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Other uses for chemo drugs-Just an FYI- RA and Hep. C


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I thought I would post this because you never know if someone else will have the same thing happen. Not a definative answer, but thought I would update you.

In October, I had finished 4 rounds of chemo Carbo and VP. I started aching all over. The farther out from my last chemo, the more I ached. As soon as I got chemo, the aching was GONE! Oncologist thought I was a nut.

Then in November the aching was so bad I couldnt stand it. Could hardly get up off the couch. It wasnt from Neupogen and I knew something was up. Again, chemo made it all disapear.

Rheumatoid blood test was taken and it was quite elavated. C-reactive protien was run, also a bit elavated. We repeated the tests a month later, more elavated. Sent to Rheumotologist-more of the same tests, elavated.

He says I either have mild Rheumotoid arthrits or I am just in an inflamatory state from radiation and LACK of chemo. I have had pneumonitis for months, I have some muscle and ligament damage where I was shot etc....

It has gotten better on its own. I am now 2 months out from last chemo.

The interesting part of the story is the Rheumotologist said the chemo making it feel better made perfect sense and for severe Rheumotoid arthritis they use chemo infussions as chemo is a significant anti inflamatory drug. Go figure.

Story # 2

My husband has Hep C and it is now severe. Recent liver biopsy is very bad and he needs to start tx asap. The treatment is 2 chemo drugs even though he doesnt have liver cancer. One will be 6 daily pills and one is a weekly shot for a full year if he responds.

Both of these drugs are used primariliy for liver and kidney cancer. If it works, it will kill off the virus in his liver and reduce the inflamation. We are of course devastated that he now has to go through a similar course as I did and he doesnt have cancer. Same side effects, loss of hair, low blood counts, fatigue etc....

Thats it, 2 uses for chemo that I didnt know about.


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Jen! This information is very interesting and helpful! I had a vacation of 5 weeks between my 1st line chemo and the 2nd chemo. About 2 weeks after I finished the first chemo, I began to have severe pain in my back and a return of sciatica. I had this before my diagnosis and was taking Vioxx, which was then recalled.

The pain continued until I began the chemo with CPT 11 and was gone the entire time I was on this chemo. Right now, I have been finished with chemo for 10 days and the back and leg pain is recurring! I have no doubt that chemo is responsible, but do not know if it is the chemo drugs or if Decadron stops the pain! I will discuss this with my Onco! Marge

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Hi Marge,

Yes, the Decadron plays a role as I asked too. But, both the Onco and the Rheum told me it only works for a couple of days, then its gone and any continued anti inflamatory action is from the long acting chemo.

I also had to take prednisone off and on w/ the pneumonitis but was very bad at following directions because I hate the stuff (steroids) they keep me up. But, when I did take it I also had relief from the aches and pains.

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