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What is Induction Chemotherapy

depressed63's picture
depressed63
Posts: 39
Joined: May 2011

Hello,

I want to thank everyone for all the nice replies from my previous post regarding my husband's Stage 4A tonsil cancer. I'm still new to all this and not quite sure what all of the technical terms are to what he has. He has a tumor on the left side and the cancer (SCC) is in his tonsils, HPV Negative. He has had the radiation mask made and we thought radiation would start next week. We are now being told that Induction Chemotherapy will be done first with an IV 24 hrs 4 or five days and 2 weeks off. Has anyone with this type of cancer had this done?

What a great group of people. I am so blessed to have the internet and support through the Cancer Survivors Network. I'm hoping my husband will be joining the group too.

Thanks,

Donna in Ohio

Skiffin16's picture
Skiffin16
Posts: 8057
Joined: Sep 2009

One definition;

Chemotherapy usually with high doses of anticancer drugs (as cisplatin or methotrexate) in the initial treatment especially of advanced cancers in order to make subsequent treatment (as surgery or radiotherapy) more effective...

From what you are describing, that only sounds like the 5FU which is from a pump worn home for 4-5 days.

When I had similar to the tonsil cancer you mention. They had me on nine weeks (three week cycles) of Cisplatin and Taxotere and 5FU. I would go in Monday morning, get a CBC (complete blood count), if I was good to go, they would hook me up to a pump thru the port in my chest and start various fluids and solutions, eventually the Cisplatin and Taxotere.

Last thing for the day was to hook me up to a portable pump, worn in a fanny pack filled with the 5FU.

I would wear that until Friday morning, it would run out Thursday night and I'd clamp it off and turn the pump off.

Then I'd be done other than hydration and a Neulasta shot the folloeing Monday that helped regenerate blood counts.

After that nine weeks, I had seven weeks of concurrent weekly Carboplatin and 35 daily rads.

As a side note, ask for the printout on the CBC. I have each of mine (around 25)...it's a good record and history of the effects of the chemo and treatment on your body...

John

depressed63's picture
depressed63
Posts: 39
Joined: May 2011

This has helped. I tried searching online but I kept getting journals of information that didn't make sense.

Thanks!

Skiffin16's picture
Skiffin16
Posts: 8057
Joined: Sep 2009

BTW, I meant to ask the other day...where in Ohio? I was born in Ohio, Mansfield to be exact, but grew up primarily in Mount Vernon....

My father worked for PennCentral RR, so we did live in a lot of cities though in Ohio...

Best,
John

depressed63's picture
depressed63
Posts: 39
Joined: May 2011

I live in Brookville Ohio. About 30 min from Dayton and 30 Min from Richmond Indiana. I grew up in Dayton Ohio. I have many relatives in Mansfield Ohio and an upcoming reunion that I'm not sure I will be going to.

Donna

Skiffin16's picture
Skiffin16
Posts: 8057
Joined: Sep 2009

I was actually just up there in October, definitely was nice, we hit the fall colors for a few days. Then we had some heavy rain and wind and they were all basically gone.

JG

Kent Cass's picture
Kent Cass
Posts: 1746
Joined: Nov 2009

John likely has given you the insight you requested. If your husband takes two pumps home with him, instead of just the one, I might be able to provide some additional insight.

Your husband's gonna be okay, Donna. We've all made it thru what lies ahead of him, and life is good. Ain't a one of us wanted what we went thru, and sometimes things can get a bit rough, but it's your Dr's job to get one thru those rough times, as they will- keep them in the loop as to how he is physically handling it. He's gonna survive this C thing, Donna. That's not an issue, so don't give it a moment's thought. Know he will, and never let that Positive fact out of your mind. This is 2011, and great advances have been made over the past 10 years. Gonna be all right.

Any questions or concerns- this is the place to let them be known.

