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Radiation and chemo help!? ( 3b endometrial cancer)

tana007
Posts: 4
Joined: May 2013

Radiation and chemo help!? I have stage 3b endometrial cancer, and recently had a hysterectomy. Next up in a month or so I start treatments. I am underweight NOW so am concerned how much I can tolerate. I also wonder if I can choose the amount of treatments (they are recommending 5-6 weeks rad and 6 chemo) I would like to ask the 2 treatments be cut in half or at least lessened. I DO KNOW if the treatments become intolerable I will have to stop. I just feel pretty FRAIL for what is ahead of me (I'm around 88 lbs right now). Any advice from someone with EXPERIENCE with this???

laura25's picture
laura25
Posts: 160
Joined: Mar 2011

I didn't have radiation but I did have 8 round of chemo every 3 weeks.  Going into chemo I was also underweight from stress of dealing with my cancer dx.   I am 5'9" and at the time was 117 pounds..  for me, the chemo wasn't bad.  I was able to gain weight every month and was never nauseous.  By the end of chemo I was of normal weight and even alittle over what I usually weigh. 

I hope this helps, I know other ladies on this board who had both radation and chemo, maybe they can give more info.

jazzy1's picture
jazzy1
Posts: 1387
Joined: Mar 2010

I  had both and on the lighter side, too.  I'm guessing when I started chemo -- 6 rounds carbo/taxol sandwiched between 33 rounds external radiation -- weighed approx 103 lbs (5'2")...I went up to 114 lbs..yes I went up.  Today some 4 years since my last treatment I'm consistent at 107 lbs.  I work out, so I never truly have weight issues, just treatments can demnish our appetites but I was very conscious of trying to keep nutritional foods/drinks in my body.  Down the proteins, as they help keep up our strength as the chemo drugs pull us down, very toxic!

I've got a more aggressive uterine cancer, MMMT, so my doc really poured on the strong drugs, but I made it thru as you will as well.  If your blood counts are not correct, they will postpone the treatments and possibly stop for various reasons.  Give it all you've got and go for whatever the docs can throw at you.  Best to be hit hard now and getting all the cancer, vs seeing a recurrence at a later date.

Hang in there, as you can do it.....

Jan

tana007
Posts: 4
Joined: May 2013

Is there a way to wt these notifications via email..? I didnt know anyone had responded.

 

I am 5 2.5 tall and 88 lbs. very thin from all this stress. Plus the bloating from surgery and infection hasn't helped with my appetite either. Hope I can make it thru treatments!! 

Double Whammy's picture
Double Whammy
Posts: 2336
Joined: Jun 2010

I was overweight and I had chemo for breast cancer not endometrial cancer, but I have to say that I treated my treatment period as a fulltime job.   It was my priority to take good care of myself and get myself through chemo no matter what that took.  I certainly had down days and had every complication known and then some of my own, but maybe because I'm a stress eater, not a stress non-eater, I really focused on nutrition and getting enough.  When I couldn't eat, I made sure I drank Ensure, through a straw if necessary.  There weren't many days that I couldn't do that, but it's ok to have a bad day here and there, just not consistently.  Your dosage will be based on your weight and general health. 

 If you can, start trying to eat regularly and healthily now, before you start treatments.  Get in the habit of focusing on food as medicine if necessary.  It sound like chemotherapy is important to you knocking this sucker into remission.  If stress is keeping you from eating, be sure to tell your oncologist or primary care physician.  Oh, they've got drugs for just about everything to get us through chemo. 

Good luck to you.  As far as notifications that you have responses to your post, I tdon't think there is a procedure for that, I think you have to log on and check.

Suzanne

Lindaonline's picture
Lindaonline
Posts: 1
Joined: May 2013

Like some of the ladies  said, everyone deals with treatments differently.  In 2000, I had ovarian cancer.  I had a complete hysterectomy and then 8 rounds fo chemo.

The chemo actuaslly made me gain weight. I had no nausea, just tired sometimes and leg pains a week after the chemo session.

Now 13 years later, I just had surgery to remove a cancerous tumor in my vagina.  My doctor says it is the same cancer I had in 2000.  She is calling it uterine cancer.

This time, they have recommended pelvic radiation daily for for 5 weeks, week-ends off. I am trying to find out what stage I am.  I was wondering about what radiation does to your body...healthy organs....I have appointments with my Gynecologist/Oncologist and Radiologist/oncologist in a week and a half.

I wish I could answer your question, however everyone handles it different.  Blessings to you.

 

kfenness's picture
kfenness
Posts: 2
Joined: Jun 2013

My story is very similar to yours.  Diagnosed with cancer in July 2010, had complete hysterectomy in August 2010, started radiation treatments 6 weeks Monday-Friday in September 2010 and finally 6 rounds of heavy duty chemo (every 3 weeks for 2 days -- 8 hours each day).  I was staged at 3C as microscopic cells were found in 8 of my pelvic lymph nodes.

Both the radiation and chemo treatments were difficult.  I ended up in the hospital for one week after each round of chemo because my blood counts got so low.  My final round of chemo was in March 2011.  After treatment consists of visits to the oncologist and ob/gyn every 3 months, a yearly CAT scan and chest x-ray. 

It was so difficult going through this tough course of action, but I trusted my doctors to give me the best chance possible to beat this ugly disease.  There were many times that I just wanted to give up, it would have been so much easier for me---but then I would have missed out on so much joy.  I did lose quite a bit of weight, but unlike you, I needed to.  I lived on BOOST and soup for about 6 months.  Nothing seems to taste right when you are going through the chemo.  Also, because the radiation was directed at my pelvic area, I had a lot of problems with my bowels. 

