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Anyone had weekly Taxol/Carboplatin treatments for 18 week period?

love_nature
Posts: 8
Joined: Jan 2013

Greetings,

I'm new to CSN. I started IV treatments Jan 7, 2013, no port so far. I'm doing well, just wondering if the effects worsen as time goes on. I fatigue 1-2 days a week enough to stay in bed, but recover fine after that. I also have some skin irritation after treatment on my arms but it seems to clear in a few days. I often wake up around 3:00 AM and have great difficulty falling back to sleep, even with Ambien or Valium. Someone told me it's the chemo, but not sure about that. Thanks for any input.

AggieJ's picture
AggieJ
Posts: 5
Joined: May 2012

My mother had 4 treatments, she developed neuropothy in her hands loss of feeling from her finger tips to close to the top of her wrists.  Also it developed in her feet right after the fourth treatment.  She seemed to de fine then like overnite she was almost unable to walk.  Developed bilateral drop foot do to the chemo drugs.  She also had to have blood transfusion after the 3rd and 4th treatment.  There are things they can give you to help with the neuropothy, her neurologist diagnosed the neuropothy and gave her a prescription for folbic tabs, but she sai there was no reversing the nerve damage.

love_nature
Posts: 8
Joined: Jan 2013

Thanks for your response about your mom and so sorry to hear about the side effects. I was wondering what year this happened and her age?

I'm taking L-Glutamine to prevent the neuoropathy so after 4 treatments I'm doing ok. My bloodwork is ok at this point as well. My best to you and your mom.

Shannon

childofthestars's picture
childofthestars
Posts: 246
Joined: Jan 2011

Hi

I had 18 weeks taxol/carbo from Aug-Dec 2010, I had a powerport fitted which was brilliant.  The effects are cummulative and were a bit worse after each 'double' session but on the whole I was really ok, in fact I used to go out shopping or out for lunch after each treatment.  I would recommend a port though, it will save your veins in the long run.  Luckily I didn't suffer with neuropathy or too much sickness (thanks to anti-sickness meds) but I did have trouble with sleeping.

wishing you all the best, keep us up to date on how things go.

michelle

 

love_nature
Posts: 8
Joined: Jan 2013

Thank you so much for your response, Michelle, just what I was looking for. I'm amazed (and pleased for you) that you could go out after the infusion. They give me benadryl prior to the chemo drugs and it wipes me out. But, I'm fine the next day, so I look forward to that.

When you say the port could save my veins do you mean that they'll get fried or scarred? I ask the infusion nurses to alternate arms and locations on the arms each week. My only concern with asking for a port is I have developed an allergic reaction to any type of tape, eg bandaides without latex, paper tape, etc. I get a rash next to the tape and it goes systemic and rashes break out on other parts of my body. Very weird for me...Anyway, I think tape is needed to keep the port covered and/or in place, right?  And regarding difficulty sleeping, were you ever able to resolve that?

Thanks again for your response. And BIG congratulations on your grandbaby. Girl or boy? Name?

Shannon

 

lulu1010's picture
lulu1010
Posts: 367
Joined: Feb 2011

I too had the 18 weeks of Taxol and Carbo. Yes the veins get scarred etc . The chemo is hard on them and when you get frequent blood tests as well as 18 weeks of chemo it really takes its toll quick. The port is completely under the skin. They put it in under a moderate sedation. It is not a big deal really. May feel sore a couple days. Much better than getting poked and poked and they can do blood tests from it as well. You need a power port so they can put CT dye thru it when you have CTs done.

With the chemo I was fine for about 24 hours and then very tired and no appetite for a couple days and then fine again. Maybe a little tired but I had no neuropathy or anything. I did lose my hair from Taxol. You really need to drink as much fluid as you can. Good luck!

123Miley's picture
123Miley
Posts: 91
Joined: Jan 2013

I also have a port and am glad I do.   I had mine put in when I was in the hospital for surgery.  That was over 5 years ago and it is still in and working.  I think it is easier than having to access a vein directly everytime.  My veins take enough beating with the constant blood work!  My veins are not as cooperative as they were when I started all of this - a little harder to hit - I think because of scar tissue but not horrible even after all of this time.  As far as the tape goes I would think that a regular IV would need tape also?  They do put tape over my port - but I am thinking that the port access is more stable than an IV would be - so what ever you have to do to keep your IV stable during treatment - well that or less should be fine for a port. But thinking about your alergy - it would be in the same place rather than alternating arms like with an IV.  Talk to your doctor and the nurses in the infusion room about it - everyone is different as are our circumstances.   

I also got benadryl with carbo/taxol and it pretty much knocked me out. Also got steroids which made me ravenously hungry.  My infusion lasted 4 to 5 hours - so my routine was I would get started, my husband would go get me lunch then I ate and crashed for the rest of the time  LOL!  I was treated every 3rd week and went for 11 months for my initial diagnosis - so a little different than your regimine.  Like Michele I felt pretty good the day of and day after treatment.  Then I was pretty much in a semi coma for 2-3 days - then back up and going - all be it a little slowly at first.  The effects of the chemo are cumulative - for me just took longer to totally recover each time.  

