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Encouraging results from first session of Taxol/Carbo

Ro10's picture
Ro10
Posts: 1579
Joined: Jan 2009

My CA 125 dropped from 1740 to 1510. The doctor thought it would take at least two sessions to see a drop. So I am very encouraged by this drop already. I had already seen the doctor in the morning, and did not get the results until the afternoon, so I don't know what his thoughts are.

My other labs continue to look very good. It would be hard to believe I got chemo. Except if you see my bald head, you know they gave me the good stuff.

They had trouble drawing blood from my port. The lab girl worked for more than a half and hour putting in heparin a couple of times, but it did not work. So they put in TPA and after an hour it worked. I had a doctor's appointment, so they had to draw the blood from my arm. Then after the doctor's appointment the port worked. So glad they could use it for my chemo.

I was surprised it had fibrin built up since it was just 3 weeks since they used it for chemo. I have gone as long as nine weeks between flushes and had not had problems.

It was a long day again lab at 7:15 a.m. and got out of chemo chair at 7:30 p.m. But at least there was no reaction, and I got all the chemo.

Do not know how many sessions I will need, but am glad the CA 125 started to drop already.

I had quite a few side effects to discuss with him and he addressed them all. As far as my insomnia he asked if I thought it was the steroid (decadron) or anxiety keeping me awake. I told him the steroid. He said I could either take it earlier in the day, or cut the dosage in half for the three days. I tried to take it earlier today. I got a good night sleep last night, so that will start the whole week better.

Before my first session I did not sleep two nights before the chemo and then 4 nights after the chemo. So I was a wreck.

The constipation, he said Taxol is known to cause constipation, and agreed with my apple juice and stool softeners plan.

The nausea late in the cycle he ordered Zofran. Actually the compazine works for me .....if I take it. I don't really like to take pills if I can get away with not taking them. But the nausea is not fun, so I will take them from now on. I seem to have more heartburn than nausea. Anyone have suggestions for what works for them for heartburn. I try crackers, yogurt and tums. Sometimes they work and sometimes they don't. I take Prilosec every morning.

I have a coating on my tongue. I can brush off a lot of it, except on the back of my tongue. I gag then. It really has just started, so I don't know if it is thrush. He ordered a "swish and swallow" medicine (nystatin) to use 4 times a day for 14 days. All these problems I never had with the first 6 chemos. So I did not know how he would address side effects. I was quite pleased with what he did.

I also asked him since I was stage iii-C, did I become stage IV if the cancer spread to one of the organs - liver, lungs, or kidneys. He said that with GYN cancers, the staging stays the same. He said it would just be uterine with recurrence.

I also asked him about the cyber knife or stereotactic surgery for my lymph nodes. He said not with multiple nodes involved. He also said it would depend on where the lymph node was located. Sometimes they are too close to major vessels, which one of mine is.

So it was an eventful day with good news. In peace and caring.

Kaleena's picture
Kaleena
Posts: 1404
Joined: Nov 2009

Ro, I am glad you got some promising results with your CA125 so quickly. I am also glad you were able to discuss all those things with your doctor.

I am glad that you are able to at least get some sleep now. Not able to sleep is so annoying. But it seems that you are getting everything under control.

I hope the rest of your chemo goes uneventful and that your CA125 keeps dropping.

Happy for you for your eventful and good news day!

Kathy

Double Whammy's picture
Double Whammy
Posts: 2481
Joined: Jun 2010

Oh Ro, I'm so happy to hear your good news. I hope next blood work will show an even more significant drop in CA-125. And I hope your side effects diminish - and maybe you won't have to have too many chemo sessions.

Thanks for the update.

