CSN Login
Members Online: 6

Chemo starts Tomorrow

me_and_my_mom
Posts: 44
Joined: Dec 2012

For my mother. Thank You God. They are starting her on Taxon(?) and carboplatin - all in one day, it will take 10 hours. Three weeks later, they will give her a big dose of one the first day, then smaller doses of the other once a week for the remainding two weeks. then another 2 rounds before possible surgery?

Does this sound like a typical protocol? How soon until ascites clears and comfort begins? What else should we be expecting?

thank you all.

MJensen
Posts: 93
Joined: Oct 2012

Hi,
That is what many of us started with. I got Taxol / Carboplatin over 10 hrs my first treatment. They like to administer it slowly. She should get an anti nausea drug, steroid, possibly Benedryl before they start the chemo. I had anxiety so they gave me a Lorazapn as well. It helped with my nerves. I had the same cocktail for the next 2 treatments then had surgery. I was also told to take Alph Lopoic Acid to reduce the neuropathy side effects. I felt measurable better in about 2 weeks and got intense night sweats and had to get up to pee all night. You have to get all the fluid and chemo out of your body. Everyone is different though. It is important she drinks lots of water. I was instructed 8-10 glasses a day but you can get water in popsicles and many other forms. I was also told to eat small meals but more often. So even though I didn't have an appetite I tried popsicles, ensure, ensure water, yogurt etc. I am so happy she is starting tomorrow. I am sure it will be a big relief for both of you. Positive thoughts and mind over matter will help her feel better......I had just had my first laproscopically surgery when they started my chemo the next day in the hospital so I had a lot going on. I am sure others felt better sooner than I did. Good luck and let us know how she does. Where is her CA125 marker right now? Hopefully you will see a big drop by her next blood draw. I was over 4000 and dropped to 2000 after the first treatment. It was encouraging! Happy for you and your mom....keep us posted. <3 Michele

Alexandra's picture
Alexandra
Posts: 1271
Joined: Jul 2012

Tomorrow your mom will meet with the chemo nurse who will explain the protocol and side effects. She will be given anti-nausea meds orally. It takes longer the first time.
Then she will be administered steroids / benadryl through IV (takes about 1/2 hr)
The first couple of rounds Taxol (Paclitaxel) is given slowly till they conclude that she is not allergic to it. (takes about 5 hours). Carboplatin will follow for another hour.
So be prepared to spend all day there.
The standard protocol is Taxol + Carboplatin together every 3 weeks, but they make modifications for older patients.
How soon ascites clears depends on your mom's sensitivity to chemo. Personally I would ask to be tapped now, because being on chemo is uncomfortable enough without a disdended belly. She has to drink a lot of liquids which may be problematic with ascites. They can hydrate her through IV, but you have to ask. If despite anti-nausea meds she is vomiting, call them and they will adjust the meds. If she has high fever, take her to the ER. Make sure that she rinses and gargles with salt or baking soda, because some people get mouth sores. Have laxative and stool softener handy in case she gets constipated. Not everyone gets all side effects, some people slide through it.

If her symptoms subside and CA125 decreases after the first chemo, you will know that she is chemo-sensitive and it is helping. Sometimes when bloodwork (RBC, WBC, platelets) are outside of normal range, they postpone the next chemo till they are normal.

Good luck tomorrow and keep us posted on the progress

me_and_my_mom
Posts: 44
Joined: Dec 2012

I have no idea what her CA125 is. I will find out. Thank you for all the tips. I will be praying like mad that this is going to help her. I will update.

Thank u all again.

Lisa13Q's picture
Lisa13Q
Posts: 683
Joined: Jul 2009

What everyone has said is totally normal..yes, the chemo will help the ascites. Don't be surprised if your Mom is up all night the first night. We called my mother Turbo Tina the first time, the steroids really got her going. Yes, this will truly help her...Have Tylenol around for any aches...the chemo nurse will go over everything....your Mom may lose her hair....we all took my mother out to a wig shop and purchased her some caps....before starting.....all normal.....sounds like you are in excellent hands...

me_and_my_mom
Posts: 44
Joined: Dec 2012

Thank u all.

What should I expect as far as feeling sick after my mothers first chemo tx? Will it be worse in the first few days then taper off? Will it be really bad for the whole 3 weeks until her next tx? Is there a period of time in between treatments that she might feel okay, or her best?

Alexandra's picture
Alexandra
Posts: 1271
Joined: Jul 2012

Everyone reacts to chemo differently, depending on age, overall health, etc.
In my experience the first day after chemo I felt fine, very energetic, hyped up on steroids.
Days 2 through 5 I felt fatigued, sometimes nauseated, bad taste in my mouth, food tasted differently. Second week is when blood counts go down, and I was weak but overall better then week 1. Week 3 blood counts will go back up and I feel totally normal.
Hair starts falling out day 11 through 17.

My round #1 was the worst (abdominal pains & cramps, nausea, vomiting), then I got new anti-nausea meds, rounds #2 and #3 were easy, round #4 was harder (peripheral neuropathy and thyroid issues started). After 4 rounds tumor was completely gone and CA125 was normal 7 down from 1083. Then I had surgery. 3 more rounds after surgery were univentful.
I drove myself to and from chemo, I was on no special diet and I did not experience any horrors.

