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receiving chemo at home...question please help


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Hi everyone,

I just got off of the phone with Chris' oncologist and he is due for another chemo treatment. He is too weak to get out of bed and we would like him to receive his treatment at home. The doctor told us that none of his patients had ever received chemo at home. I need some help on what to do. There is no way Chris is getting out of bed. The doctor told me to contact my health insurance and also speak with my primary care physician about getting a referral but I don't know how long that will take. Has anyone here ever received chemo at home or taken care of someone who has? Any ideas or suggestions as to what to do or to expect? Chris really cannot afford to skip a treatment. His oncologist told me that he is most likely unable to get out of bed due to his cancer and not the chemo. :cry: Any thoughts or stories on chemo from home are appreciated

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Dear Christina,

I have never heard of anyone getting chemo at home because I thought an oncologist had to be present during infusions. The infusion areas that I have been in all have beds for people who are weak and unable to sit up during the infusion. The other alternative would be to be admitted to the hospital for treatments.

I am very interested to see if anyone has had infusions at home and will be surprised if there are any out there, but I havent' heard everything yet.

Some chemos--Iressa and some experimental drugs are given in pill form.

I hope this all resolves itself soon.

Thinking of you both,


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I've never heard of chemo being given at home. It used to be given only in hospitals, as inpatients. I don't think that oncologists are willing to take the risk of doing chemo without proper monitoring and staff, and rightly so.

The best alternative is probably to do it in the hospital. Of course, cost and insurance then come into play.

I hope you can get it worked out.


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I know that doctors usually need to be present for any of the taxane drugs - Taxol or Taxotere - because of the high risk of allergic reaction. I also have never heard of "home chemo" - but I've witnessed a number of patients who arrived for chemo via ambulance to the clinic my sister went to.

By the way, the weakness is due to the cancer, not the chemo? Chemo causes PLENTY of weakness. I don't know how the doctor could know the cause without examination, blood tests, or other tests. My sister's last chemo made her so weak she could not stand or walk.

Good luck.

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What drug Chris gets at home makes a big difference. As others have said, some carry significant risk during the infusion. But many do not. I imagine the doc means that a registered nurse will infuse the chemo at your home, remaining there during the infusion. But check on this.

Other questions to ask: Exactly what does home chemo entail? Ask how long it will take - how often - who will give it - will it change his treatment regimen - what side effects to expect, etc. It seems strange and maybe scary now, but you might find it a much better alternative to putting him in an ambulance all the time to go somewhere else to get his chemo.

Best wishes, teresa

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Don't have much to add here but I too have seen people brought into the infusion centers to weak to sit in chairs for chemo. They have beds at the oncology center for these patients to receive chemo. When Bill had his zometa treatment this past week he was given a bed too since he was so sleepy from all the pain meds and chemo.

Prayers for you dear,


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Hi Christina,

Sure sounds like Chris is having an extremely bad time right now. It could be that it is the cancer and not the chemo. It could also be that his blood count is very low and if so he would need a blood transfusion before he could get chemo anyway.

He sounds to me that maybe he needs to be in the hospital to have himself checked by the oncologist for the extreme tiredness that he is having that he can't get out of bed. As bad as my husband was during the chemo and radiation treatments, he never had a day that he couldn't get up and go to the dr if he had to. Sounds like something that really needs to be checked out now. God Bless

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Guest Karen L

My husband had IV hydration at home for several weeks when he was receiving Carbo & Taxol/Taxotere. His home health nurse was giving chemo at home to 2 patients. She was starting to think twice about it when Jeff had 2 different allergic reactions at the treatment center. The Dr. came immediately and of course we had all the resouces available there to handle it. It is do-able but I'm not sure how safe.

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