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chemo

dmuise65
Posts: 2
Joined: Aug 2008

I am new here. I have had surgery for my lung cancer. One lobe was removed and the tumor with it. It has not spread. But they tell me I NEED chemo. I will start next week and am really frightened as all this is very new to me.

I'm to have Carboplatin and Gemcitabine. That means nothing to me but it might to some of you. I am to have four rounds of chemo, 1st week, both kinds, second week, only one (don't remember wich one) third week, nothing.

Any insights or comments would be greatly apprecited.

Doris

chatsnoir
Posts: 2
Joined: Jul 2008

I had stage 1 surgery summer 2007....the surgeon, pulmonoligist, oncologist and pcp all told me that no studies had shown that chemo after stage 1 surgery was beneficial, therefore did not recommend it. None of them presented it as a choice to me, just said it was not necessary. I also googled it and could only find studies that concurred. In february 2008 PET scan showed local recurrence in nodes, confirmed by biopsy. Started chemo/radiation in march (carbo/taxol). Am still doing chemo (cisplatin/gemcidabine). I wonder if there would not have been a recurrence if i'd done chemo immediately following surgery. If it had been presented as a choice to me i think i would have, and DEFINITELY would have if the doctors had indicated i should. Perhaps i should have had a second opinion at that point. On the plus side, my last PET showed no evidence of disease, which is certainly no guarantee that there is none...just that it isn't being picked up on the PET. Of course, since then i have met two long-term lung cancer survivors, 7 and 11 years, and they were both stage 1 at diagnosis and had chemo/radiation immediately following surgery. They also had the traditional surgery with the large incision rather than the VATS like i had, which seems to be the procedure of choice these days...less pain and shorter recovery etc. for the patient, and LESS EXPENSE for the insuror. Good luck and keep in touch.

Irene2003
Posts: 7
Joined: Apr 2008

Chatsnoir,
I have the same situation like you. I have the stage 1 and did the traditional surgery. My doctor didn't recommmand the chemo. After 8 months it affected the lynode. Now I am on the tarceva drug for a year already. It seems like you are doing very well with chemo and seems like free of cancer. Can I contact you with the email for more information. I like to be free of cancer.

Thanks
Irene

Diane03
Posts: 42
Joined: Jun 2008

I tried the carboplatin but had a reaction during my 2nd infusion. Just the thought of chemo is very scary, but hopefully you will be surrounded be professionals that will explain all of the symptoms, afercare and steps they are taking while administering the chemo. My srong suggestion, drink as much as you can following the chemo. At least 2 gallons a day to wash out the toxins and prevent constipation, mouth sores, etc. I am now on a different course of treatment as I can not take nay of the platins. I go 2 weeks on and 1 week off.
It's okay to be afraid. Ask questions and read about the drug(s) you are having.

I wish you the best,
Diane

hoppy2
Posts: 10
Joined: May 2008

Doris,

The Carboplatin and Gemcitabine ( Carbo & Gemzar) are exactly what my husband was getting for his chemo. He did fairly well. The Gemzar lowered his platelet count, they decreased the the strength of the Gemzar and it was working, however his pnemonia came back and they had to take him off chemo. I know everyone responds and reacts differently. But everyone commented on how well he was doing on the chemo. They gave him another IV for nausea right before his chemo drugs. He never got nauseated with the chemo, however he did get more tired as time went on. I hope you have good results also. He also took both drugs on week 1 then just one of the drugs. In order to keep it straight I called it his A & B week , his B week then his off week. He was just getting ready to start his 5th cycle when he came down with pnemonia.

Greggriggs's picture
Greggriggs
Posts: 132
Joined: Dec 2006

I had my left lung removed in May 0f 2006. My surgeon hated raditation an was not fond of Chemo ,he told me what ever my oncoligest siad it was my choise .
My oncologest like yours said for preventive purpose. He wanted to start me on carboplatin an taxole 6 weeks after the sugery. I ask if I could wait a little longer so i would be a little stronger . He said the longest I could wait would be 10 weeks . So thats what I did . The chemo was 4 rounds one every three weeks.
It is a real hard decission to make My blood ony took three rounds they had to stop .

