29 or 30?

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Suppose to complete my 30 rad treatments next Friday. The machine broke down today. I have major plans for next weekend, going to beach for a week with family to celebrate the end of treatments and hopefully recovering my life. The question is should I stay behind because the doc says I really need that 30th treatment? I think if 29 doesn't do it one more can't possibly matter that much. Anybody have an opinion? I've lost 40 lbs, my throat is killing me and I feel like I ran a marathon all the time.

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  • meaganb
    meaganb Member Posts: 244 Member
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    I'm not a Dr, so I don't
    I'm not a Dr, so I don't know all the science behind everything but I there is areason for doing 30 treatments. Every time you're on that table counts. Could they do your treatment first thing Monday morning so you can still go and enjoy most of your week at the beach? Ultimately you have to make this call because you are the one fighting this cancer. Just know in my personal situation, I wanted to make sure I hit the cancer cells with every horrible thing I could. If I had to suffer, then they should too. Good luck in making your decision and I'm sorry you're even having to make it, it sucks when things don't go the way we planned them.
  • phrannie51
    phrannie51 Member Posts: 4,716
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    For myself???
    I wouldn't miss it. I know it seems small, but there's a reason for the numbers. Our machine broke down, too....for 3 days....it's a pain when you're so looking forward to ending the daily grind. However down the road, you may find yourself worry a little more at PET time, just because you didn't complete rads...I wouldn't take that chance.

    p
  • Skiffin16
    Skiffin16 Member Posts: 8,305 Member
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    My Thoughts....
    I don't think it's that much an exact science....

    When I went through (and most of us), 35 was the magic number. So either through a little better technology (I had IMRT), more study results, or just your facility's treatment plan, they have dropped yours to 30.

    I really doubt that one radiation will make a difference, could it, sure, maybe not, also sure.

    I don't think you can have anyone give you which magic number will work for you.

    When I was going through, I had a problem with Amifostine around my 32-33 day of rads. I told them they needed to figure out what was going on before I took the other few scheduled.... They did drop the Amifostine, no more problems, finished the last few rads sessions.

    They told me they couldn't guarantee results if I didn't finish them.... I asked, "ummmm, so are you saying by doing all 35, you can guarantee the results"...

    Of course not, there are no guarantees.

    You could always schedule the last for when you get back, though I know they prefer to keep them together as much as possible.

    But I also had treatment during Memorial Day, and missed three days at that week-end.

    Best,
    John
  • CivilMatt
    CivilMatt Member Posts: 4,723 Member
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    you choose you tratments
    Hi gwdgmck,

    I figured they planned for 30, you should get 30. Unless, the doctor has a compelling reason to say 29 treatments is enough (tumor smaller, lymph nodes good). I guess in the same vein he could have easily said you need 5 more for 35 total. These doctors, while very honest play a dangerous job about how much information to disseminate to us. By the time you get 29 rads I would think that the doctor knows you well and is trying to be honest.

    As a last resort, you did mention going to the beach, with lots of sun light, you can try to radiate your self. See I don’t know you and I can not recommend such a procedure. I’ll put the week end plans in you had,

    Do you have a PEG for beach parties?

    Best of wishes, protect your self.

    Matt
  • gwdgmck
    gwdgmck Member Posts: 3
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    Skiffin16 said:

    My Thoughts....
    I don't think it's that much an exact science....

    When I went through (and most of us), 35 was the magic number. So either through a little better technology (I had IMRT), more study results, or just your facility's treatment plan, they have dropped yours to 30.

    I really doubt that one radiation will make a difference, could it, sure, maybe not, also sure.

    I don't think you can have anyone give you which magic number will work for you.

    When I was going through, I had a problem with Amifostine around my 32-33 day of rads. I told them they needed to figure out what was going on before I took the other few scheduled.... They did drop the Amifostine, no more problems, finished the last few rads sessions.

    They told me they couldn't guarantee results if I didn't finish them.... I asked, "ummmm, so are you saying by doing all 35, you can guarantee the results"...

    Of course not, there are no guarantees.

    You could always schedule the last for when you get back, though I know they prefer to keep them together as much as possible.

    But I also had treatment during Memorial Day, and missed three days at that week-end.

    Best,
    John

    Thanks.....
    As I posted I thought how silly it must sound about taking a chance on such a serious thing as cancer treatment. However....after reading posts on this site for hours, if nothing else, I have learned how little is known about treating cancer with complete confidence. I have the HPV related tonsil cancer, not as bad as some of the others they tell me. As selfish or foolish as it may sound I'm gonna stop at 29 and take a well deserved vacation and try to enjoy it.