On the sleeping thing - I had the same problem - I think partly because the first few days I would sleep so much that I got - as my Mom used to say when I was a kid - I got my days and nights mixed up!  But early on when I mentioned the sleep thing and night sweats which I had really bad, to my doctor, he put me on Lexipro which is actully an antidepressant but when I started taking it I slept way better and night sweats and hot flashes were almost totally gone.

Good luck with your treatments!  I have been checking in pretty often since I joined and will keep an eye out for updates from you.  

 

 

 

 

 

childofthestars's picture
childofthestars
Posts: 246
Joined: Jan 2011

Hi Shannon

My granddaughter is called Summer and she is just tooooo cute - being a grandma (or GG as I'm called) is THE best Smile

Wtih regard to the port, the main reason I had to have it was because I had chemo in 2000 for breast ca and it did fry my veins so when I had the ovca diagnosed my oncologist was adamant that I had the port which i did NOT want at the time but so glad I did. I only wish I had had it put in when I had the chemo in 2000!  The port was inserted under sedation and is completely under the skin with no need for any tape to keep it in place so no plaster/bandages etc were necessary appart from about 3 days post procedure.  I had it removed (again under sedation) 1 week after I finished my chemo. 

The sleeping problem was something I just had to put up with in the end and I still don't sleep as well as I used to but I think it's just something we have to get used to.  I think our poor bodies have had such a shock from surgery and treatment and then being put in to menopause (in some cases) that it's no wonder our sleeping patterns are disturbed!!!  

hope this helps and good luck with the rest of your treatments, let me know how things go.

michelle x 

ptharp
Posts: 190
Joined: Oct 2012

Hi Shannon: I have a port and it is the best thing I ever did. No tape is not used to hold the port in. It is under the skin. I also have a sensitivity to certian tapes too and the IV nurses use a special kind of tape while you are getting your chemo but when you are finshed they take it off. I have heard that having the IV put in arm causes the chemo to screw up your veins in your arm. I would go for the port. The surgery for it is no big deal.

ptharp
Posts: 190
Joined: Oct 2012

I am also getting Carbo and Taxol for 18 weeks. I am getting 6 cycles that consist of 3 weeks. The first week I get Carbo and Taxol. That is the bad week and it is not really bad. A little sick tummhy the first couple of days after treatment. I did notice that each Carbo week it is getting a little worse. I have one more Carbo week. I got a port prior to chemo because usually it is hard to get a vein on me and I heard stories about your veins in your arms messing up. It is worth it if you have to do it a while. The first 3 cycles I was pretty good. I was able to go out and do some things. It really started to affect me at the end of cycle 4. Good Luck.

kimberly sue 63's picture
kimberly sue 63
Posts: 388
Joined: Apr 2012

I started out great, making every weekly chemo treatments. The fatigue got worse as I progressed. I did Thursday chemotherapy, and friday's I felt great due to all of the pre-medication, By Sat, I was feeling the affects. If it was a carbo week, I was really nauseaded for two to four days, if it was an onlyTaxol week, I did pretty good. I started chemo at the end of April, and by June my fatigue was considerable. However, I started to get low blood counts so had to skip a week of chemo once in a while. One time I had to skip two weeks due to blood counts. However, the fatigue improved with stretching out the treatments. It was to be 18 weeks of the chemo, but it ended up taking 24 weeks to get throught the treatments. I worked every morning, and slept every afternoon. I did get blood transfusions about every 4-5 week. I too did not develop neuropathy initially. I too used glutamine very routinely in the beginning. But by August not so regular. I did eventually develop neuropathy in my hands and feet by September. I also seem to have gotten joint aches, especially in my hands.

I am now 3 months since my last chemo, and go this next week to check my ca125 and see my oncologist. I feel a little anxious this week. I think it is due to the anticipation of my counts. I also have recently felt more fatigue and some mild indigestion. Just these minor symptoms make worry now because I had these symptoms before diagnosis and did not think anything of it. I work 9-10 hours a day, so fatigue is not unexpected!!

My hair has come back. It is not my usualy longer length, but a short classicl look for now. I got my first hair cut since loosing my hair in May of last year.

Kim

Dmk.c3
Posts: 5
Joined: Feb 2013

Hi all,

I'm also new to CSN and was glad to find this thread.  I just finished the first treatment of the fourth cycle -- the carbo-taxol week -- and it seemed to be a kind of tipping point for me.  I had regularly been a little on Saturdays (treatments are on Friday), presumably because of the steroid prep.  This weekend, however, the fatigue hit full on and the hot flashes and chills ramped up. I slept more than half of the day on Sunday, and am still wrestling with the chills and sweating...I don't know if I own enough clothing to change that much!  

With so many good comments on here, I'm wondering if anyone has any tips for dealing with the flashes and chills. I'm monitoring my temp, as the docs requested, but it's steadily between 96.7 and 97.3 (normal for me)... nowhere near the 100.4 they warn about. Nights are sometimes rough, but turning off the TV early, drinking tea or taking a warm bath, or other things like that, have helped some. The lingering daytime sweats and chills are much harder to mange...or tolerate.