The good news is that it is now June 2013 and I am still here!  I am scheduled for my yearly CAT scan and chest x-ray this month.  I still get very nervous prior to these tests, but am not as scared about hearing the word CANCER any more.  I know that I can handle whatever comes my way.

I hope my story can give you some inspiration and hope that you too will beat this!

             ---Kathy

 

pinky104
Posts: 108
Joined: Feb 2013

tana007,

I have no experience with being underweight, but I just wanted to let you know that two days before chemo and on the day of chemo, I had to take a drug called Emend.  I had absolutely no nausea or vomiting because of that drug.  I don't know much about how the amount of chemo is decided, but I do know that the oncologist decides with each visit how much you get.  I assume he looks at the results of your bloodwork to decide.  I would think your weight would also be a consideration.  I had stage IVb UPSC and I'm healthy from just the 6 rounds of carboplatin and taxol I had.  I understand they don't do radiation on someone with widespread cancer as it would be too much radiation for the body to handle. 

My sister-in-law had lung cancer and she couldn't handle the chemo.  She had her treatments cut in half and I think she even skipped some, and she's healthy with no evidence of disease now also. 

 Everyone handles chemo differently.  It really wasn't all that bad for me.  I had sores in my mouth for a few days.  I had to have a transfusion because I got short of breath from chemo induced anemia. I still did my grocery shopping, but I had to stop for a breather several times while walking across stores.  I lost my appetite for a short time, but I forced myself to eat.  Other than that, the worst thing for me was losing my hair.  What I didn't realize is that you lose it everywhere, even eyebrows and eyelashes.  But there are pluses to that too, as you don't have to shave your legs.  I have peripheral neuropathy in my feet, which bothered me a lot at first, as I couldn't feel my feet.  But now, I only notice it when I go to bed and put my feet up.  I tried accupuncture and Neurontin, but neither worked. 

Of course, all these things are better than not having chemo and suffering the alternative.  If my cancer hadn't been diagnosed when it was three years ago, I probably wouldn't be writing to you today.

Good luck with your treatments. Don't worry too much. You'll get through it.

pinky104

 

 

 

minalavers
Posts: 2
Joined: Jul 2013

I just finish my rounds of treatment which were exactly the same as they are recommending for you.  I had three rounds of chemo, five weeks of radiation(external and internal), and three more chemos.  I had a total hysterectomy(which basically they remove everything inside except for your other bodily function organs).  I had type3 grade a.  This is standard treatment for stage 3 I guess.  My last treatment was March 28.  All I can say is I took the chance because I thought of the alternative. 

I am now a survivor, but still am having side effects from the treatment.  I was told by all my doctors that it will take up to a year to actually feel at least 80-90 percent and be able to conform to the new "norm".  I lost more weight when I had the surgery then during the treatments.  I gain at least 10 pounds back while I was receiving the treatment.  I hope this helps a bit.  Take care and Good Luck I will pray for you.

jazzy1's picture
jazzy1
Posts: 1387
Joined: Mar 2010

I'd like to throw in my take on the treatments.  I endured in '09 the sandwich protocol -- 6 rounds of chemo, in between 33 sessions of daily external pelvic radiation.  Today I feel quite good, outside of some GI/intestinal issues from the treatments.  I feel after speaking with various docs, so much of my spine issues -- bulging disk diagnosed last year, now have issues with my stomach and what type of foods I ingest (can't breakdown lots of raw foods at once nor gluten products) are some long-term side affects from the treatments....mainly due to radiation as it simply dries up so many joints, tendons, muscles, etc, etc.  But.....I'm alive and moving around, as this keeps me centered.

I've learned to watch what type of foods I ingest and do daily yoga stretches to keep my spine limber.  Lets say this is MY NEW NORMAL WAY OF LIVING AFTER CANCER DIAGNOSIS.

Please do understand not everyone goes thru the same treatments and has the same long term side affects.  Remember all our bodies are unique and we come to the table with many other health issues which can affect each of us.  Be open minded and work with your body.

 

Life is good, take one day at a time!!

 

HAPPY 4TH!!

Jan

Ro10's picture
Ro10
Posts: 1483
Joined: Jan 2009

I had 28 IMRT radiation treatments along with a 28 hour internal radiation treatments.  Luckily I did not have the GI issues that others have had, or still have.  I was encouraged to have a full bladder before each treatment.  This was to push the colon away from thr treatment area.  The IMRT is more focused radiation, so that may have made a difference.  

I have now had three rounds of Taxol/ Carbo then Taxol Cisplatin for a total of 19 treatments and have minimal neuropathy.  So everyone reacts differently to treatments.

i agree with Jan that life if good.  Take it one day at a time and find joy in each day.

elpasorudy's picture
elpasorudy
Posts: 81
Joined: Jan 2013

My wife underwent six rounds of chemotherapy - carboplatin and taxol - in 2008 with minimal side effects. She lost her hair and experienced mild neuropathy in her feet. No problems with nausea or loss of appetite. She worked full time. She had six rounds of carboplatin in 2010 with no side effects. Continued to work full time. She later had Doxcil, which caused Mary Ann to experience fatigue. I wish you the best with your treatment. Have faith in your doctors, ask plenty of questions, advocate strongly and be good to yourself. Express your feelings. Take one day at a time.

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