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Got Chemo Scheduled   Many ??'s Got Chemo Scheduled Many ??'s

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Unread 09-11-2002, 05:41 AM
Got Chemo Scheduled Many ??'s

Went to the Cancer Center and met with oncologist yesterday. He is starting chemo, Carboplantin & Taxol on Mon 9/16. This to be given every 3 weeks for six times. Everyone was very supportive there. I still had my doubts about using this center, which is 1 mile from my home instead of the University Hosp where my gyne-onc is but is 90 minutes away. This oncologist did say he would keep in contact with my gyne-oncol.

I also am having a PortaCath inserted tomorrow. This will done at the hospital as an outpatient. I had to see a surgeron to have this scheduled. So I got 2 new doctors in one day!

Now I'm contacting my internal med MD to see if I should continue Coumadin (blood thinner) durring Chemo. My onclolgist advised this. Add several phone calls to my insurance precerts, I have been very busy. This all gives me something to do to help in my recovery. I can't take a backseat. I have to manage my disease, if that makes sense.

I also asked the oncologist if I could return to work, He advised waiting until after the 1st round of Chemo. So I will try to be patient. He also said to expect hair loss. How soon after the beginning of chemo do you loose your hair?

Thanks for listening. All of you are true lifesavers.

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Unread 09-11-2002, 06:18 AM
Got Chemo Scheduled Many ??'s

s Ruth

So your plan is set. It's good that you can get the chemo closer to your home. But let it be under the direction of the gyn onc at the university hospital. Don't allow your local onc to make any changes in treatment without the approval of the gyn onc.
I too have a port a cath. Mine was inserted the morning of my first chemo. It was done under conscious sedation in the OR. But I was all the way asleep. It resides in my left upper chest. Taxol and carbo are so rough on veins. I finished chemo last Oct. but still have the port a cath. I get it flushed once every three months when they draw a ca125. There is some cream you can use to numb the skin on the port before it is accessed. You put it on an hour ahead of time. I suggest you try it without the cream first. (it's no more uncomfortable than a blood test from your arm) I was stage III, and my doc thinks it is bad luck to remove the port. YOur port will most likely be removed after chemo, since you are such an early stage.
My hair started to free fall at about sixteen days after the first treatment.
Be prepared with hats or wigs. Many of us here, shaved our heads when the free fall began. It just felt good to be in control of that situation. Loosing hair is not easy, but I found I had grieved for it before it actually happened. Eye brows and lashes took about three treatments before they left my face.
At that time I put my contacts away and hid behind my glasses. Please note lashes and brows are the first hair to return after chemo.
There are quite a few chemo threads on this forum right now. Hope you read them all. Everyone reacts differently, but most of us found it easier to do than we thought it would be.
And you have all of us here for support, encouragement, hugs and tips.
Let us know how the port insertion goes.

s karenann
Unread 09-11-2002, 07:39 AM

Just be sure your local oncologist keeps in touch with the GYN/ONC (who I suspect is up here in Madison?). It's easier going 1 mile. I was put on coumadin (1 mg) daily the day before the port-a-cath and have had to stay on it since just to help avoid any clotting problems. My port has to be flushed monthly, though, so may be different from Karenann's. My onc. also had me stay home from work during the first chemo just to check side effects, etc. I think too it's helpful to be home when the hair goes--mine started about day 11 and got rid of it day 13. That can be a big, emotional thing so it's nice to be home and not at work when it happens. Getting the port-a-cath is easy--I had the "local" or conscious sedation but I was out and just woke up in the hospital room ready for chemo #1 (which is how we do it here--first one is up in a room on the floor) and actually ate some of the hospital lunch. No pain--did itch a bit afterwards but I had no problems with the site. Keep asking questions as they come up and just keep the two doctors communicating.

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