CSN Login
Members Online: 5

Want to wish you luck tomorrow Glenna

pennynl4
Posts: 49
Joined: Jun 2009

Glenna,
I just want to wish you luck tomorrow. If I remember right you are getting your first chemo treatment tomorrow....a day before my husband. My prayers are with you and just remember YOU CAN DO IT. Maybe taking a Lorazapam before you go will help. I am sure my husband will have extreme anxiety the morning he goes and will probably need to take one. He only takes one at night, but I am sure he will be needing one before treatments.

Let us know how you do tomorrow.....we are all pulling for you.
God Bless you.

Penny

Glenna M's picture
Glenna M
Posts: 1580
Joined: May 2009

I can't thank you enough for the words or encouragement. It is so thoughtful of you to remember that I start treatment today and to put it mildly I am apprehensive. I was wandering around the house at 2 AM like a lost soul with many crazy thoughts going through my head. Then it hit me, I am not the only one going through this today, there are probably hundreds of other people across the country who are going for their first treatments today. I'm sure many of them are feeling the same way I do but WE WILL SURVIVE :)

The chemo session doesn't concern me (I'm not sure why) as much as the radiation does. Probably because of the mask, I went yesterday to have the mask rechecked to make sure everything was all set for today. I wanted to try to do it without the Lorazepam but ended up taking one anyway. I guess I'm just not ready to be that "brave" yet.

I think the one thing that bothers me the most is I really haven't gone through what I would consider the normal range of emotions. I've never asked "why me" as I've always expected I would get cancer because I smoked and have a history of cancer in my immediate family. I don't feel sorry for myself but I've never really cried and that bothers me. I haven't gotten angry but I don't think I'm in denial either. I'm just hoping all of these emotions don't hit me at once, I'm a strong person but I'm NOT THAT STRONG! Maybe I've just accepted it for what it is and realize that I'm literally in for the fight of my life.

Enough rambling (and stalling) I have to get ready to go to the cancer center. I will post a note this afternoon and let your husband know that he has nothing to fear except his own imagination. I'm sure this is not as bad as I have built it up to be in my own mind and boy do I have an imagination :)

Thanks again for your encouragement and hope you and your husband stay strong. My thoughts are with you both.

Bless you,
Glenna

Glenna M's picture
Glenna M
Posts: 1580
Joined: May 2009

Hi Penny,

Just a short note to let you know that all went well during chemo. LOL - I was so tired from not sleeping last night that I slept through half of the session. It's really quite easy, the lorazepam and anti nausea meds are in a bag that drips through the IV. Didn't have to take any pills at all. Didn't get to have my radiation session afterwards as the machine was broke so I have to do that tomorrow after my next session of chemo. It will just extend the length of my radiation by one day.

I am completely wiped out - but it's a good tired:) so I am going to bed and take a nap.

Please tell your husband to get a good nights rest and don't worry, for my part the chemo was one of the easier things I've done lately. I'm not saying there will never be any nausea but right now I am feeling fine, tired but fine.

Take care and let me know how he does tomorrow if you get a chance.

My thoughts and prayers are with you and your husband.

Glenna

pennynl4
Posts: 49
Joined: Jun 2009

So glad to hear you did good today Glenna. I was sure wondering and saying some prayers.

We saw the chemo doc today and the doc eased my husband's mind some.

It will be a good idea for my husband to go to bed early. I just hope he can sleep. We will both be apprehensive, of course.

Thank you for your thoughts and prayers.

I will try and talk more tomorrow.
Penny

Glenna M's picture
Glenna M
Posts: 1580
Joined: May 2009

Hi Penny,
Just wanted to check in and see how your husband did today. I hope his experience was as easy as mine, if you can call any of this easy :) Today was my second session and everything went well again, maybe I am going to make it through all of this without being too much of a wimp. I guess it's still too early to tell as my radiologist reminded me again today that I am going to get a lot worse - he seems to spoil all my good thoughts but I guess he is just trying to let me know how things are going to be. BUT I CAN HANDLE IT

I'm sure you will be busy taking care of your husband today but write when you have a moment so I will know how he is doing. Also want to know how you are doing as I know this is hard on you also.