Suzanne

lkchapman's picture
lkchapman
Posts: 105
Joined: Jan 2011

Yeah! Great news Ro. It gives everyone on this board so much hope to see you responding so well. I hope it goes SO well you get to stop your chemo sooner!
Laura

Cindy Bear
Posts: 569
Joined: Jul 2009

Great news RO. I am so happy to hear that. Just keep it up.. As far as heartburn, I can't stand tums or rolaids or Pepto bismal or anything like that. I usually just take Tagamet or Pepcid or Nexium...
There are some home remedies that some people swear by.. but of course everyone is different.. baking soda /water, milk or buttermilk, green tea after meals. Some people swear by papaya.. (you eat it with your breakfast... )
Good luck with managing all the Side effects and let us know how you're doing.

nempark
Posts: 671
Joined: Apr 2010

Ro: Continue with the good work and good news! Seems like you do have a Doc with good bedside manners. You will soon be NED. Love and best wishes. June

lindaprocopio's picture
lindaprocopio
Posts: 2022
Joined: Oct 2008

What you've posted about your oncologists responses to your questions mirrors what my oncologist has said, always comforting to get a '2nd opinion', so thanks!

I'm so glad your chemo is going better and looks to be effective, Ro! A lot of that digestive discomfort is the 'friendly fire' of the chemo on the fast-growing cells of your healthy digestive track. I know that doesn't make the heart burn any easier. Prilosec is the only thing that helped me with that, and yet I didn't take it very often. Ginger tea helps settle my digestion. If you really like PEPPERY (hot) ginger tea, the Traditional Medicinals Organic Ginger tea (bought online), steeped 15 minutes and then re-heated a little, really does seem to soothe the digestive system better than the ginger tea I can get locally. Do check with your oncologist about THIS ginger tea, as it is strong enough to be considered an herbal supplement. I LOVE the peppery shock of this tea, but I've had friends pour it down the sink, so you have to REALLY like the bite of ginger to like this tea. But if you do, give it a try. YUMMY! & works good.

maggie_wilson's picture
maggie_wilson
Posts: 616
Joined: Nov 2009

that's great that your ca 125 went down so quickly. sorry about the side effect, but they seem to be being handled. for some reason, my port also didn't work the time before last, heperin went in, no blood could be drawn. then i went back in a couple of weeks, and all was fine, who knows? glad taking the steroids earlier are helping you sleep, that's the worst. i just noticed that i have developed a mild rash on the inside of my arms from the gemzar, waiting to hear from nurse whether to take benadryl. doesn't really bother me, but never had that before.

next chemo, just gemzar tomorow; we'll see how that goes. i know what you mean about not wanting to take a lot of drugs, but that's what they're there for, and if they help, i take them. fortunately, no constipation problems this time, for me that's the worst. i really have that covered. i did hear that zofran, which works for me, causes constipation, so i've been careful re: not over doing them, plus, they only give me 9 pills altogether. must be expensive. compazine doesn't work as well for me.

so glad it was a good, eventful day; that's what we like to hear!

sisterhood,
maggie

upsofloating's picture
upsofloating
Posts: 473
Joined: Dec 2009

I'm so happy for you, Ro. Seeing a response from first round is so encouraging - makes the side effects a little more tolerable. Wonderful to have a Dr who takes the time to listen and offer advice and info! I did a lot of ginger ale to help with the queasies - just sipped along - seemed to make a difference.
Hope this round goes smoother for you and those good blood counts continue.
Annie

HellieC's picture
HellieC
Posts: 497
Joined: Nov 2010

I am so pleased for you that you are getting some results from the chemo so early in the treatment. Such positive news is so important to keep spirits up.
Regarding staging/grading after recurrence, I, agree, from what I've heard that Staging remains the same and is classed as "recurrence" thereafter, however Grade can change with each biopsy.
Hang on in there, Ro, you are beating this blighter again.
Kindest wishes
Helen

kkstef's picture
kkstef
Posts: 706
Joined: May 2008

I am so happy this infusion went so much better. It was also nice to hear that your Dr. was a good listener and addressed some of your issues.

I nibbled on ginger cookies when I felt a little quesy and that seemed to help. I don't have any suggestions for the heart burn though as Tums usually worked for me.

Hope things continue to go well for you. So glad to see the quick decline in your CA-125!

Big hugs!

Karen

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