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Dad's plan

Posts: 22
Joined: Apr 2013

So, we have a treatment plan.

Radiation daily for 25-30 treatments and 5 weeks of chemo (once a week Taxol and carboplatin) then surgery after.

I have a few questions:

1.  do you recommend a port?  I had them ask about it because working in the pediatric oncology population it is invaluable.  What are your thoughts?

2.  Anyone been through this treatment? Both the medical oncologist and radiologist assured them the side effects are minimal (we are all relieved) but may worsen as treatment progress.  Looking for information on side effects, what they were, how bad were they, and when did you feel you needed the most assistance.  I am plannign to head down for a few weeks during the chemo/radiation phase and want ot come when I will be the most help.

3.  What nutritional supplements did you use?  Any recommendations for dietary medifications to minimize weight loss?  Any sucess with juices?


Any other comments would be appreciated.  Than you all for the support you have provided!

paul61's picture
Posts: 1275
Joined: Apr 2010

Prior to beginning chemotherapy I had a port installed. Based on my experience, it certainly made the chemotherapy process easier. I have had numerous IV’s for other medical procedures and I have found that they all start with "the search for a viable vein". I have found that not all nurses are equally skilled in finding a vein and getting things started. A port eliminates all that unpleasantness. I would highly recommend it.

I am sure you have heard “not all patients react the same to chemotherapy” but I have found the following web site to be very helpful in defining potential and common side effects to various chemotherapy drugs.


Some things I learned in chemotherapy that the chemotherapy staff did not tell me:

  1. Side effects tend to be cumulative as treatment goes forward
  2. Staying hydrated is critical and sometimes IV hydration two to three days after infusion is necessary
  3. Take anti-nausea drugs prior to feeling nauseated. Once you begin to feel nauseated it is hard to reverse the process

Discuss any suppliments you may be considering with your Dad's oncologist some interfere with the effectiveness of chemotherapy.

Best Regards,

Paul Adams

McCormick, South Carolina

DX 10/2009 T2N1M0  Stage IIB - Ivor Lewis Surgery  12/3/2009 - Post Surgery Chemotherapy 2/2009 – 6/2009

Cisplatin, Epirubicin, 5 FU - Three Year Survivor

South Side Steve's picture
South Side Steve
Posts: 28
Joined: Nov 2011




My treatment plan was 25 days of radiation and 7 weeks of Taxol and Carboplatin. The original plan called for 5 weeks of chemo, but two more added because I tolerated it so well. Compared to some of the side effects others on this board experienced with different chemo treatments, my side effects were pretty minimal. Nausea was well managed by the medications they prescribed for me. The best advice I got was to take the nausea meds even if you don’t think you need them. It’s easier to prevent nausea than trying to fight it once you have it. My biggest complaint was fatigue and daily nose bleeds, mostly in the morning. My face would get flushed for a couple days after my infusions and I was told that was a reaction to the steroids. I had a metallic taste in my mouth and had some minor mouth sores, but nothing real serious. I lost my hair at about the 3rd or 4th treatment.



I have Factor V Leiden which makes me susceptible to blood clots, so I was advised against the port. I also have slippery veins, so I felt like a pin cushion every time I went in for chemo. It usually took 3 or 4 attempts to find a good vein that wouldn’t collapse. I’ve talked to people that had the ports and most of them seemed to like them.


The only dietary supplement I took was Boost and Ensure. I lost about 30 – 35 pounds during my treatments, with most of that occurring towards the end. I had lost my appetite and had to force myself to eat. My esophagus held up pretty well during radiation until the last few sessions. Then, it got so burned I couldn’t even swallow water. As a result, I got dehydrated and had to go in for an IV for fluids before my last chemo treatment. I did get some pain meds to help me swallow. I was home alone during the day and I found myself occasionally skipping lunch because I didn’t have an appetite. When my wife was home, she would force me to eat whether I wanted to or not. Looking back, I probably could have used more of that “persuasion.”



My advice to your dad would be to try to stay in good shape by walking or exercising as much as he can during treatments and before surgery. He’s going to need all the strength he can muster to recover from the treatments and surgery. Good luck.





Theresa4Dad's picture
Posts: 20
Joined: Mar 2013


I don't have experience with that treatment but I would say yes to the port without a doubt. My dad was diagnosed stage 4 and they scheduled to put the port in prior to start of chemo. We actually thought it was standard procedure but when we went to treament, we realized not everyone has one and I always feel terrible for the people that don't have it. It makes life for dad so much easier, and now that I think about it, it may have been scheduled because he has a chemo pump that he comes home with for 46 hrs.

Best of luck to you and your dad.

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