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Chemo Question


Darci

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My FIL's doctors are recommending that he have some sort of chemo, either prior to or after surgery, depending on what we find out about his lymph nodes and whether it has spread to them.

He is very nervous and upset about the thought of chemo - the dr said that, obviously depending on which drugs are used, that the chemo used in lc treatment is *generally* fairly well tolerated.

Can you generalize and give us some reassurance as to what he can expect? Or is it too individual, or too dependent on what drugs are given? While on chemo will be be able to do his normal everyday activities, or will he have a lot of fatique. My only experience with chemo was with my uncle and it was over 20 years ago.

Thanks for any insight!!

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Darci,

Of course, everyone is different, and the treatments will depend on his specific results. That being said, I know I was VERY apprehensive when I went for Carbo/taxol prior to my surgery. Although it did make me tired, there was very little stomach trouble. I was told by the doctor that I would definitely loose my hair, but all I had was some thinning.

My mom is now having chemo as a follow-up to surgery (she's 75) and is on carbo/gemzar, I believe. She has a little upset stomach, fatigue, and some hair thinning, too. All in all a very "doable" thing for both of us. We were able to keep up with everyday activities, and some extra rest.

Hope your FIL fares as well. Will keep him in my prayers,

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Darci, Lots of different experiences told about on this site which is wonderful. Nice to know that each person is unique. I tolerated the chemo well. Took carbo/tax every three weeks for six months. It didn't shrink the cancer but at least I had no more plueral effusion. I lost all my hair. did feel fatigue but not as bad as before i was on chemo. I still went to the store and did light housekeeping Zofran kept my stomach from being nauseated. i did not like taking the prednisone but by the grace of God we got through the six months and on to a more effective treatment. Will be praying for your family and especially your FIL. pammie

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Hey Darci,

As everyone has already said everyone is different, but with me I really did not have any major problems. I did lose my hair, which I knew beforehand. So when it started coming out I had my husband shave my head. I had the control that way and it did not bother me at all. I was a little tired. I did have joint pain. I had that for about one year after treatment. It did put me into menopause but I guess your FIL doesn't have to worry about that. I did not get sick at all. I was on Carbo/Taxol every week. At the end of the treament my blood counts where very low so I had to wait longer between treatments. I wish your FIL all the best. Tell your FIL its is normal to be a little frighten. Not knowning can be scary.

Best Wishes,

Dee

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as you can see from just these few replys everyones responses are different. One of my protocols involved the carbo/taxol chemo just like the others but I didn't lose my hair, like some others... just thinned, like terriep's did. Everyone's reactions will be a little different. I think we are all afraid because it is very scary. I was scared and worried but also happy we had a plan and anxious to get started. i worked a normal schedule through my chemo. I was tired but I pushed myself to be as "normal" as possible it was important to me. I had weird things happen to me as far as feeling queazy but I knew it was important to eat so for the first time in my life I gave myself permission to eat whenever and whatever I wanted... i like that part! Reassure him that everyone is nervous and scared but it is "doable" and it is indivdual some just sail right through. Keep a positive attitude and deal with the side effect as you get them IF you get them.

We will all be here cheering him on!!!

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Darci: I was reluctant to do chemo after my first cancer, and did not do it. After my second cancer, I eagerly awaited my chemo treatment. I had 4 rounds of gemzar/carboplatin. It was adjuvant chemo for early stage nslc. It was not bad at all. I was glad when it was done though.

Don M

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Darci,

Everyone is different, but my mom tolerated it very well. She didn't get nauseous until like the second round, and medication helped a lot. She got really really tired, that was the biggest thing. She only lost 1/2 her hair.

She now says to anyone starting chemo that water is so important, even if you don't want to drink it, hydration is key.

Also just remember if they can't do a ro und b/c blood counts are off, it is NORMAL and happens to almost everyone! That had freaked me out, a delay for a week, now I know how common it is

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Hi Darci,

Here is Joel's (my DH) reaction to his chemo.

My husband had carbo/Taxol, 4 treaments, 5 hours. 3 weeks apart. He had no problem at all with the 5 hours, he was very relaxed (they gave him benedril) got to know the man next to him who we see socially now. :D

His hair thinned and he thought it would all come out, had it buzzed, but never lost the buss, so he probably would have had thinning. He never lost his eyelashes, eyebrows and was not neasueas at all. The only problem he had was from the Taxol, after about 3 days his legs hurt. It was not the muscles it was the nerve endings. That lasted about 2 days and then he felt fine. He took pain killers for the pain, which work really well with him.

So, you see there are so many different variety of results from Chemo.

Your FIL will be fine. Trust me, this should really help him.

Keep us posted.

Maryanne

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hi,

i think the particular drugs differ in toxicity and their effects.

in my instance, as below, i did pretty well for a month or so but then fatigue got to me and i was sleeping 18 hours/day and started feeling pretty sorry for myself.

it has taken me as long to get back as the chemo regime lasted.

glad you can be there for your loved one.

ken

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