They say it increases your odds 1 in 5 so I guess the 1 if you are that 1 is a reason to have Chemo.
I will never know if it did good or not but I am still here an so far good Pets an good Cat scans.
I will say I don't know if I would do it agin. you realy have to do some soul searching.

Ask your oncoligest to tell you all the side affects I wish I could help you, any way it has to be your decision.
My prayers are with you .
Greg

Irene2003
Posts: 7
Joined: Apr 2008

Doris,
I also got stage 1B lung cancer at 2006 and did the surgery. My oncologist didn't recommand chemo. She said chemo had no benifit for stage 1 lung cancer. After 8 months, the cancer came back and affected the lynode. My friend had stage 2 lung cancer and did the chemo after surgery. Now she is free of cancer for 2 years already. I regret a lot that I didn't do the chemo. Now I am on Tarceva for a year and the doctor said it is working for me. I wished I did the chemo after surgery. Atleast I won't feel regret all the time. Be strong and looking forward for the cancer free life.

soccerfreaks's picture
soccerfreaks
Posts: 2801
Joined: Sep 2006

Doris:

I had a lobectomy on Jan 31 of this year. I am now in the last cycle of chemotherapy following that surgery. My chemo has been carboplatin and taxol, four cycles, each cycle consisting of three weeks 'on' and one week 'off'. Like you, the first week I take both chemicals and then the next two weeks just the carbo.

I had been forewarned that some folks have some terrible experiences with these particular drugs, that hair loss is sometimes the best of it. I have personally seen a guy two chairs down from me in the midst of his second or third round experience an allergic reaction for the first time. So I am certainly not here to paint a rosy picture, but I must tell you that I have experienced very little problem with mine, other than low platelet and white blood cell counts, which they work around and with from time to time.

In the meantime, I can advise that I was told the chemo is a legitimate attempt by your healthcare professionals to take out any strays. While the surgery is, in my opinion, the best way to get rid of tumors if it is possible, I have clearly agreed with them that it doesn't hurt to take the extra steps to 'take out any strays' that might be out there floating around.

I wish you the best of luck with this, hoping that your experience is no worse than my own has been...and I have but two weeks to go!

Take care,

Joe

nubis's picture
nubis
Posts: 98
Joined: Mar 2008

Drink a lot of water and anti-oxidants fruts. This way your body will be stronger for the quimo. Take care and good luck.

Nubis

dmuise65
Posts: 2
Joined: Aug 2008

thanks for all your great responses. It really means a lot.

My first chemo was on Tues, today is wednesday. Iknow that's only one day but I still feel fine, like normal. I guess I'll see what tomorrow brings.

Really appreciate everyone's comments
Thanks, Doris

elouella
Posts: 9
Joined: Aug 2008

Hi I have carboplatin and taxol in my treatments, And mine are set up on same schedule as yours, 4 rounds 4 treatments in each round.once a week.My tumor in chest is gone, now we are working on tumor in lung, It shrank in half due to radiation, But so far not anymore yet. The chemo hasn"t been bad.

elouella
Posts: 9
Joined: Aug 2008

Hi, I have been having taxol and carbo, the exact same dosage as you, I was unable to have surgery as my lung capacity would be compromised, I had a first couple of rough days in beginning But effects lasted only a day, Sounds like you will be doing great

fdc
Posts: 1
Joined: Sep 2008

Just to let you know I had carbo and gemzar three rounds before surgery and three round after surgery. I started in feb 2003 and ended in Sept 2003 (surgery in May). It didn't effect me too badly I had pills for sickness for which I was very grateful. I did have to have shots for my red count and the other week for my white count, but the drugs schrunk my tumor 75% prior to surgery. I had a large nsc stage 1b tumor. I think the important thing here is mine has been five (5) years. My last scan showed no signs of disease. So even though you may not want to do the chemo and you may be afraid just think in terms of I can do this and I will not give in. Everyone reacts differently to situations and treatments I wish you the best of luck.
fdc

elouella
Posts: 9
Joined: Aug 2008

I am so glad that you are doing ok, Has anyone had any pain in thier sides or back, around the last round of treatments

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