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ChemoRadioTherapy battle begins

donfoo's picture
Posts: 1644
Joined: Dec 2012

Made it through the three cycles of induction TPF fairly well. Lots of fatigue and chemo brain during first 7-10 days during start of each infusion. No nausea or vomit and just one trip to ER to get hydrated.

Today, started first of standard 35x2gy daily radiation and weekly chemo load of carboplatin. Both went fine, chemo infusion nothing new in terms of experience; the radiation went really fast, maybe about 6-7 minutes total being bolted down, table and equipment adjustment, then the two 70 seconds continuous rotations of the radiation thower arm (what is that think called anyway? LOL). FYI - The new machine assigned to me behaves differently from that described here. There is no clicking, just a humm-buzzing continuous when it is in motion. It makes one clockwise rotation, then stops for some seconds, then one full counter clockwise rotation and that's it. Takes some seconds for it to shutdown/reset and the techs to return from their nuclear bombshelter to unbolt me and I'm done.

My method to 100% comfort is to not even try to move my head once bolted in. To me, I don't experience or notice any restriction as long as I remain very still. If I try to move even one millimeter, there is notice resistance which is not particularly good psych-wise, no physical discomfort. I lightly grasp a ring with my hands and try to relax my upper body. The other thing I do is to close my eyes. I have not asked to have eye holes cut out since I prefer to keep them closed most of the time anyway. Keeps me the most relaxed during the few minutes I am on the board and clamped down.

All in all, it is such a brief experience with such little discomfort, I'm onto planning to maneuver around the next landmines. 


Skiffin16's picture
Posts: 8286
Joined: Sep 2009

Actually if you are having the Carbo via port..., they'll probably get faster as they find a good pump rate. My carbo sessions only lasted maybe an hour and half or so..

You should not have it bad at all with the new machine.. IMRT, started at about a 45* angle your back being 0* and rotated clockwise about 45* until it reached 315*. Each position you could hear the machine buzz, humm and grind for about 9 - 15 times.


phrannie51's picture
Posts: 4672
Joined: Mar 2012

rads, and how to get thru that few minutes a day.....strange, isn't it....that something which is not painful,  and only takes a few minutes a day.....is so hard for many to do....The best day during treatment all of treatment was the day I finished rads...even better than the day I finished the adjuvent chemo....I had them cut eyeholes, then I kept my eyes closed, like you....LOL


CivilMatt's picture
Posts: 4300
Joined: May 2012



Sounds like you have a good start.  Sorry about the dehydration.


I never moved once the techs departed, I wanted to get every cancer blasting zap (as directed) they had planned for me.  


My mask having eye holes was great, not that I did not shut my eyes, but it was nice to look around when I wanted to.


There is no discomfort until (landmine) side effects kick in.


Dodge those landmines and have a smooth cruise.



rachel12yrsuv's picture
Posts: 435
Joined: Feb 2013


Really glad yourboff to good start. Same as Matt my mask was cut open at eyes, and I would look around from time to time, but I also had no issue not moving, I don't know if I even took a deep breath, lol. I do remember how quick it was but I also remember the terrible smell, I hated that smell! I had food aversion so vomitting ws not even a wrning for me, it just happened a lot, so me and fluids go way back! Just hang in there and keep posting, having all your virtual buddies there with you should make something not too much fun a little easier to deal with.

God Bless and much love to you,


donfoo's picture
Posts: 1644
Joined: Dec 2012

>> I do remember how quick it was but I also remember the terrible smell, I hated that smell! <<

Did you experience this smell during the radiation treatment? So far no off-smell from there, only thing is just a very slight coolnes of the room when I have no shirt but other than that the ambient room experience is quite nominal.


corleone's picture
Posts: 264
Joined: Jul 2012

It was ozone like, but in a very bad way; it nauseated me. It is common with NPC, due to the location of the primary tumor.

jcortney's picture
Posts: 503
Joined: Sep 2012

The clock's ticking down and it will be over before you know it.  Like Phrannie, my best day was the day the Rads were done.  Keep that neck lubed and you should do fine.


fishmanpa's picture
Posts: 1216
Joined: Jan 2013


The actual time on the table is easy. As brief as it is, I often find myself dozing off for the 12 minutes or so it takes to set me up, do the scan and then start the treatment.  It's over before you know it. The mask should yield a bit as you lose some weight throughout the treatment.  

You'll do fine. You already know the landmines are there and you'll be stepping on a few =]


donfoo's picture
Posts: 1644
Joined: Dec 2012

>> You'll do fine. You already know the landmines are there and you'll be stepping on a few =] <<

Somethings the battlefield is designed with so many of the "given standard" side effects that maybe the landminds are those which are a lot more hit and miss, just like a landmine! LOL

I'll post the major battlefield milestone reports here, for the daily field reports, you can read the blog



Skiffin16's picture
Posts: 8286
Joined: Sep 2009

Occasionally, usually on Mondays when they also shot an X-Ray or CT for mask fit... I would get a wiff of OZone.. Sort of a fresh, even kind of lemon odor, or very faint bleach odor...

We have OZone gnerators in some equipment where I work, and back in the day of that wacky tobacky, Ozium was a big odor eliminator...

I have also heard several people speak ofthat smell....


debbiejeanne's picture
Posts: 3095
Joined: Jan 2010

don, so glad ur off to a smooth start.  will pray all trmnts go that way.  hang in there it won't be long now and u'll be done.

God bless,


MICH4EL's picture
Posts: 73
Joined: Mar 2013

The countdown begins and it will be over.



Posts: 1914
Joined: May 2012


Yes the mask....but the experience once started goes by quickly.  We had a newer machine at the center I was at, similar to what you describe.  Only good and positives being directed your way.   Katie

robswife87's picture
Posts: 208
Joined: Mar 2013

Rob did his first rads yesterday and his 2nd today. He came out with the wffle look on his forehead. He said they told him it shrinks a little more when completely dry so it was very tight, but will loosen when he starts to lose weight. But I did get an extra 6 pounds on him the last couple weeks for a little extra cushion at the end.



NJShore's picture
Posts: 423
Joined: Nov 2012


I wish the best, and easiest path down this journey. You are sooooo prepared with information and resolve, I am hoping you glide through. It does happen for a few.. my wish you are one of them.

Keep us posted.. I look forward to the day you ring that bell!


hwt's picture
Posts: 2330
Joined: Jun 2012

Keep that sense of humor...it will help you through this. Not to mention keeping the rest of us entertained and smiling :-)

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