    I started with a Branchial Cleft Cyst being removed, cancer cells were detected with unknown primary. Next they took my tonsils out (worst thing I've experienced so far!) then 30 rad treatments. I need a break!
  • gwdgmck
    gwdgmck Member Posts: 3
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    CivilMatt said:

    you choose you tratments
    Hi gwdgmck,

    I figured they planned for 30, you should get 30. Unless, the doctor has a compelling reason to say 29 treatments is enough (tumor smaller, lymph nodes good). I guess in the same vein he could have easily said you need 5 more for 35 total. These doctors, while very honest play a dangerous job about how much information to disseminate to us. By the time you get 29 rads I would think that the doctor knows you well and is trying to be honest.

    As a last resort, you did mention going to the beach, with lots of sun light, you can try to radiate your self. See I don’t know you and I can not recommend such a procedure. I’ll put the week end plans in you had,

    Do you have a PEG for beach parties?

    Best of wishes, protect your self.

    Matt

    hi civilmatt
    Sounds like you have a good sense of humor, so do I. I think while at the beach there has to be some combination of duct tape and aluminum foil to deal with that last treatment while lying on the beach!

    The real problem is that we're driving from SC to Panama City to a prepaid beach house w/ private pool in 3 cars so if I miss the train.....it's wait 'til next year. Stopping the treatment on that Friday.....I might have enough strength by the end of the week to actually play golf
  • ratface
    ratface Member Posts: 1,337 Member
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    gwdgmck said:

    hi civilmatt
    Sounds like you have a good sense of humor, so do I. I think while at the beach there has to be some combination of duct tape and aluminum foil to deal with that last treatment while lying on the beach!

    The real problem is that we're driving from SC to Panama City to a prepaid beach house w/ private pool in 3 cars so if I miss the train.....it's wait 'til next year. Stopping the treatment on that Friday.....I might have enough strength by the end of the week to actually play golf

    get the last treatment, if
    the radiation fields were changed to do a mop up operation of any stray cancer cells which is typically done in the last five sessions or so. In my case I had 39 and the last five were actually on the non cancer side just in case. Did you notice the machine change it;s trajectory recently? So ask your rad guy if he is radiating a different area on this run and if so go to the beach another day.
  • Mrs. Sarge
    Mrs. Sarge Member Posts: 206 Member
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    ratface said:

    get the last treatment, if
    the radiation fields were changed to do a mop up operation of any stray cancer cells which is typically done in the last five sessions or so. In my case I had 39 and the last five were actually on the non cancer side just in case. Did you notice the machine change it;s trajectory recently? So ask your rad guy if he is radiating a different area on this run and if so go to the beach another day.

    My take is
    you really don't feel terrific now, so I vote for finishing and planning an awesome trip to look forward to when you can eat, rest and enjoy yourself...now that's just me!!
  • phrannie51
    phrannie51 Member Posts: 4,716
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    ratface said:

    get the last treatment, if
    the radiation fields were changed to do a mop up operation of any stray cancer cells which is typically done in the last five sessions or so. In my case I had 39 and the last five were actually on the non cancer side just in case. Did you notice the machine change it;s trajectory recently? So ask your rad guy if he is radiating a different area on this run and if so go to the beach another day.

    They did this with me RF....
    The last 10 of 35 they changed the fields (they called it a "boost"), the time spent in radiation was shorter, and I never did figure out what it meant, exactly. But if it was a "mop-up", I'm glad I didn't miss any.

    I'm just a pure and simple chicken s***......if the Dr. told me to stand on my head every afternoon at 3:30, I'd be doing it...I may or may not ask why. :)

    p
  • ratface
    ratface Member Posts: 1,337 Member
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    They did this with me RF....
    The last 10 of 35 they changed the fields (they called it a "boost"), the time spent in radiation was shorter, and I never did figure out what it meant, exactly. But if it was a "mop-up", I'm glad I didn't miss any.

    I'm just a pure and simple chicken s***......if the Dr. told me to stand on my head every afternoon at 3:30, I'd be doing it...I may or may not ask why. :)

    p

    I was wondering
    if perhaps the protocol had changed significantly as I had 39 and he is scheduled for thirty. Thanks for answering the question about changing the fields as it apparently is still done to some degree. 3 years is an eternity in radiation technology.
  • Mrs. Sarge
    Mrs. Sarge Member Posts: 206 Member
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    ratface said:

    I was wondering
    if perhaps the protocol had changed significantly as I had 39 and he is scheduled for thirty. Thanks for answering the question about changing the fields as it apparently is still done to some degree. 3 years is an eternity in radiation technology.

    New research
    has shown that a slight increase in the rads, for a shorter period of time, shows better results, is what I was told. Makes sense to me.
  • longtermsurvivor
    longtermsurvivor Member Posts: 1,842 Member
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    gwdgmck said:

    hi civilmatt
    Sounds like you have a good sense of humor, so do I. I think while at the beach there has to be some combination of duct tape and aluminum foil to deal with that last treatment while lying on the beach!

