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What do you think?

allmost60's picture
allmost60
Posts: 3155
Joined: Jul 2010

On July 31st we plan to leave on vacation for 2 weeks. This coming up Tuesday I get the bone marrow test done which will tell us if my cancer is in the marrow/bone, or both. From what you all have said this will be the last step in staging my cancer...(stage 3 right now. I'm guessing once my doctor knows "exactly" what stage I'm in she will then decide what kind of treatment to pursue, and how soon to start it.
Here's my question....
Would it be wise or safe to ask my doctor to wait until we get back from vacation to start treatment? The first tumors appeared in January and so far I haven't experienced any other symptoms of having cancer except for being tired and some shoulder and back discomfort. Since my cancer is indolent, whats the worse that could happen if I waited to start treatment around the third week of August. Even if it proves to be in my marrow and bone and puts me at stage 4....what would be the pro's or con's of waiting? We are only looking at a one month delay. From what I've read about all of your first round of treatments...it can be a pretty rough experience and a time where we should be very watchful for side affects, blood counts, various re-actions to the introduction of chemo, etc. My point is...my husband and I are thinking it's probably wiser to be in town at home and close to my doctor and the clinic in the first few weeks of starting treatment. What do you all think we should do?
BTW... We need to give a 2 week cancellation knowtice on the cottage we've rented in order to get back the $200.00 deposit we have already paid for.

merrywinner's picture
merrywinner
Posts: 620
Joined: Aug 2009

My guess is that it should work out just fine. When it was decided that it was time for chemo for me I was able to pick when I wanted to start within a 1 month window. Discuss it with your Doctor but I'm guessing it will be OK. I think it would be a good, good thing to relax and have fun and restore yourself. Mary

COBRA666's picture
COBRA666
Posts: 2418
Joined: May 2010

Well here goes. When I was told I had stage 4 I did not have this sight to go too. The doc was gung ho about waiting til it reached stage 4. I had my BMB and there it was. Not understanding the different stages I could not wait to start chemo. Knowing about the stages now I would ask the onc if I felt as you do about your trip if there would be any problem if I was to wait for a month or so. I am not telling you to wait for treatmeat at all. All the cases are different as you know. It is a hard decision, but you have to weigh what you are balancing here. The onc. dr. is the one that can really shed some light on each individual situation.

Hoppy23
Posts: 26
Joined: Jul 2010

Hi. When my husband was diagnosed last February with Follicular NHL, grade 1, stage 4, he also has been experiencing SEVERE pains for months before that and thus his doctor saw it was only wise to start chemo right away with no delay. The B-symptoms as they call it is what some doctors wait for to start treatment. That or the tumors growing larger and threatening other organs outside the lymphatic system.

That being said, I think like the previous posters have said, it is best to check with your doctor, since every case is different. I hope you do get to go to your trip though. It will make a whole lot of a difference in your treatment. My hubby was on a business trip right before his first R-CHOP cycle and when he came back he was very refreshed and ready to start the treatment. Good luck. Wishing you all the best.

allmost60's picture
allmost60
Posts: 3155
Joined: Jul 2010

Thanks so much for the feedback. Of course it goes without saying that we will go with whatever my doctor feels is best for me. I will ask her everything I asked you on Tuesday when she does the bone/marrow biopsy. That will still give us plenty of time to cancel our reservation(or not) and get our deposit back.I'm thinking..(hoping) a nice little 2 weeks of fishing and relaxing on the river will probably be just what my doctor will be on board with...(knock on wood)..ha! Thanks guys!
Sue
p.s...did you knowtice the new short hair picture? Whew...what a change for me...ha!

onlytoday's picture
onlytoday
Posts: 585
Joined: Jun 2010

I hope your doc says yes to your vacation. That will be a great way to rest up and have a lot of positive energy for your treatment. Good luck and let us know what happens! PS I did notice the hair - great idea and looks great!