Believe

kcass

depressed63's picture
depressed63
Posts: 39
Joined: May 2011

Your positive feedback brings tears to my eyes. Thank you so much. He just got fitted for the PICC catheter in his arm today. It's a double lumen type. I'm not sure if both of them will be used for two different pumps yet. He will start next week for 4 to 5 days and then he's off of it for 2 weeks. He is still reluctant to have the stomach PEG. Will he need that with chemo or just radiation or both? He weighed 162, about 5'10 and the Radiologist said he needs one. He has gained 4 lbs but I think the doctor is right since he sees patients all the time. He's very active, can't keep still, and loves restoring old cars.

Donna

Kent Cass's picture
Kent Cass
Posts: 1746
Joined: Nov 2009

In general, the need for the PEG is to make certain one can get the liquid Nutrition and water into the stomach and system in treatment and beyond. To answer your question- it is for mainly what the rads do to the mouth, but can also say the same for the throat, especially if surgery is involved. Nobody likes the thought of getting a PEG, Donna, and they are somewhat ugly, but can be bigtime beneficial. Not everyone needs one, but if your husband is to get one, which your Drs. can best advise- the best time to get it is before treatment starts. As my, and no doubt your, Drs have told you- hydration and Nutrition are very important to getting thru treatment in the best way possible. That's why the PEG is important, especially for those getting chemo put into your system.

kcass

connieprice1's picture
connieprice1
Posts: 290
Joined: Oct 2010

Donna, My wife Connie has finished her induction chemo and radiation treatments. She is now in recovery phase and has had two clear CAT scans and will do a PET scan on June 16, 2011 and we are cautiously optimistic that this scan will come back all clear. I told my sister that it is in God's hands now and she told me that " God's hands are a good place to be". I wanted to let you know that there are a lot of ups and downs with cancer treatment but it can be done and your husband can do it. As far as induction chemo, your husband will be getting nausea pills and you see that he takes these pills as prescribed. Make sure he takes nausea pills to prevent nausea from setting in, do not wait till he gets nauseated and then take a pill. My wife took Zophran and it is very good but their are other drugs that work well and everyone is different. Radiation does not hurt and went smoothly for the most part. The last 2 weeks during and a month after is rough but my wife has been getting stronger everyday. The recovery period is slowwwww and it is easy to get impatient but hopefully over time she will be herself again. Radiation will also zap your husband's energy some and he will sleep more than normal. The CSN network has some of the finest people on the earth and they are always willing to help you and your husband through these difficult times. Make sure you take care of yourself and try to "stay strong and keep a positive attitude" We will keep you and your husband in our prayers, Homer & Connie

depressed63's picture
depressed63
Posts: 39
Joined: May 2011

I will keep you and Connie in my prayers.

Greend's picture
Greend
Posts: 679
Joined: Feb 2010

Depressed - first of all you can relax. Very high cure rate for tonsil cancer; 15 years here as example. I did have to wear the pump and it works great (5FU). I did get sick nd tired of carrying it around and hearing that "psssst" sound every few seconds but a small price to pay. I had a port installed before treatment and that made things easier. Taking baths was fun but can be done. Hang in there, it will all be ok.

Skiffin16's picture
Skiffin16
Posts: 8057
Joined: Sep 2009

Yep, similar with me, hearing the 5FU pump into you every few seconds gets old fast.... Oh and if you have cats, they'll warn you or should to make sure they don't chew the small meds tube...apparently they like the taste of the 5FU ~ stupid cats, LOL.

I could never get it off soon enough so I could start my two weeks of battle on my own again.

As for baths, it's tricky and can be done...nothing better than a long hot soak in the tub. But my wife always complained that I stunk up the house, smelled like a big medicinal tea bag....I thought I rather smelled like cat urine or spray myself, pungent sweet almost sickening smell. Ahhh the price we pay for the cure....LOL.

Best,
John

depressed63's picture
depressed63
Posts: 39
Joined: May 2011

Humor is the best medicine. I have a cat. I will keep an eye on her and the dog.

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