Any tips would be welcome.

Thanks and best wishes for strength and healing to us all!

D.

love_nature
Posts: 8
Joined: Jan 2013

Hi there,

Thanks for letting me know how Cycle 4 has been going for you. Sorry I haven't checked in earlier on the website - a busy house for a few weeks. My husband got the Norovirus - very stressful for me as I was then helping him and it's very contagious. Our small condo smelled like a bowl of bleach cuz of the the cleaning I was doing. Smile The next week I had a port put in- and they put it in on the right side - arg! So that slowed me down a bit.

But more importantly to your question about hotflashes. My sister-in-law had pre-menopausal breast cancer. Once she started the chemo, she went into menopause. She dealt with it with 3-4 accupunture treatments and swears by them. She is an ICU nurse, so is trained in Western medicine. But someone told her about the accupunture, she tried it, and said it really helped. I don't know if it available to you geographically or financially, but I wanted to let you know about this. The needles are a lot less invasive than needles for blood draws and rarely hurt. Anyway, I hope this helps.

Best to you and yours,

Shannon

kimberly sue 63's picture
kimberly sue 63
Posts: 388
Joined: Apr 2012

I went from hot to cold and still do even though I finished my chemo 4 months ago. I dress in layers....so am always comfortable. When the hot flash hits, I can take layers off. My flashes last only a few minutes.  Kim

love_nature
Posts: 8
Joined: Jan 2013

Greetings all. Your comments were all so helpful so I thought I'd share an update.

-I now have a Port after discussing it with my doc. I had my weekly blood draw through the port and first infusion this week. I have to admit it does hurt a bit with insertion but no worse than the IV sticks and I'm saving my veins. Hurrah!

-My platelets were low for 2 weeks so had that time off. Wow, did I ever feel better without it. But, it's not recommended in terms of effectiveness so they have lowered the carbo about 10%. If that doesn't work, they will put me on the heavy dosage once every 3 weeks. Can't imagine how I'd feel after a double dosage, man! But, the great thing about the time off was I slept nearly every night, 8-11 hours! Those are record numbers for me. Another hurray! I also spoke to an MD and she suggested it was probably the Decadron and discussed possibly cutting back a little on day 4 and taking compazine in PM (it makes people drowsy) instead of Zofran. That could help with sleeping and the constipation effects of Zofran. Also good news.

- Rash, rash go away. And it did! So, we figured out that I have developed an allergic reaction to steristrips and Latex. Tegaderm bandages don't cause a rash and is a great alternative for me (and others?). Yet another hurrah! Also, I was wearing a wrist brace for tendinitis in the evenings and while walking the dog. Well, the wrist brace has rubber in it, which is Latex. So once I stopped wearing it, used an ointment, it disappeared. I'll create a cotten sleeve to put between my skin and the brace soon so I can give my wrist a break, and  I think that will resolve that issue.

Thanks again to everyone for letting me know about the cumulative effects. It helps in that I can prepare for it mentally and for general planning. Hope you are all doing as well as possible.

Shannon

kikz's picture
kikz
Posts: 1266
Joined: Jun 2010

doesn't work, my onc said I will start Taxol and Carbo for six months.  That is longer than 18 weeks.  The two other times I had chemo were three infusions in six weeks prior to debulking surgery and eight infusions in about six or seven weeks after surgery.  Gee, six months seems so long.  I don't know if I can take it.  But of course I will if I have to.

I thought I had seen other ladies mention six months, anyone been through that?

 

Karen 

wholfmeister's picture
wholfmeister
Posts: 247
Joined: Dec 2012

I had taxol/carbo for 6 months, but it was after my debulking surgery, not for a reccurence.  I had it IV and IP, 2 days one week, 1 day the next week, then 2 weeks off.  So, I guess you would say a 28-cycle.  It wasn't fun and games, but it wasn't awful.  I managed to keep going to work, and I wasn't really sick.  Tired, yes.  I don't know if the regime would be the same for recurrence...I'm pretty sure you would not have the IP.  So, I'm no help to you, except to say, I'm thinking about you!

His grace
Posts: 23
Joined: Mar 2013

I am new to CSN.  Nice to see that you are doing well with the 18 wkly chemo treatment thus far.  I too wonder if I would be able to function "normally" after I start chemo.  That gives me hope.

Just had the port put in yesterday and getting ready for chemo treatment.  I am currently taking pain medication due to the pain and discomfort associated with the port install.  Any feedback on your experience?

Will be starting chemo shortly.  Having trouble deciding if I should stick with my oncologist who had performed the surgery (I like him) or go to Memorial Sloan Kettering because that is where people go with cancer in my area.  My oncologist is recommending the 18 wkly treatment for me. 

 

ptharp
Posts: 190
Joined: Oct 2012

I just posted a long message to another gal that asked the same question. See my post from 3/10/2013. One of the side effects I did not mention to her was I had trouble sleeping too. I just finished my 18th week last week and still have trouble. I blamed it on the steriods. Please see my prevous post. There is a lot of info.

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