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Chemo and Radiation at the same time...Has anyone experianced this?

positivevibes
Posts: 5
Joined: Aug 2011

I have a friend who has 3B non small cell lung cancer. It is mostly on one lung except a lymph node on the left side. The doctors are saying since he is only 50 and in good health they want to blast him with aggressive chemo and radiation at the same time... Has anyone gone through this and can they let me know what medications the doctors had you on while going through treatment. If there is any information I can get I would really appreciate it. Again if I could get as much information as I can I would really appreciate it. Thank you all again soo much you all have made this difficult time in our lives a little easier will all your success stories. I have told everyone about this site and how it has helped me find strength during this hard and emotional time in my life.

Thanks

Ryan

stayingcalm's picture
stayingcalm
Posts: 656
Joined: Feb 2007

When I started chemo in 2006 I was taking Cisplatin & Etoposide with concurrent radiation - luckily the radiation facility was in the same building, so I would have my radiation downstairs and then go upstairs for the chemo, pretty convenient :) I was able to stand up to it pretty well, and I'm sure your friend will be okay. My best wishes to you both,
stayingcalm

Ex_Rock_n_Roller's picture
Ex_Rock_n_Roller
Posts: 268
Joined: Mar 2011

... diagnosis-wise, and Stayingcalm is my twin treatment-wise.

The stats say the double whammy does increase your odds of success somewhat, and I can tell you it is tolerable. I'm 13 months past the end of concurrent Cisplation, Etoposide, and radiation. I have to say, compared to what it could have been, it was pretty much a day at the beach. Other drugs they had me on (the effects of none of these are perceptible in a negative way):

At the center:
-----------------------------------------
Decadron (steroid): Anti-nausea
Kytril: Anti-nausea
Some mild anti-anxiety thing (can't remember what)
Some other little red pill: To make you pee like crazy when they're dumping in the Cisplatin.
Gallons of water: To go with the little red pill. Your kidneys need to see the Niagara River when you're on one of those platinum drugs.

Take home:
-----------------------------------------
Compazine: Anti-nausea. They give you a lot of them, and I think I have a full bottle left. I felt only the slightest hint of nausea maybe twice. No problem.
Orange Kool-Aid looking stuff (forgot the name) that you dab on any radiation "sunburn" Pretty much an inconvenience more than anything else.

The only real side effects I had were hair loss during the second Etoposide treatment, and roasted esophagus (painful swallowing) that started about two weeks from the end of radiation. Both of those are likely to happen whether or not you get the radio and chemo concurrently.

My only specific advice would be to get a lot of rest, and be a nazi about totally avoiding any people or activities that could expose you to any source of contagion or infection. When the white cells are low from chemo, it can be easy to pick stuff up, and I don't think you'd want to be sick along with having treatments. I was pretty much a hermit, and I didn't catch a thing. Also, if the radiation pattern is going to get anywhere near his esophagus, start eating as though you already had the swallowing problem (e.g. lots of near-liquid and bland stuff; nothing sharp or acid) right away. It may delay the onset of symptoms.

Your friend can get through this!

phoobear
Posts: 39
Joined: Apr 2011

i have been waitig for my report too come back. i finished up everything about a month ago. any way my tumor had shrunk 40% more. i was so happy. of course they will watch what the rest of the tumor is doing. i have started having terrible joint and neck pain. had too go too the er sunday night. today the dr wants too put in a pain pump. this sort of frightened me because he does not seem too know if this is arthrhitis or not. i can not move my neck except down ward. this dr today was a specialist. why not keep me on the pain pills too take the edge off of it. has anyone had pain like this after rads and chemo was over? you all are so supportive and i wanted too share my news with you.

phoobear
Posts: 39
Joined: Apr 2011

i have been waitig for my report too come back. i finished up everything about a month ago. any way my tumor had shrunk 40% more. i was so happy. of course they will watch what the rest of the tumor is doing. i have started having terrible joint and neck pain. had too go too the er sunday night. today the dr wants too put in a pain pump. this sort of frightened me because he does not seem too know if this is arthrhitis or not. i can not move my neck except down ward. this dr today was a specialist. why not keep me on the pain pills too take the edge off of it. has anyone had pain like this after rads and chemo was over? you all are so supportive and i wanted too share my news with you.

CSquaredaway's picture
CSquaredaway
Posts: 5
Joined: Oct 2010

It sounds like your friend could be me! Like a few others have posted, I too was on Cisplatin & Etoposide and did the radiation concurrently. My routine was chemo and radiation for 7 days, no chemo but radiation for another 7 days, then back to both for 7 days. I did that for a couple months. Everyone reacts differently but, thankfully, I held up rather well. No nausea, etc. I was 59 at the time. This routine seemed to be very effective as the tumor was reduced to next to nothing.

deltafun's picture
deltafun
Posts: 50
Joined: Apr 2011

I did both at the samt time. I had 37 treatments of radiation and six rounds of Chemo Carbo/Taxol then a three week rest then a full does of chemo Carbo/taxol then another round three weeks after that. They did a pet scan two weeks after treatment on 8/14/11 which showed the tumor shrunk from 9.6cm to 4.2cm. I have a doc appointment Monday and the Oncologist wants to do more chemo same stuff carbo/taxol. The only real bad side effect so far from the treatments has been fatigue and numbness in my feet and hands.

