First chemo

Karen McL
Karen McL Member Posts: 1
I am suppose to start my first chemo treatments Dec 1st and having a porta cath put in on Nov. 28th, I am considering backing out. My ct scans are the same, but the fatigue, weakness some days are awful then i have good days. I wonder if I am starting to soon and should wait until the ct scans show the lymph nodes getting bigger. I am at stage IV,in bone marrow and lymph nodes. It is the B-cell slow growing. If anyone has any advise please help, I am scared to start and would love to know what to do.



  • po18guy
    po18guy Member Posts: 1,405 Member
    Be your own advocate
    Good day. I am wondering if you have obtained a second opinion. No matter how much you trust your doctor, another set of eyes, another thought process can prove to be absolutely invaluable. If not, I most heartily recommend that you obtain one. From a practical standpoint, you remain simply one more patient for your doctor, but you are far more loved and needed by family and friends. Advocate for yourself. Had my wife not sought out a second opinion, I would not have finished 2008. Fighting this scourge is as much art as it is science, and another 'artist' may very well have the experience, viewpoint, or treatment recommendation that you need.

    In the case of indolent cancer, you will need to knock it down from time to time. I had the same stage and involvement as you, but had an aggressive T-cell mutation. In my case, there was no time to wait. It seems that, at your stage, now is a good time to act. Yet, it remains a balancing act, as chemo can and does leave its mark on you. Choice of treatments, dosage level and frequency can moderate the effects of chemo. I went through four months of intensive chemo, involving essentially a salvage regimen of eight drugs. In my case, treatment was stopped only when toxicity became a greater threat than the cancer. The main lasting effect in my case is peripheral neuropathy. Fortunately, it is moderate and I still function fairly well. If the medications planned for you are not known for neuropathy, then you may very well bounce right back once chemo is done.

    Yes, it can be a struggle, but our post-diagnosis lives are never going to be the same. But, it remains our life! And yet, for any sadness that may be involved, I advise you to consider developing the attitude of a warrior. It is a war that we are in, and the will to fight and to prevail can make all the difference. You are stronger than you know, and strength will be given you if you ask for it. Do you have a faith life? I can tell you that faith makes an incredible difference in both attitude and outcome. It has converted the curse of cancer into a blessing.

    Peace be with you.
  • Jake Chaya
    Jake Chaya Member Posts: 4
    Hello Karen,
    I recently

    Hello Karen,

    I recently completed 7 months of chemotherapy for Hodgkin's Stage 4 Lymphoma. It was tough and the fatigue and weakness caused many bad days. But I am clear of all lymphoma and Dec 6 I have a petscan for a final reading, but my onocologist feels very confident. I say this to give you hope. Cancer is all encompassing and anyway you look at it, it is best to get as much treatment as early on as possible, is my opinion.

    I learned alot about myself and my wife was an excellent caregiver. I don't know where you are spiritually, but I also learned how real God was during my treatments as the side effects (which I still have two) are tougher than the cancer at times.

    Hang in there. Obviously we all have to do what is right for us, but I am sharing what I did simply give provide you some perspective.

  • allmost60
    allmost60 Member Posts: 3,178
    Porta Cath...
    Hi Karen,
    Just wanted to wish you good luck with your porta cath placement today and let you know I'm thinking about you. It's a scary thought process when we are facing doing chemo, but the end results are totally worth what we go through to get to the finish line. I hope you come to terms with what you feel is best for you...only you can decide. We are here for you if needed and always ready to lend a ear and support. Let us know how today went with your port. I had mine put in a year and half ago and have not had any problems at all. I was a bit sore the first few days after placement, but it sure makes blood draws and infusions alot easier than going through the veins each time. Much love...Sue
    (Follicular NHL-grade2-stage3-typeA-diagnosed 6/10-age 61)