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Joel's progress on his 5th week


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Well hi all,

This is now Joel's 5th week since the operation. This week has been as far as I am concerned one of his worse. He is not eating, and has lost close to 30 lbs. Didn't even come down stairs the day before yesterday. He had constipation, but was given some liquid to take every two hours, and that did the trick. But he keeps gaging a lot.

He had an echogram taken today to find out about his heart rate being so high.

Before that we received a call from his Hematology oncologist today and she told me that they got the results of Joel's blood work, and it seems he has hypertension brought on by an over active thyroid. Now he has to see an endocrinologist.

She also put him on a new medication, lopresser, added today to help with the thyroid condition. She said this should help him to gain weight. Reading the side effects I don't like the looks of this one at all.

Poor guy, he just cannot start feeling good. The pain patch isn't working too good, because he went back to the percocsets now while wearing the patch.

He said he vomited alot this morning before he went for the test. ( a friend took him) By the time I got home he did eat a little bit and it stayed down.

I have one question to people who have chemo (adjuvant) he is having carb/toxal. How is this administered? It is an IV or do they have to put in a stint (sorry spelling) into his body first.? He is going to get 4 sessions, 3 weeks apart, 5 hours each per session.



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Hi MaryAnne.

Quite a few of us have had the carbo/taxol regimen.

With mine, I chose not to have the portacath. Each time I went in for injections, I had a new stick. They are not fun, but do-able. I had a total of 13 injections and tolerated them fairly okay. Each time that I had a new injection, the vein would become a little more shy. The chemo nurse explained that they are very smart and know when chemo is coming. They will actually duck and hide. Toward the end they were spanking my hand and arm to get the vein to pop up. Also they would heat it with a hot water bath and hot towel wrap.

I personally did not want a portacath. My brother had trouble with the insertion of his and I just did not want any complications. I tolerate sticks fairly well. So, for me, it was a personal decision. I have heard, though, that others really like their ports and continue to use them long after the treatment of chemo has finished.

I suppose now, I need to congratulate your Eagles on their victory over our Vikings.. rah rah rah.. (can you tell how excited I am...?) :roll:

All the best to you and hubby in getting him squared away.

Cindi o'h

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Hi MaryAnne, I also had the carbo/taxol regime but mine was once a week for six weeks. So they did a new IV each time I went in. It took about 4-5 hours the first time for them to first put in the drugs they use to prevent nausea, etc. and then the chemo drugs, but I tolerated it well so they were able to speed up the infusion. After the first time it usually only took about 3 hours total. I hope it all goes well!

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The chemo nurses had a hard time with my veins....they kept collapsing. So I was stuck with a semi-permanent cath in my upper arm. It made my life alot easier....since the ever-so-painful phishing for my veins was no longer a part of my treatments. The nurses told me chemo IVs need larger needles to do their job properly.....so a cath is often the answer. The only problem I had was showering without getting the cath insertion area wet. I used the sticky second skin patches to prevent infections...but my hubby still had to wrap my arm with plastic and tape before I stepped into the shower.

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I also had hyperthyroid at the time of diagnosis. So those thyroid scans etc were in the mix with the PFT's , CT with needle biopsy etc. They gave me a radioactive pill to "wipe out" the thyroid problem. Now I have to take Synthroid to get my blood work in normal range. At that time I had lost weight and had a high pulse rate. Donna G

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Hi All,

To Ry, yes he does drink Boost once or twice a day, and I give him fruit and a grilled cheese sandwitch, I also give him a fattening milkshake every night.

To Donna,

He was not diagnosed with the thyroid problem until after the operation, actually now, as his heart rate was very normal before the operation.

So we don't know what happened there. I just wonder myself if it had anything to do with the problem he had with the operation that the tumor was on top of his arota. I don't know maybe something happened there.

Take care, still looking for infor about getting the IV with or without that

portacath. it seems so far its about even for and against it.

Where do they put the portacath? Arm, chest??


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Normally, they put the portacath in the chest just below the collarbone. Lucie has one. I, too, want to emphasize that he must eat and drink, and I'm glad you are giving him a variety of things to drink. We found that having something every two hours worked better than trying to give a regular meal three times a day. It also cuts down on the nausea, at least it did in Lucie's case. Don

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Oh Maryanne-

I wish I could just come over and we could sit down and talk! I have or have had it all too (except the vomiting). I am so sorry, I can honestly say that I know what Joel is going through. Let him know that if he wants to talk, I am here and truely understand.

During my treatment I emailed back and forth with "ljdub", don;t know what I would have done without her pulling me through.

I did surgery, radiation and chemo together then additional chemo treatments. Any side affect from ALL the meds I got....including the benadryl making my pass out. I had taxol and carbo together with the radiation, then we did Taxoterre and I had so much pain from it I couldn't handle it. Then we did Gemzar/carbo and I had an allergic reaction.

The nausea was bad, the pain was bad. Everything sucked! I got through it with my email buddy and everyone here.

I would post that I was falling apart and couldn't take anymore and tell everyone the next "new" thing that was happening to me and they would pull me out and tell me to hang on and that I could do it. I hit rock bottom more then once and everyone here pulled me out.

It's been several months since treatment and now I have a raising heart and over active thyroid too!

Seriously, if either one of you wants to talk, let me know.

Good luck!

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