Stay in touch please,
Glenna

pmfennell's picture
pmfennell
Posts: 28
Joined: Jun 2009

Great Job Glenna, glad to hear you made it through both Rad. and Chemo. I had my chemo on Monday after Rad. I called it Marathon Monday. It was about 6 to 8 hours at the hosp. depending up their schedule every Monday for 12 weeks. Don't be afraid to use that Ativan it can be very helpful. I used .5 mg everyday and it helped. I weighed 235lbs when I started. The rad. would take about 15 minutes 4 days a week once they got things lined up and 35 minutes on Friday. This was because they want to take a look at the Tumor site and take X-rays. I am in my 6th year out and everyday is a gift. I am doing well. I am very lucky that I had such a good team of Docs. and care-givers. After you finish TX and can return to a dentist, make sure you get one that is familiar with tx patients that have had head and neck cancer tx. My dentist was good for cleanings and fillings but had no clue what to do with cancer patients post tx. I got a lot of bad advice and had to find another Dentist. I travel 4 hours round trip to see my new dentist and do not mind the drive. His care is well worth it. I know this is a ways down the road for you, but keep it in the back of your mind as something to look into when you finish tx.

Regarding grief, here is something to think about and look into on Google; "Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross has posited sequential stages of grief including denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance, which are commonly referred to as the "grief cycle." if you Google "grief cycle" you will probably get more detailed information. We all grieve in our own ways and at different times. I was so busy with the harried schedule of Cancer tx that I never really began to grieve until 1 year after tx ended. For me, it took a while.
Take care and good luck. Remain positive, one person wrote that "Beating Cancer is 2/3 attitude and 1/3 Medicine," I found this to be really true for me and others I have met with cancer.

Pete

Glenna M's picture
Glenna M
Posts: 1580
Joined: May 2009

Hi Pete,

I know what you mean by "Marathon Days" I will be having 2 of these days on 3 week cycles. I made it through the 1st two so I am confident I will make it through the rest. It is just such a long day that it wipes me out.

Thank you on the info about "grief cycle", I just feel that I may not be dealing with this on an emotional level and am not sure if this is "normal" or whether it is a good thing. Maybe it's because I am trying not to let cancer consume my every waking moment and go on with my everyday life as best I can. Believe me I am not complaining when I say I have not shown any type of strong emotions, I'm just hoping it doesn't hit me half way through treatments when I am not at my best physically.

Almost everyone I have spoke to says that the attitude is very important so I am staying positive and praying for the best. I have a great support group behind me and I am confident they will see me through this. One of my sisters mails me a card every week just to remind me that she is there for me no matter what I need. She always makes sure the card is a funny card so I will smile while I'm reading it. It's little things like this that help me stay positive.

I'm very happy to hear that you are still doing so well and I plan on being around in 6 years like you to help encourage others through their long journey.

Thanks again for the encouragement and stay well.

Glenna

pennynl4
Posts: 49
Joined: Jun 2009

Hi Glenna,

My husband did good yesterday. He was there for four hours, although we thought he was only going to be there for about an hour. They gave him Benedryl for any allergic reaction he might have, then his loading dose of the Erbitux(which was twice the normal amount which took a couple of hours), then they had to watch him for about an hour afterwards.

He was extremely tired, partially due to the Benedryl I'm sure plus the treatment. He did have a bad headache and was uneasy early in the evening. However, he was able to take a nap for part of the afternoon. All in all, I think he did good. The doctor told him he would do great, and he did!

You are right....I am so busy...so many things to take care of. He is starting radiation next Tuesday. Since he won't be starting radiation until Tuesday, we are taking a short trip to Seattle/Tacoma to take our daughter and a friend to a concert. We are leaving tomorrow morning so I probably won't be on this board much today.

Good job on your treatments and as long as you are doing good, don't let the doctor get you down. Just remember we have to take this day by day and step by step. ( I have to keep telling myself this too.!) And I know what you mean....this is going to be a long summer. We will all get through this together!

Take care,
Penny

Glenna M's picture
Glenna M
Posts: 1580
Joined: May 2009

Penny,

Glad to hear you are taking a trip with your family, now is the time to do it. Take a little break before reality sets in. Just focus on your family and have fun, enjoy the concert and hopefully you will have beautiful weather too!

As for the chemo treatment I have found that they usually take a little longer than you expect them to, but I guess that's natural. I don't mind because some of the premeds they put in the IV make me groggy and I tend to nap through most of it. I try to send my husband on errands while I'm there so he doesn't have to watch me sleep :)

Tell your husband to hang in there, if he made it through one treatment I am positive he will continue to do well with the rest of them. For me the first is always the hardest - fear of the unknown. Once you know what to expect it gets easier. I was even a little braver during radiation today and it seemed to go by faster than yesterday.

Go enjoy your trip and write when you get back to let me know how everything went. What type of concert is it?

Take care,
Glenna

MichelleP's picture
MichelleP
Posts: 254
Joined: May 2009

I'm so happy that all went well for you and your first chemo! You have been in my thoughts and prayers daily my friend.

Got a bit of good news for my husband. The latest x-ray said that there was a noticeable decrease in the densities of his right lung.

