count back up.

My chemo lasts 3 days: day 1 is Etoposide and Carboplatin, day 2 and day 3 are Etoposide only. I have uterine cancer so my chemo is different than yours. I've heard about people having a horrible reaction to Etoposide (a.k.a. VP16) but it just makes me sleepy. I have the same reaction to the Carbo too but it gives me a metallic taste in my mouth so I have to switch some of the foods I eat. I take anti-nausea medecine from day 1 or the day before. I also take colase (laxative) and senecot (stool softener) .... hope I got that right.... combination starting from day 1. The carbo can make me .... well.... plug up. I continue it after chemo for a day or 2 just to be sure I flush out. The only thing I've noticed with this chemo is that I want to sleep 12 or more hours at a time. The problem with this is the dehydration and less time to take in calories so I am about 100 pounds.

I go into chemo expecting nothing but sleepiness. I notice it from day one. If I get twinges of pain... I take a small dose of morphene the first night. No pain killer after that is needed. It's the Carbo. If I'm still sleepy after day 4 then I "up" my protein intake.

Chemo is different from one person to the next. It also depends on what chemo combinations you get. I think a lot of your reactions may depend on what you think will happen as much as individual chemistry, etc. It helps for me to think that the Carbo (always an IV) is turning the cancer cells fluorescent pink so that the macrophages can find them easier and gobble them up. I like using visualization because it makes taking the IV easier -- just very boring sitting there otherwise. Some people swear by visualization as a tool to help beat cancer.

They will probably give you oral meds as they start the IV to minimize any side effects. You will probably get other meds to deal with any other typical side effects. I've seen people flattened by carbo and others brush it off (so to speak). If you go in with the mindset that it's doable then you'll probably be better off.

Best of luck and hope you recover quickly!


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