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Radiation and Chemo Radiation and Chemo

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  #1  
Unread 03-23-2003, 09:36 AM
Radiation and Chemo

got my pathologist report - Stage IIIC- endo. cancer with 4 lymph nodes out of 30 had microscopic cancer cells. Will begin 5 weeks of radiation followed by chemo. Chemo will be one treatment every 3 weeks - 6 treatments in all.
Questions for those who have gone through chemo:
Will I need someone to be with 24 hours a day while I go through chemo? How bad is bad, for the side effects, generally? Do you lose your hair after the first treatment?
does it mean that for 18 or more weeks I will be bedridden? How has insurance handled chemo treatments?
Thanks for all your support and answers. BTW, scared, scared, scared.
gucu
TAH/BSO on 3/7/2003
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  #2  
Unread 03-23-2003, 10:05 AM
It's OK to be Scared.

Never had radiation just chemo. I had taxol/carboplatin four weeks apart (blood work was still bad at 3). I don't have family and lived alone the whole time doing just fine with a lawn mowing service. I'd get chemo on Thursday--would go to work until time to leave. I'd take off Friday as sometime that day I'd start to feel crummy. With me it was mainly fatigue after the steroid wore off. I'd be tired and in bed or on the sofa until sometime on Sunday and would be back to work on Monday. Others find they can't work during chemo and some work part time. All of us react differently. The nausea/vomiting I had was mild. My hair fell out at 14 days--got it buzzed short at 12 when clumps started falling out--I liked the wig and wore it when I went out but at home went bare or scarves. A lot depends on the chemos you have and your individual reaction. Insurance paid everything. I'd go to bed earlier at night because I was more tired and I was very careful to avoid picking up infections--but I made it to the mall, shopping, etc. You will be checked at a point after chemo to see where your blood counts have gone--I needed blood twice (didn't want Procrit). It's do-able.
  #3  
Unread 03-23-2003, 01:07 PM
I was scared too....

I was very worried because I live alone and my family is in another state. I didn't have radiation, but had three treatments of Taxol and Carboplatin. I too was concerned about how sick I might be and if someone needed to be with me. But my oncologist assured me that I would do okay. I was given a a 24 hour hotline number to call if problems came up.

Each treatment affected me differently. The first made me tired, the second had body aches for a couple of days, the third I had some nausea. But I stayed by myself the entire time and did just fine. I did ask a neighbor to check in with me daily, and I had a couple of friends "on call" in case I needed help. But I went to the grocery store and ran errands and took short walks. I also had acupuncture (just no herbs or supplements) twice a week which really helped, especially with nausea, and my insurance paid for it once my doctor wrote them a note.

My hair fell out exactly two weeks after my first treatment. I'd gotten a short haircut just before I started chemo, but when it began to fall out I had my head shaved. I opted not to get a wig and just wore caps and scarves. If you like hats, a good web site to check out is www.headcovers.com, and they also have wigs if you prefer.

I think I can honestly say my fear and anticipation was far worse than the actual treatments.

Good luck and s. Let us know how you are doing. This web site is great for answers and support.
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  #4  
Unread 03-23-2003, 01:27 PM
Radiation and Chemo

Hi I never had radiation but had 6 cycles of Carbo & Taxol.

My hair started to come out in clumps 2 weeks after my 1st chemo. I had it buzzed off at that time. I have a wig but found it too hot and uncomfortable. I go bald at home and wear turbons and hats when out. What you wear on your head should be for your comfort. I even wear a turbon to work ( I'm a nurse).

I had varied symptoms durring chemo which were manageable. I also live alone & did fine with friends & family a phone call away if needed. I never had to call them.

I pre certified the chemo and all other tests with my insurance company. They paid 100% after a deductable. I always check personally with my insurance company for eveything. I don't trust the medical providers to do it.

I found the fear of chemo to be worse than the actual thing. You can do it.

Ruth S
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