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Unread 03-25-2002, 06:20 PM
New chemo

Hi everyone.

I saw the oncologist for the first time since the staging lap. I am very happy to report that my ovca is a stage T1b, (does anyone know what the "T" stands for?)

I start a course of 6 Taxol/carboplatin treatments next Monday as it was a grade 3 tumor.

So, girls, what's up with this type of chemo? Anyone had it?

Thanks again for being here. You all are a blessing.

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Unread 03-25-2002, 06:49 PM
New chemo

Hi Diane, I had radiation, no chemo for me but there are a few ladies who will be able to help you. This is just a from me to you to let you know that you are not alone. love always and lots of luck with the treatments , I hope they go well x x
Unread 03-25-2002, 06:55 PM
New chemo

Adding Hugs as well.. I too, like Robyn had radiation.....I am not familiar with the chemo.
There will be some ladies along real soon I am sure that have had that type of treatment.....
Thoughts and prayers stay with you...........
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Unread 03-25-2002, 06:56 PM
Hi Diane

Sending lot's of big 's.

I don't know about the grading system or your treatments.

I just wanted to say I am sending 's and positive thoughts your way.

Good luck on Monday. I hope all goes well and you'll be through it soon.

Unread 03-25-2002, 08:32 PM
New chemo

Hi Diane!!!!
I'm glad to hear you made out so well with your staging. I too have no idea what the T stands for. I've never come across that before.
I too have ovarian cancer. I was stage IIIc but my treatment consisted of six carbo/taxol also. My oncologist said to me right before chemo "your anticipation of chemotherapy will be worse than the reality of chemo." I had to think about all that implied for a few minutes. But he was really right. Everyone handles it differently, that's for sure. But for me, it was very doable. My chemo was administered through an infusaport. I had this inserted in my left upper chest area. It was put in the morning of my first chemo. And the infusaport is still there. Let me know if a port is your future and I'll share more with you about that.
You will receive quite a few pre meds in your IV line. Mainly anti nausea drugs. Zofran worked great for me. I also took oral Zofran three times a day for four days following my chemo.
The chemo drugs will infuse over five hours.
My side effects were a little different each time. I always felt good the day of chemo and the day after. Then for the next three days, I would usually loose my appetite, have a strange taste in my mouth, have some achiness in my legs, feel generally tired, and just not quite myself. THe effects seemed to hang on a bit longer, the further I got into treatment.
With taxol, the likelyhood of loosing your hair is very high. It will most likely be gone before your second treatment. When my hair starting falling freely, I took the initiative and shaved my head. I found out that I had grieved the loss before the hair actually came off and this allowed me to feel in control. I was ready with a wig, but only wore it two times. I was definitely a hat person. Lashes, brows and body hair quickly follows the head hair. Many ladies on this site were wig people and might have better advice than I.
I had weekly blood work done, and although my counts would fall, I always rebounded in time for the next treatment.
Keep in mind it is very important to force liquids for the day of and the following three days after chemo. (at least 64 of decaf liquids, I was told)
Honestly, it will go by very quickly. Feel free to email me any time at all. In my old postings I wrote quite abit while going through chemo. AS you know you are in a great place here for support and encouragement. Please let me know how you make out. You will be on my mind come Monday. YOu can do this!!!!!
s and s karenann
Unread 03-25-2002, 09:36 PM
New chemo


I have seen a "T" staging described before but not for Ovarian it was listed in some information regarding breast cancer. I don't know if its something similiar to that or not, they called it a part of the "TNM" system. So, I don't know if its in the sense of that or not.

I also had the Taxol/Carboplatin during my first round of treatment. Karen's given you alot of great info on it. I'll add a some things that were a bit different for mine. From everyone I've talked to, each of us has experienced different things with this treatment.

I didn't have the port while I was going through this round, my veins have always been very good so were good enough to handle things. Since the treaments were once every three weeks, I alternated arms each time which seemed to work well for me. I did later get a port inserted but mine was put in my arm instead of chest.

