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Tests over and Chemo starts next week

Crazymom's picture
Crazymom
Posts: 339
Joined: Nov 2011

Hi I have gone to MD Anderson all week. Primary tumor is in left tonsil with 3 secondary in left lymph nodes. They a final biopsy on the to tonsil today and will start Chemo for 3 weeks then Radiation for 6. I am not sure why they are not doing Chemo and Radiation at the same time, but am ready to get started. She said I have 90% possiblity for survival. The right side is clear. I am feeling happy and optimistic. Hope everyone is doing well.

Ann

longtermsurvivor's picture
longtermsurvivor
Posts: 1845
Joined: Mar 2010

It actually takes some of the pressure off just to have a plan. Any plan is better than wondering what is going to happen, and when. Induction chemotherapy is done to damage tumor cells, thereby making them more sensitive to radiation. That's why they are waiting to start radiation later. One of the drugs I'm on is taxotere, and that drug increases blistering from radiation to the extent that radiation is frequently delayed a month after the last dose. So their decision is logical, if frustrating.

Your outlook is good. Have a great weekend.

Crazymom's picture
Crazymom
Posts: 339
Joined: Nov 2011

I get a bit scared about the future when I read about the side effects. Loss of voice, loss of ability to eat....those are pretty rough... but I love my children and want to live for them.

Ann

longtermsurvivor's picture
longtermsurvivor
Posts: 1845
Joined: Mar 2010

is to not fight tomorrow's battles until tomorrow comes. I first went through radiation in 1998, when IMRT was not available. The treatments were harsher then because of the huge treatment field size. 35 sessions, 7000 rads. I didn't burn, peel, get any mucositis. It did damage my thyroid. Big deal, that's treatable, and a very good trade-off considering it also killed my cancer. I did loose a bunch of weight, but that was because I lost my sense of taste and simply didn't have much of an appetite. I was able to work full time all the way through treatment.

And the loss of salivation, which was annoying, not otherwise that harmful, and the loss of taste, gradually went away. For me, it was a very doable thing.

I'm getting ready to go through radiation for another cancer, unrelated to the first. I'll take this one day at a time, knowing my risks of complications are higher this time, but also knowing this is my best choice.

Keep the faith!

Pat

mixleader
Posts: 267
Joined: Oct 2010

Hi, Ann. I am happy to hear that your doctors have a plan and that you have a very good prognosis. I'm sure you have heard that treatments can be tough, but a good life is on the other side. Be sure and lean on the wonderful folks on this site for information, for support, or just to rant. Hang in there and fight this beast and win.

Roger

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

Ann,

Best wishes for your upcoming treatments, remember keep a positive attitude.

Linda

Crazymom's picture
Crazymom
Posts: 339
Joined: Nov 2011

How are your side effects. Can you talk, eat...Are there lots of sores in your mouth?

Ann

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

Hi Ann,

No major side effects to speak of,the loss of taste which affects most, there are still some things that the taste is fine- egg drop soup, broccolli, I just never know what will still have a taste until I try it , even if I can't taste I still eat, nutrition is very important.For me anything sweet now has a bitter taste. No mouth sores not even thru chemo..but I did everything for my oral care, the biotene products, salt/baking soda, caphosol. Before you get,and I hope you don't, mouth sores ask your med team what they suggest to prevent the sores, start to use the products, proactive vesus reactive. No issues with talking, the dry mouth is annoying , but I drink a lot of water and use stoppers 4 for dry mouth, everyone will tell you that we are all different.

Linda

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

It's not that unusual, several of us on here have had similar or actually much longer plans..maybe they are starting to lessen them.

Myself and several had plans that included sixteen weeks of chemo. Nine weeks in three week cycles of cisplatin, taxotere and 5FU. Monday of cycle one was cisplatin and taxotere, followed up with the 5FU strapped to you and pumped in over the next four days. The next two weeks were mainly recovery and rest.

After that nine weeks I started right in to a seven week schedule of carboplatin every Monday. Amifostine injections in my stomach every day (35 days) just before radiation each of those days....

The nine weeks is to hit the chemo during different stages of reproduction and to disrupt and break the growth cycle.

The additional seven weeks does similarly, but also like mentioned the chemo enhances and compliments the radition making it more effective.

I never had mouth sores, severe burns or anything too bad really. Not saying it was easy at all, but for me it was very doable...you can make it, many here have.

Stay positive, focused, get rest...and stay very hydrated.

Thoughts and Prayers,
John

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

You are in good hands there at MD Anderson so I know you will do well. Keep the positive attitude and looking forward to being Cancer free.

Take care
Hondo

Hal61's picture
Hal61
Posts: 655
Joined: Dec 2009

Hi Crazymom, I'm glad to hear your plan is in place. My regimen, like yours, was less involved than those who had several chemo types at different times. My primary was base of tongue, with mets to lymph nodes on left side only, two I think. My treatment was simple enough, 35 rads and three staggered--and staggering--infusions of Cisplatin. My infusions took five or six hours each, with several buckets of the solution in, I think, three hanging bags.

So my treatment was more as you might have imagined yours, concurrent. But the idea, as many have said, is the same. It's a one, two punch. The chemo sets up the cancer cells, and the radiation delivers the knockout.

I had a feeding tube, was always able to swallow without trouble, no mouth sores, just the normal deep sunburn from the rads. I've commented before on this, but much of my time passed with me as an observer. Between the chemicals and radiation, I spent some nights just walking around my apartment, variously putting on and taking of sweatshirts and t-shirts as it got hot then cold. I had the neverending mucous, but it wasn't so pronounced that it clogged my sleep.

Do the salt, baking soda, and/or peroxide. Get the Biotene. Keep drinking every day. It'll be over before you know it.

best, Hal

Jimbo55's picture
Jimbo55
Posts: 578
Joined: Jun 2010

Ann,

Hope your side effects are on the milder side and don't last too long. Stay strong. It's good to finally get started and even better when you finish. Cheers.

Jimbo

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