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The chemo regime is so tough

Tina Brown's picture
Tina Brown
Posts: 1054
Joined: Nov 2009

Just had my latest CA125 results which are quite pleasing. They have dropped again from 292 - 225. Not alot but it is going in the right direction. I have now had 3 Carboplatin and 3 Cisplatin so I am getting a 4 week chemo break.

My body is exhausted. I wake up most mornings with nausea and if I cough then I retch and heave. Sometimes I am actually sick but because it is in the morning I only bring up yellow bile. I am constantly fatigued and still have the "Cisplatin" ringing in my ears (a common side effect of cisplatin)

I was so pleased to be getting a break as I was getting to the stage where I didn't know if I could take anymore chemo. Before starting this particular regime I had 6 rounds of doxorubicin, so I have had 12 lots of chemo without a break.

This cancer thing is hard, well the chemo is certainly. I was diagnosed almost 3 years ago and feel lucky to still be alive as the mortality rate for PPC is not good. So I will enjoy my chemo break and will brace myself for my numbers going up (as I guess they certainly will) and prepare myself for more chemo when the time comes. I am usually up-beat but the constant chemo is wearing me down.

Thanks for reading my rant, Tina xxxxx

JulieL's picture
Posts: 141
Joined: Jan 2012

That is great news that your CA125 is continuing to drop but sorry to hear that you are feeling worn down by the chemo regime. Good you are having a little break to enable you to build up your strength again. Three years is a real milestone! Hopefully thinking about your achievements will help you through this tough time along with the support of so many of us who admire you greatly and appreciate your wonderful words of wisdom and experience.

I am desperately hoping to make our 50th wedding anniverary but that is still 5 and a half years away - however always good to have something to aim for! This week I will find out how my first month on Doxil/Caelyx has gone! Have just had a chest xray for a persistent cough and whilst I haven't had Drs report I can see on the film that my left lung (which hasn't had pleurodesis) is somewhat compromised so have a bit of an idea what this week might hold for me!

Stay strong and know that the thoughts and prayers of many of us are with you.

Love, Julie xxx

dorothymarion's picture
Posts: 28
Joined: Apr 2012

Your strength and encouraging words here have been an inspiration to me and so many others Tina, so it was with some sadness that I read about the tough time you're currently going through with this latest round of chemo. It's good, however, that your CA125 levels have gone down slightly. With PPC, any reduction in those numbers is always cause to give a little cheer and please know that we're all cheering for you! A four week break from chemo is always a welcome thing and I hope that you feel better soon.



Best Friend
Posts: 222
Joined: May 2011

Your body does need a break. I think the carboplatin works great so its a positive ur back on that. I am worried about this doxil stuff. Worried that after mom's next one next week her ca will either have gone up or stayed the same. it's just like playing the darn lottery.
You are allowed to have these times where u are like FORGET IT! I know this cancer likes to act up and thats why sometimes i wonder how you guys can continue to do this and live happy. But, it's the people like you who have made me less psychotic now that my mom is in recurrence. I just know it's the next step, next challenge, BRING IT ON!

westie66's picture
Posts: 642
Joined: Jun 2010

Hi Tina: It is definitely a good idea to have a chemo break as it can really get you down. Luckily I didn't have too many problems with cisplatin but I sure don't want to go
back on oxaliplatin + irenotecan + 5FU. I am starting radiation on Oct 24 - wish me luck! The specialist said he would either cure me or kill me (it is very aggressive, high dose radiation given every 2nd day for 2 weeks).
Keep strong. And ranting is good medicine.

Lovingmymom's picture
Posts: 54
Joined: Nov 2011

Hi Tina,
I haven't taken the time to post lately but do read periodically to make sure our friends are hanging in there. My mom has been on a chemo break now for a couple of months and it is incredible what it does for the mind, body and soul. Her last CT scan showed some spreading within the abdominal wall but her numbers remained stable. Since she was feeling good, the Dr. gave her a break from the chemo. Her last rounds were also rough and kept her in and out of the hospital.

Remember that everyday you will get stronger and stronger. Enjoy this time to recharge your batteries and although it's hard to stay upbeat....remember we are here to listen to your well deserved rant (we all do it occasionally). But please also remember to throw you arms in the air and laugh (or at least crack a smile!). Sometimes, that too is the best medicine.

Be well and take care,

Posts: 100
Joined: Jun 2012

Hi Tina
Ranting is a good thing sometimes x x x

lulu1010's picture
Posts: 367
Joined: Feb 2011

I am so sorry this chemo has been so hard on you. The good news is it is working. I just had a 4 week break and my numbers still went down and what I gained in strengh was priceless. Enjoy!
You and I have always followed a course so similar and I always gain inspiration from you and enjoy your smile and positive attitude. Chemo is very very hard and there are times we all need to rant. We would not be human if we did not. Thank goodness we have each other to understand how we feel and how hard it is.
I do hope this rest helps and you get a remission break soon.

Tina Brown's picture
Tina Brown
Posts: 1054
Joined: Nov 2009

Thank you for all of your kind and supportive comments.

I am feeling much better and my nausea and retching is getting less and less. I am finding it quite hard to be optimistic this time and am expecting my numbers to shoot up and I would have to go back on chemo straight away.

This is so unlike me as I am usually so optimistic and I think I am finding it difficult to be positive at the moment.

I know your numbers can still continue to drop when chemo has finished - mine did just that on my first carbo/taxol regime. I need to enjoy my chemo break and build up my strength but it is hard as I am still feeling some of the side effects.

But it is very encouraging when I read the lovely messages from you all.

I have my sons wedding to look forward to in 2 weeks time, so I guess that will focus my thoughts and energy and it will certainly be something I am going to enjoy as I will be chemo free and will be able to eat and drink without feeling tired and sick.

Best wishes to my teal sisters, Tina xxxx

seatown's picture
Posts: 262
Joined: Sep 2012

Hope that somehow you will find your present chemo regime more tolerable. So happy to hear that your numbers are improving too.

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