    The real problem is that we're driving from SC to Panama City to a prepaid beach house w/ private pool in 3 cars so if I miss the train.....it's wait 'til next year. Stopping the treatment on that Friday.....I might have enough strength by the end of the week to actually play golf

    Not likely
    but you can always wish:) It will take awhile to feel better. One other thing to consider. If the rad doctor freaks at the thought of shorting you a treatment, you could compromise by suggesting two in one day. Just saying.

    whatever you do, wishing you the best.

    Pat
  • Tonsil Dad
    Tonsil Dad Member Posts: 488
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    Not likely
    but you can always wish:) It will take awhile to feel better. One other thing to consider. If the rad doctor freaks at the thought of shorting you a treatment, you could compromise by suggesting two in one day. Just saying.

    whatever you do, wishing you the best.

    Pat

    I did.
    I did 2 on the last day of treatment cause my Rad Dr doesn't like giving treatment
    after the weekend for just one day so I ended up having 2 and finished my Rads
    on Friday 13th April. As long as there are 6 hours between them its ok.

    God bless
    Tonsil dad,

    Dan.
  • Skiffin16
    Skiffin16 Member Posts: 8,305 Member
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    A2FER
    Pat, that's an excellent idea...A2FER....

    Splinter, my rads never changed, and they shot both sides each and every day.

    Starting on my left, four rotations about 8 - 12 zaps each rotation, a center series of 8 - 12 zaps, then four rotations on the right, again 8 - 12 zaps each rotation.

    JG
  • Sooner79
    Sooner79 Member Posts: 29
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    Skiffin16 said:

    A2FER
    Pat, that's an excellent idea...A2FER....

    Splinter, my rads never changed, and they shot both sides each and every day.

    Starting on my left, four rotations about 8 - 12 zaps each rotation, a center series of 8 - 12 zaps, then four rotations on the right, again 8 - 12 zaps each rotation.

    JG

    Go for two in one day
    During your last week. One first thing in the morning and the other the last session of the day. On a side note, kudos to you for feeling good enough to make the trip! I felt so bad for the month after my last treatment, you couldn't have paid me to go on vacation. I was stll taking liquid morphine for pain in my throat six weeks post treatment.
  • denistd
    denistd Member Posts: 597
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    Skiffin16 said:

    A2FER
    Pat, that's an excellent idea...A2FER....

    Splinter, my rads never changed, and they shot both sides each and every day.

    Starting on my left, four rotations about 8 - 12 zaps each rotation, a center series of 8 - 12 zaps, then four rotations on the right, again 8 - 12 zaps each rotation.

    JG

    Rads
    I got 35, today is the anniversary (3years) of the last rad. My doctor said that the last few were of a slightly different nature and was necessary, but if you can do 2 in one day go for it. You know a few days after I finished I got much worse for a few days, sunlight and heat were off bounds as I would feel like I was frying and the glare was bad. It went after 4 or 5 days, but during that time I did not go out and cranked the air conditioning.
  • Skiffin16
    Skiffin16 Member Posts: 8,305 Member
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    gwdgmck said:

    hi civilmatt
    Sounds like you have a good sense of humor, so do I. I think while at the beach there has to be some combination of duct tape and aluminum foil to deal with that last treatment while lying on the beach!

    The real problem is that we're driving from SC to Panama City to a prepaid beach house w/ private pool in 3 cars so if I miss the train.....it's wait 'til next year. Stopping the treatment on that Friday.....I might have enough strength by the end of the week to actually play golf

    SUN - Is A NOGO...
    Forgot to mention, unfortunately sun is pretty much a no go for awhile after rads and chemo.

    So you need to definitely limit your exposure with plenty of shade...

    Also stay very hydrated, very very hydrated.

    JG
  • Ingrid K
    Ingrid K Member Posts: 813
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    denistd said:

    Rads
    I got 35, today is the anniversary (3years) of the last rad. My doctor said that the last few were of a slightly different nature and was necessary, but if you can do 2 in one day go for it. You know a few days after I finished I got much worse for a few days, sunlight and heat were off bounds as I would feel like I was frying and the glare was bad. It went after 4 or 5 days, but during that time I did not go out and cranked the air conditioning.

    G--
    you can definitely ask

    G--

    you can definitely ask about doubling up on rads for one day...others have done it w/o any issues.... BUT

    you should also tell your doc that you are planning a trip to the beach right afterwards.
    Make sure that you have all your scripts filled for pain meds, anti-nausea meds, anti-constipation meds, etc. BEFORE you leave town.
    and stay out of the sun for sure as you will be more easily dehydrated in the heat/sun, so please be careful.