Good luck with your tretments

ColoradoDani's picture
ColoradoDani
Posts: 65
Joined: Sep 2011

My husband also had the same treatment as your friend and ex rock n roller. He began in March 2011, ended at end of April, and is currently NED. He's 47 and handled the treatment well. He had a few bad days, but overall, was pretty amazing and was back hiking and biking within weeks. We even went back country skiing just 1 month after treatment. He never vomited, but did feel some nausea. He was vigilant about eating and didn't lose any weight. I hope your friend is doing as well as my husband did through the treatment.

a-positive
Posts: 2
Joined: Aug 2011

I have small cell lung cancer which is more systemic than large cell basically eliminating the posibility of surgery. The best treatment according to my Oncologist is aggressive Radiation and Chemotherapy. I've completed 6 weeks of radiation and started my 6th (3-day) chemotherapy today. The Radiaologist told me my Esophagus would start burning after 2 weeks and it did and I had 4 more weeks to go. After finally completing the 28 treatments my throat became extremely sore. I could not eat anything and had to be hospitalized for fluids and blood. It remained that way with only slight improvement after 9 weeks now. The Radiation was administered to me at 8 different angles circling my back, sides and major radiation straight on my chest. Do research on radiation. If he requires more than 2-3 weeks, he may want to reconsider his options. I would have if I had known the side-effects. I'm still wondering if I have permenant throat damage.

lovehim
Posts: 10
Joined: Oct 2011

My boyfriend is going through the same thing. 2 and a half weeks down and his throat hurts real bad it his chest and back burn. He is still eating because he doesn't want to be in the hospital. The doctors say he is doing good. But he still has 4 weeks and 2 days left. Just worry about this.

Dawn50
Posts: 115
Joined: Sep 2011

my husband just completed chemo and radiation for stage 3B non small cell lung cancer. The radiation was every day, Monday through Friday for a total of 40 and chemo was on Fridays only for six weeks for a total of six. He did exceptionally well on both. His back and chest got very red, then blistered from the radiation. They gave him a cream to put on it and we also used vaseline several times a day to moisturize the area. Also his esophagus got burnt and made it very difficult to get food and sometimes liquids down. They gave him triple mix (benadryl, maalox, and lidicaisne) to numb the area and percodan to help with the pain but after a while even that did not help much. It's been 3 weeks since the last radiation treatment and he is still having issues. After the second chemo he started getting very nauseous but they gave him medications to help with that too; one for the actual nausea and the other for heartburn. It has been 6 weeks since the last chemo and there haven't been any continuing side effects. Both treatments say they can cause fatigue and he continues to be very worn down but he has worked full time with some overtime all but 2 weeks because he had pneumonia and had to be hosptialized so I strongly agree with becoming very protective of your own well being and avoiding people who may make you sick!

I haven't had chemo or radiation but I can tell you that my husband has lost over 30 lbs, he was burned to blisters, and spent many weekends in bed following chemo but treatments and fighting for you life is a whole lot better than the alternative of no treatments and laying down and letting it take you!!

lovehim
Posts: 10
Joined: Oct 2011

This sounds like what is happening to my boyfriend after almost 3 weeks of treatment. We have a little more then 4 weeks left. Its taking a toll on me. Do you think he should always stay inside? Should he basically just sleep? He quit work and the only thing is he wants it gone. Putting everything on hold including us and don't like that.

Dawn50
Posts: 115
Joined: Sep 2011

I know you love him, as a spouse of a cancer patient, I know it's hard on you. You have to try to understand that he has to deal with this in his own way. Just be there to support him, hold a hand, listen to his complaints, and sometimes you have to walk away to give yourself some time to de-stress and allow him the space he needs. You have to keep your strength up to keep you positive, healthy, and able to care for him if he will allow it. He needs to know you are okay even if he isn't giving you as much attention as he once did because he has to focus on healing himself right now. My husband even made me promise not to cry so I have to do that in the car on the way to and from work so I don't do it around him. It hurts him to know it's hurting me.

Let him make the decisions that he feels are best for him. They may not be what you would choose for him but he has to live... or die ... how he feels most comfortable. You have to make decisions for yourself too. Unfortunately, it sometimes takes putting "us" on hold for the sake of one. You have to love him enough to let him go and remember love is still love where ever each of you are, whatever each of you are dealing with on your own or together.

I try to remind myself that he is an adult, he knows the consequences of his choices, and as long as it is not illegal, he can do whatever he wishes as long as he is ready to deal with what comes with it - pneumonia, set backs, etc.

Take care and hang in there!

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