Like Karen, I was also given Zofran to take and in addition, I was also given Kytril and Ativan. The ativan I only took at night and only for the treatment day and a couple of days after. I think it helped alot since it knocks me out, I slept thru probably the worst of the side effects. A warning on the Zofran and Kytril, they can sometimes cause pretty bad constipation so you may want to ask about taking something to help that in case they also give you any of these.

I scheduled all of my treatments on Fridays so I only missed the one day of work each three week period. By doing so, I rested up over the weekend and was feeling better by Monday and able to work throughout that way.

One additional thing that I experienced with the Taxol portion, it caused some joint pain, mainly in my feet and also caused some neuropathy, in my case my fingers were numb quite a bit. Please be sure, if you experience anything like this to mention it to your Dr, there are things that can be done to help with it. In my case, my Dr had me taking extra B-6 which helped tremendously. Unfortunately, just like everything else, different people experience different things and not everyones side effects are treated in the same way.

Like Karen again, I started loosing my hair right around the second treatment I believe. I went the wig route and had one ready to go once the hair started going. One thing I found though, which I found "after" I bought my first wig, I discovered a hairdresser that bought direct from the distributors for his cancer patients and sold them "at cost" to his clients. If you go the wig route you may want to check around and see if there is anyone available in your area that does the same, it saved so much $$ that I was able to buy several and had some fun with playing "musical hair". Also, getting one of the little mesh caps to wear under it help keep hold it in place, along with carefully place bob pins, you can even dance in them.

One last thing.... lol This is related to food and eating. When you read about some foods no longer being attractive to you and you won't want some things you normally do and will want things you normally wouldn't, that "does" happen to some. It sure did me, for some reason I craved FISH all the time while on this chemo. I can only assume my body wanted and needed the protein and I probably ate it three or more times a week. Now, considering I am NOT nor have I ever been a big fish eater. So, if you're suddenly craving something that's not your norm, don't be surprised.

Whew! I most certainly wrote a novel so I'll close for now. I'll be keeping you in my thoughts and prayers and hope you'll do well with these treatments. Please keep us posted on how you are doing and if you have any questions, please give a holler. We'll be more than happy to share any other experiences we have had.

{{hugs}} to you.

Unread 03-26-2002, 07:53 AM

I had six taxol/carbo starting last April and ending in Sept. Each one was a bit different for me in terms of side effects. Only the first had the joint pain often mentioned and nothing helped it--but after that, I only had it once, so mildly that tylenol worked. Dr. gave me prednisone for 5 days after the first treatment, 10 mg., but that stuff was so horrible I said I was not taking it ever again. I had most of my problems with fatigue (got treatments on Thursday and would recover for work on Monday but sometimes shakily) and had my worst problems with the blood counts. We finally went to four weeks because they would not come back. First it was platelets, then the red counts. I had iron pills which I took twice a day, 150 mg. each, and still needed two transfusions in there and almost a third (but it was right after 9/11 when they took that post-chemo count and I think were holding onto blood). White cells also really crashed low twice, but neutrophils were enough that I didn't need shots. I had pre-existing neuropathy that the doctor was concerned about but it did not worsen with taxol--however, now, I am having a lot of problems with it and I think sciatica too. We're all different--I think the statement that the anticipation is worse then the chemo itself is a good one.
Unread 03-27-2002, 07:54 AM
New chemo

Hi Diane
Vicki was so right in mentioning the constipation. It is most definitely a side effect of all these drugs. If you are wise, you will treat it before it even happens. Your chemo nurses and doc may have a specific recommendation for you. It took a while of experimenting for me to find what worked best. What I ended up doing was taking one or two senokots beginning the night of chemo and for the next four days. This dose of a laxative just kept me normal. Stool softeners were just not doing the job for me. And remember, drink, drink, drink!!!! Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!!!
Keep in touch.

s and s karenann

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