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rounds of chemo????

ppm20wife
Posts: 44
Joined: Jun 2009

Well we had our visit with the cancer center - had our first real talk about chemo...as you have all experienced it has freaking scared us out of our minds - the final say will come with the surgery after they do the tests but for now they think it might be at least one round - so I was thinking ok 6-8 weeks not bad - then the dr clarifies it will be more like 6 months - if it is how does that work...being so new to this it really threw us for a hard loop...advice or explanations anyone? We didn't ask too much after that because we really were speechless. We go back again soon so we can ask much more but for now what can you tell me? Thanks so much

seanslove's picture
seanslove
Posts: 71
Joined: Jul 2009

ppm20wife,

I know how you feel,the worst words you think you will hear is cancer,but trust me,those are the easiet of this whole war you are entering. WMD's have nothing on cancer. We are looking at 6 months with my husband on FOLFOX 6 regmin which is a two hour push at short stay,then home with a small CAD pump which pumps the 5FU for 46 hours. We did this for the first time this week. Started on Tuesday at short stay,push ran from 9:30-11:30,a four minute bolus push of the 5Fu,and then home infusion came hooked up the Cad which started pumping around 12:20,this finished yesterday morning at 10:26, Angles Home Health care came to the house and DC'd the line. We are supposed to do this everyother week for 12 cycles as long as he has no issues and shows imporvement. He has stage four mestatic adenocarsinoma. As we do not know the source of primary,we do know it is in his lung,middle GI,and pancreas.
Unlike you,we spent 12 days in the hospital and recieved the news of the cancer there,so by the time,a month later we saw the cancer doc, I was ready and had done all the research on his cancer,knew the numbers,adn was able to ask all the questions. Do your home work,but do it on reputable sites,and then you'll be ready. Make sure to ignore the stats,as your hubby is not a stat,he's an individual.

nudgie's picture
nudgie
Posts: 1482
Joined: Sep 2006

First off make sure, as the caregiver, that you really listening and if needed, take notes. If it wasn't for my husband, I would have never understood or asked questions due to the fact my head was in cloud 9 the whole time until I actually got hooked-up to the meds, then my head said, WAKE-UP, it's real and true.

Anyways, I was DX in 06 and was taking the FLOFOX Regime which consisted of 5FU, Lecovorin (sp) and Oxyiplatin (sp). This was given on an every other week basis for 6 months which equalled a total of 12 treatments.

My cancer team at City Hospital, WV, would give me IV meds of calcium and magnesum for 20 minutes. Then I would get my nasuea and allergic reaction meds (Zolafan and Decadron). Then I would be the Lecovorin and Oxy for about 2 or 4 hours (can't remember) and then a push of 5FU and then I would be hooked-up to a pump that held 5FU that would consistently pump over a 46 hour timeframe. Once med was done, I would get unhooked. This is what was adminsitered to me every other week.

The Oxy is strong and new. It came on the market I think in 2005 or 2006 as a new drug for colon cancer. It causes foot and hand tingling, cold senseativity to food, beverages and weather and among other side effect.

Side effets will cumulate over time and depending upon the person's reaction, some on this board had their regime reduced which is industry standard. I had my reduced after the 4th treatment about 20%.

bdee
Posts: 305
Joined: Feb 2009

You are lucky your doctor gave you an idea of how long you will be getting treatment. I've been taking chemo since February, I have 13 treatments under my belt and my doctor still won't tell me how long I'll be going to chemo. My husband asked him in private how long it would be and he told him 2-3 more years.
I have a CT scan today because I've been having a lot of pain in my lower right abdomen, where this stuff all stared.
Good luck to you,
Debbie

Julie 44
Posts: 479
Joined: Oct 2008

As a care giver you have your hands full too. If I may give you some advice....Write down any questions you have and also write down the answers...Its alot to hear at one time and it all makes your head spin...Keep a folder of all his paperwork...Never know when isurance will want a copy of something.......This is going to take a toll on both of you. Your husband should feel ok in the beginning but after a couple of treatments he will start to feel the side effect.....Get a perscription for nausea right away..He will be very tired all the time and I got very emotional alot...Food will not taste the same so let him eat whatever works for him....Probably will have some bathroon issues too...Then after several treatments he will get very sesitive to cold..His hand will hurt when he touches something cold. It becomes painful to drink cold things...His hand and feet will be numb alot so it makes it diffucult to walk alot. I also loose my balance alot too....I know its alot to hear but like the others have said do your homework and remember knowledge is power......Good luck keep coming here and posting to find out more...Take on day at a time...You both can and will get through this...JULIE

donnare
Posts: 266
Joined: Jun 2009

Hi PPM,

My husband just started chemo on Monday. He had a colon resection on 6/8/09. He is on the same regimen as nudgie - Folfox - 5FU, Luecovorin, Oxaliplatin with Zofran, etc. - but next time they will also add Avastin (he needed to be six weeks out from surgery for that one). He will go for chemo every other Monday, have 4 hours of drip through the port in his chest (put in during surgery) and then come home with the pump for 46 hours. He will do this for 6 months - 12 treatments - that's the plan. I asked if I could disconnect him instead of him having to drive an hour to the Cancer Center to get disconnected, wait his turn, and then drive an hour home, and they showed me how to do it when we went back up on Wednesday. Very easy and will save alot of time for us.

It's scary, I know, but wasn't that bad - this time. I read here all the time to gather as much info as possible to try to know what to expect. Keep us updated on how you both are.

Donna

PhillieG's picture
PhillieG
Posts: 4912
Joined: May 2005

It usually goes in 6 month cycles. That is how mine has been going. I also get CT scans every 2 months and get (re)evaluated. I've been doing the 6 month cycles with 2 month scan intervals for over 5 years. One thing I have found helpful with doctor meetings is to bring a small voice recorded. So many MP3 players, iPods etc have voice recording capability built in. This way, you can get everything down verbatim. Try to compile a list of FAQs from this forum or visit other cancer sites and search for "what to ask your oncologist" and add it all to your list. The whole thing is numbing at first so it's easy to miss things at appointments and not knowing what to ask. Also, don't be afraid to ask if there are other options if you are not happy with what they first put on the table. There is always the option to seek a second opinion with all of this. Any doctor worth their salt should not have any problem with a second opinion, if they do then their egos are too big and I would not let them operate and a head of lettuce.
That's the best I can offer at this time.

Annabelle41415's picture
Annabelle41415
Posts: 6680
Joined: Feb 2009

I know right know everything seems overwhelming and it will for quite some time. You will have more doctor's appointments than you could ever imagine. Make sure you ask lots of questions like the others have suggested and take a notebook with you and write things down as you ask. Things will be spinning and taking notes can confirm or dismiss things you think you heard. I have to ask my husband what the doctor said about certain things because I can't always remember.

Kim

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