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which is harder, chemo or radiation with chemo every three weeks?

sumarah8
Posts: 32
Joined: Sep 2011

Hi to all! I'll be starting my chemo cycles on Dec 08(it would be 4 days a week),3 cycles. I am done with my radiation with one chemo every three weeks, lost 20 lbs, i am trying to heal right now to be ready for another fight. I know everybody is different but i just want to ask which is harder?

RogerRN43
Posts: 185
Joined: Sep 2011

How did you react to the cycles you already had? Since those are usually heavy doses 3 weeks apart, how you handled those may tell how you handle the lighter cycles coming up. Just my guess, it should be easier. Hopefully, it has minimal tolerable side effects for you.

All the best

sumarah8
Posts: 32
Joined: Sep 2011

The very first chemo that i had, i just handled it fine, the second and the third makes me really sick, thats why i lost 20 lbs. Thank you...

NJR
Posts: 82
Joined: Oct 2011

I had the three cycles of cisplatin et al in conjunction with Radiation in three week cycles and was hospitalized two out of the three times. Commonly accepted practice is hitting the cancer as hard as can be tolerated by the patient and not a milligram less! Just guessing I would agree with Roger that it would probably be easier due to a lower dose but I am sure other factors are going to weigh in, especially what kind of drug they are going to give you for this second round. I can't imagine them giving you Cisplatin in combination with Radiation and then turning around and giving you Cisplatin all over again. That is some wicked stuff.

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

It is true that the reaction is different for everyone, but I suspect it true for everyone that both chemotherapy and radiation accumulate, thus explaining, perhaps, why you were more ill with the later rounds. If your doctor has not prescribed anti-nausea meds, please request that he/she do so immediately.

For me, quite honestly, cisplatin was a real bear, but I managed to get through it and you will too.

Take care,

Joe

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jtl
Posts: 455
Joined: Sep 2011

I elected to have Erbitux instead of Cisplation primariy due to the potential hearing issues and for me the chemo was a walk in the park. The radiation is another story.
John

Skiffin16's picture
Skiffin16
Posts: 8286
Joined: Sep 2009

In my opinion and from my experience...definitely anything dealing with radiation to the head, neck and throat.

It has both the most temporary and long term side effects.

John

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osmotar
Posts: 1005
Joined: Jul 2011

I had 3 chemo infusions over a 9 week period, no major complications. As of yesterday I have had 17 out of a planned 39 rad sessions. For every week of rads I have 1 day of chemo/cisplatin, this infusion is about 2 2 1/2 hours long. I see my rad onco weekly , I see my hemotology onco every 2 weeks, right before my chemo treatment. I saw her yesterday and she said she is thrilled with my treatment out come , she said I am one of the few she has treated that has gone thru this type treatments so well. When I first saw her she did tell me that it was the mother of all treatments, that I would get sick...so far so good. I found for myself attitude, doing what the docs say, eat drink, stay hydrated,main tain good oral health, rest when tired, has worked for me, and as you mentioned everyone is different. I've never said or even thought why me, it's always been ok this is just a detour in my lifes journey and what the hee haw do I/we have to do to get thru it.

Blessings as you move into the next phase of your treatments

Linda

sumarah8
Posts: 32
Joined: Sep 2011

I hope im like you, you are so positive in everything... thank you for inspiring me

Hondo's picture
Hondo
Posts: 6643
Joined: Apr 2009

The radiation was very hard on me both times; I did the Chemo with no problems. But like everyone is saying we are all different so what is hard for one might not so be for someone else.

Wishing you the best
Hondo

jtl's picture
jtl
Posts: 455
Joined: Sep 2011

The last week of radiation and the following post rad week were the the worst for me. The first few weeks of rads gave me the feeling that this easy but then things changed.

osmotar's picture
osmotar
Posts: 1005
Joined: Jul 2011

I had a 1 chemo infusion every 21 days; my chemo drugs were cisplatin/toxtore/ and 5fu. I had the 5fu pump from monday thru friday, no sickness, the pump fanny pack was annoying; trying to get dressed/undressed , sleep etc. The doc also perscribed anti nause meds to take the day before infusion, the day of and the day after, she also gave me a script for some stronger anti nauses to take after treatments should I have needed them. The day of infusion started with hydration, lasiks, benydrl, other anti nausea meds, then the chemo. Since it was all day ,I always took lunch, plenty of water and something to read, music what ever to keep me occupied. Met some really nice people, so got to chat about everything and anything. My daughter also read somewhere that ginger helped with nausea, so she bought everything that said ginger, I took 1 ginger capsule starting the friday before treatment and the last one the day of treatment, she went as far as getting me those sea sickness bands cause they said they worked for chemo and a magnetic toe ring... lets just say whether or not these additions worked or not, I took the tablets as she said, wore the bands and toe ring, might have worked or might have been all in my head, but I didn't get sick. :). My onco nurse said to drink at least 3 qts of water a day, I still do, any other liquid is just a bonus. I use all the biotene products, plus Stoppers4 (thanks Hondo this stuff is great) for dry mouth, and swish with salt wate/baking soda. I went to a group meeting for head & neck cancers , one of the guys there recommended Caphosol, it requires a script , I got some the other day and it works for mouth sores, etc, bottom line let your chemo folks know asap if you have issues. Oh, I forgot to mention the monday after each all day infusion, I would get a neulasta injection, helps with the white blood cells. My last commet would be to ask, ask questions, call when you don't feel well or at the first sign of something, thats what those folks are there for.

Linda

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