Keep us all updated on your progress please :)

Glenna M's picture
Glenna M
Posts: 1580
Joined: May 2009

Hi Michelle, Just wanted to let you know that everything went well again today. Actually got to have the radiation today also as they finally got the machine fixed. The radiation took a little longer than it should have as they had to keep lining things up but I'm sure as the treatments progress it won't take as long. I did pretty good considering the time it took, started to get a little anxious but I think that was mostly because I wanted to go home. When I have chemo and radiation on the same day it takes 6 hours and that's a long day for me. I just want to get back home where I am comfortable.

That's AWESOME news about your husband, maybe all of his treatments are starting to pay off. Just keep the faith and I will keep both of you in my prayers.

Take care and keep me posted on his progress also.

Your friend, Glenna

jkinobay's picture
jkinobay
Posts: 247
Joined: May 2007

Your situation sounds very similar to mine but now almost 2 years ago. So, YOU CAN DO IT.

A note on the Lorazapam (aka Ativan). For me it was a Godsend. I started out taking 1 or 1.5 about 30 minutes before rads. Tapered down to .5 and not every time. Depending on your weight, you may need less. In my case I weighed about 215 at the time. But, whatever it takes you have to do it because you only get one shot at life-saving techniques.

A note on chemo and rads, same day. Mine was Mondays. Started out with once-a-week chemo first mid-morning Monday, rads at about 4PM. That turned out to be very bad timing because come to find out in my chemo there was a large dose of a steroid which really wired me for about 36 hours. My wife loved it because I was vaccuuming and housecleaning at midnight trying to work off the energy. The downside though, and again this is in my case not necessarily yours, by being wired just before rads that increased the anxiety significantly. So much so that I asked if they could reverse the process on Mondays (one a week chemo) and they did. That made a huge difference in what was already a stressfull deal.

Hopefully that won't happen in your case.

God Bless, hang in there.................you will do well, stay well. JK

Glenna M's picture
Glenna M
Posts: 1580
Joined: May 2009

Hi JK,

My chemo and rad days seem to have the opposite affect on me, I am so tired when I get home that I usually take a nap and still going to bed early. They are putting steroids in my premeds for chemo also so I haven't had to take an Ativan before radiation. Today will be my first day of just rads so I will be taking the little "magic" pill shortly before the treatment starts. I only weigh about half of what you do so they prescribed 1 mg Ativan and the instructions are to take 1 tablet every 6 hours for anxiety or nausea. I will try 1 pill about a half hour before I start rads and hope it helps.

So far everything is going well, no nausea yet, but I know it is still early. The nurse told me yesterday that they put a steroid in my premeds which should last for 3 days to help with the nausea and vomiting but I also have a prescription that I am supposed to start taking today and continue taking for 3 days which will help also. I certainly hope they work because the vomiting is something I can do without :)

I'm happy to hear that you are still doing well after 2 years out of treatment and I pray for your continued good health.

Glenna

jkinobay's picture
jkinobay
Posts: 247
Joined: May 2007

Your response is proof positive that all of us treat differently even with similar treatments. The steroids really wired me but relax you. That is great.
In my chemo on Mondays that added an anti-emitic (anti nausea) that was time-released. They say that most nausea related to chemo starts about day 3 and this drug was time-released to take effect about day 3. It worked like a charm. Through all 7 weeks the worst nausea I ever had could be taken care of with a Ranitidine over-the-counter antacid.

By the way, my chemo was low-dose Cisplatin. I kept my hair for the most part with only minor thinning. Soon after treatments it came back to normal and maybe more because it seems that I need haircuts a bit more frequently now.

For the Ativan, at your small size 1mg. in time may prove too much. But, like we all say, whatever it takes to get the job done. I still use it now for my 6 month PET scans, more to fully relax my neck muscles to avoid false-positives (according to the PET Techs).

By the way, a tip about radiation effects on your neck muscles: My wife is a retired Physical Therapist and had me do "range of motion" exercises during and after treatments. In my case my neck muscles started stiffening at about week 4 and got much worse for about another 2 months (radiation continues to work for 3-6 weeks after treatments stop). The exercises made a huge difference and I still do them periodically. By "range of motion", she has me look as far as I can back over each shoulder and hold it in tension for30-40 seconds then roll my head 360 degrees several revolutions in each direction trying to stretch those muscles. You may want to start doing that.

Hang in there.............praying for your progress too. JK

Subscribe with RSS
About Cancer Society

The content on this site is for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Do not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your condition. Use of this online service is subject to the disclaimer and the terms and conditions.

Copyright 2000-2014 © Cancer Survivors Network