Alexandra's picture
Alexandra
Posts: 1271
Joined: Jul 2012

One more thing...
Your mom should stay away from house chemicals, garbage, minimize contact with people who have cold or flu because chemo will compromize her immune system

wholfmeister's picture
wholfmeister
Posts: 267
Joined: Dec 2012

Everyone reacts a little different. I needed a driver, because the benadryl made me so sleepy. The anti-nausea meds worked great for me. After the Benadryl wore off, I am generally pretty energetic the first 24 hours. Then I am tired, not much energy, not much interest in food. My nurses told me to sleep, but exercise, too. So I do a lot of walking. Drink, drink, drink!! Lots of fluids. My nurses also warned me to take Miralax every day for at least a week, even if I thought I didn't need it. My severe pain was gone a few days after the first chemo, so that is what I am hoping for your mom! Holding you up for strength!

lovesanimals's picture
lovesanimals
Posts: 1283
Joined: Sep 2011

As the other ladies have said, there is no one way to react to chemo. I had six sessions of taxol/carboplatin, each session three weeks apart. For about the first week after each session, I was extremely fatigued, constipated with no appetite. I tried to stay ahead of the constipation by taking Miralax starting a couple of days before my treatment, plus trying to drink my fluids and eating apples and other foods with fiber. By the second week after each treatment, I felt pretty darn good, all things considered.

I can tell you are very relieved and grateful that she's getting her first treatment. Please let us know how it went. She has every reason to be hopeful about the future.

Take care,

Kelly

me_and_my_mom
Posts: 44
Joined: Dec 2012

So my mother had her first chemo tx yesterday - full dose of both taxol and carboplatin. She is 73. They kept her overnight to hydrate her and give her zofron via IV. She tolerated the chemo okay initially, but now is getting sick. She vomitted twice, and is still nauseous on the zofran. They said they will keep her there w/ IV fluid and zofran until she is more stable and then send her home, maybe tomorrow? Does this sound typical? I am thinking it's good for her to be in the hospital until she feels better. My father is w/ her now, and gives me reports on her which are very dramatic (my father is like that), saying things like "She can't open her eyes", "she in unable to talk", "I don't have all the details yet". My sister spent the night w/ her, and said she (my mother) is just very tired, but that her nauseau is being controlled, and yes, she can talk, but not when she is sleepy.She get can get herself up to the bathroom w/o much help. According to Dad's report though, she is on deaths door. I have a cold, and cannot go near my mother for the next 10 days, according to her doctor.
I'm sorry for the rant. I am in the middle of hell, crying hysterically when I hear my mother vomitted (I can't stand the thought of her being in pain, or sick) - I really need to pull it togethe.
Family dynamics are also beginning to kick in. People are tired, my father and sister are already fighting.(they have never gotten along)

As we are moving through this illness w/ my mother - it is constantly bringing up memories of my own fight against ovarian cancer 19 years ago. I was 25 years old, and pregant w/ my second baby. NOBODY, and I mean NOBODY helped me - at all. I was dropped off at the hospital for chemo, and picked up 5 days laters. Nobody stayed w/ me, I had only a few visitors (and it wasn't my mother, father, or sister), and when i went home, nobody helped me (and I had a 2 year old son to take care of also). Nobody called, nobody said "don't worry, I'm here for you", nobody stuck around. I was sooo alone through it all. It kind of upsets me to here my father say somebody has to be w/ mom 24/7 because 'it would be nice for her". As I recall, I was in the hospital for a total of 6 weeks, and the one time my mother did come and visit, my father remained in the lobby of the hospital because he said the elevator ride to the floor I was on would 'bother his ears". I am not kidding.
God help me for bringing this up. How incredibly selfish of me to be thinking of myself - it is my mother who is sick right now. It's just bringing up a lot of things I had stuffed inside myself for a long time.
Not sure where this post is heading. Just venting I guess. Everything just feels so horrible right now.
And God bless those families who lost their children yesterday in CT. There are no words for what happened, none.

MJensen
Posts: 93
Joined: Oct 2012

I think it is good that she is in the hospital and getting hydrated. If she is still in a lot of pain from the ascities maybe someone can convince the Dr to have her fluid tapped., As for the nausea, zophran never worked for me. I always took Amend. I would take one before I went to chemo and then 1 for the next 2 days. It made a huge difference for me. I am sure your moms exhausted and sleep is good for her and she will have the staff to take good care of her, check her vitals and her blood work. if she needs a white cell or red cell booster shot they will give it to her in the hospital. She may want to talk with her DR about putting a port in if she has any issues getting the IV set up in her veins.
I am so sorry you had to go thru your treatment alone. That is very sad but also must have been very scary for you. It is fine to vent here but it sounds like you need to talk with your family about this....but now is not the time. I hope your moms CA125 will drop like a rock and this chemo will start to attack the cancer and get her feeling markably better soon. It is good that you stay away while you are sick but if she has a laptop you can maybe skype or GChat with her so you can see her and visa versa. That is what I did with my kids when I was in the hospital in a nuetropenic state.
Please take care of yourself as well. Your mom is in good hands right now. I will be sending positive thoughts to give you, your mom and your family strength to get through this. Hopefully your dad can share positive energy with her as well. As for yesterday....I think the whole nation is in morning. Something has to radically change to prevent this type of tragedy from continuing to happen. We all are praying for everyone in Conn.
Please keep us updated on your moms progress and again I am so sorry for what you had to endure by yourself. No one should have to go thru cancer treatment alone. Be good to yourself. Stress can make you sick and prolong your recovery..... <3 Michele

Alexandra's picture
Alexandra
Posts: 1271
Joined: Jul 2012

The only anti-nausea meds that worked for me were Emend and Kytril (Granisetron) taken 1 hr before treatment and for 2 days after. They are significantly more expensive but my drug plan covered them.

Sorry to hear about your family's behavior 19 years ago. It's pretty shocking to treat a young pregnant mother this way. But what's important: you survived, you put it behind you, you are a stronger and better woman and you are here for your mother in her hour of need.

My sincere condolences from Canada to the families of victims of the Conn. elementary school massacre. It's heart-breaking.

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