COBRA666's picture
COBRA666
Posts: 2418
Joined: May 2010

Yea Right , You put a picture of your daughter on here and try to pass it off as you. HAHAHA!!!! Let us know about that vacation. YOU LOOK GREAT John

allmost60's picture
allmost60
Posts: 3155
Joined: Jul 2010

Too funny John! I have 2 sons. I think 60 is the new 40 now...right??!...ha! Thanks for making me laugh...lord knows I haven't felt like laughing much lately.
Sue

COBRA666's picture
COBRA666
Posts: 2418
Joined: May 2010

Sue, I got 2 sons too. 2 grandsons and a granddaughter. To be honest with you I never felt like 61 til I had the chemo. Then I think I by passed 61 and went straight to 107 years old. Its not like that every day though. As time gets farther pass the last chemo date things start to get back to more normal. I think I was telling you or at least somebody that I had a knot in my stomach that was extremely hard and lumpy before chemo. Now after the second treatment the hardness is just about gone but I still notice it when i check laying flat on my back. I hope it is a sign the chemo is working. That makes it all worth it. You will have days where you feel bad but you will have days when you will feel pretty good. As time passes after the treatments you will start to feel your old self again. I Have seen and heard where the treatments today make the treatments of 20 years ago look like ancient times. A lot of the chemo meds are different and they have meds now that help us from getting so nauseated. Meds like neulastra that help our bloods from dropping too low and making us so suseptible to infection and on going tiredness. I knew people back in the 70's,80's and 90's that had cancer,one was pancreatic and the other was lung and my father who had prostate. It was terrible. These were organ cancers and they are the real bad ones. They have come a long way in the treatment of these as well. I do not want to see anyone with any kind of cancer. I want to see it knocked out. I know you,like everyone else on here wants the same thing, but since we were cursed with this dreaded disease I guess we are lucky to have the lymphoma type. It is treatable and I feel it will not be long till it is cureable. I believe it all lies in the genes. Thats where it starts we do know that. Nobody put it in there. It started from within.Then something triggers it. Cracking that gene code will cure cancer. With the technology they have today how far can they really be away from it. Thats not a soapbox speech, but a common sense talk. Oh, your hair does look nice. Mine is starting to fall out pretty good now. The prednisone is keeping me hopping,but I took my last dose this morning. I even had the hand shaking a little for a couple of days, but thats gone too. Don't know what that was from. Keep us posted. John

allmost60's picture
allmost60
Posts: 3155
Joined: Jul 2010

Hi John...I was wondering.. how long does it take after starting chemo treatments that the hair starts to fall out? Is everyone different, or is there a standard range of time? I haven't done a thing towards preparing..wig,doo rags, etc. The hair cut was a start, but I haven't gone past that as of yet. UGH...I think it's my way of not quite commiting to the reality of all this...suppose when the hair goes, that will get me moving.

COBRA666's picture
COBRA666
Posts: 2418
Joined: May 2010

SUE, I think everyone is a little different, but as a general rule it starts 2-3 weeks after the 1st treatment. Mine started just under 3 weeks after. It will be just a small amout at first and may seem like normal hair loss on the comb. It won't take but a couple of more days and you will be able to run your fingers thru and it will be stuck between your fingers. John

allmost60's picture
allmost60
Posts: 3155
Joined: Jul 2010

One more little stressful thing to get through...ha! I'm sure you will be hearing more from me when mine starts to fall out...Alot of men look pretty cool with no hair and it seems to be the "thing" now. Women...not so much! We tend to like our hair...ha!
Tahnks for the info...Sue

dixiegirl's picture
dixiegirl
Posts: 1043
Joined: Apr 2006

Can't speak about the guys and their baldness, but honey I LOVED BEING BALD especially when it got to 104.

My hair is now by choice about 1/8" long (shaved in the back) and about 1/2" to 3/4" long on top. Very easy to care for ....like 2 minutes and done! You'll be fine Sue. Hair is NOT directly tied to your identity. It WILL come back very quickly and may even change color and texture.....hell, it's an ADVENTURE. Hold your bald head high with a huge smile on your face and scream to the world I WILL SURVIVE! CANCER GO AWAY!

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