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Hi, I am new to this. My dad was recently diagnosed with stage 3b/4 lung cancer. He has a tumor in his upper left long. Also the lymph nodes on the R/L side of his chest and along the collar bone have been effected. He starts treatments on Monday. He will be recieving chemo once a week. They are giving him Taxol and Carboplatin. He will also be given radiation treaments 5x a week.

Can anyone give me any advice... what should I expect?

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Hello Michelle and welcome

I am so sorry to hear about your dad but very glad you have found this site.

Although I cannot personally answer your questions, there are many wonderful people here that can and will be able to offer you lots of advice, suggestions and tons of hope.

Let us know how we can help you and know that we will be here,

Christine

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I am gonna give you a few general pointers and you will get more responses as the days go along. Let me say sadly enough, Welcome to teh club we wish did not exist but it does. THis is a wonderful support group here. Nothing but Copmpassion knowledge and lots of support also.

Chemo is a very nasty thing. It does a lot of bad things to a person to make them feel better. Its kind of like taking a poison to cure something. THere will be fatigue, nausea, rashes, Pains and aches and so much more. But there is always hope and love though. If you can do it, go with dad and stay with him at least for 24 hours after the first round. Make sure someone can be with him if you can't. The side effects usuallly range and vary from individual to individual so it is hard to predict. Take a note book for notes, a list of all meds and pills or supplements he is taking. Snacks are welcome because this may take more than a couple of hours. Cheese, crackers and liquids are great to bring along to snack on. Make list of all the injections he is getting. some will help with side effects. Usually they give separate injection to fight Nausea and a steroid for a little energy. I am going to leave you with a little reading material about the 2 druggs or Chemos, that dad will be getting. THese are pretty general but will give good bavkground info. Everyone reacts differently so your experience from this drug combo may not be the same as others but you will get more info along the way.

Click on these 2 links to be redirected to the sites;

1)http://www.chemocare.com/BIO/taxol.asp

2) http://www.chemocare.com/bio/carboplatin.asp

Sayin extra prayers and Think positive there are so many here who are longterm and active survivors now than there were years ago.

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Hi, Michelle, and welcome!

As Randy said, everyone reacts differently to chemo. What you read will give you a feel for what is "possible" but not what "will" happen with 100% certainty. A lot depends on your dad's general health other than the cancer, as well as his attitude. I had Taxol and Carboplatin along with Avastin over a 4-month period -- 6 cycles at 3-week intervals -- and now am continuing with Avastin only. You can read my profile below for details of the various side effects, which I now know were attributable to just the Taxol and Carbo, since with Avastin alone all the side effects I had experienced and accumulated over those 4 triple-agent months have essentially disappeared. The overall intensity of my side effects was about average, or maybe a bit lighter than average, and the only one that was genuinely worrisome (not just uncomfortable or bothersome) was the neuropathy, which came on suddenly quite late in the program but responded unusually well to medication.

Since your dad is getting radiation too, his chemo doses may be somewhat less than full strength, and that may account for the weekly versus every three weeks chemo schedule. That's just a guess on my part, as I didn't have radiation. But I do know from what I've read that radiation can really add to the fatigue factor. Plenty here have had radiation along with chemo and can advise you better.

Hope to hear from you often as you help your dad through this. Ask any question that comes to mind. There are no dumb questions. Before you know it you'll be answering the "newly diagnosed" yourself!

Aloha,

Ned

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Welcome to the group ... I'm here as a caregiver for my mom. I believe what your dad is having at this point is pretty standard (it seems to be either Taxol/Carbo or Gemzar/Carbo, which is what my mom had).

The side effects can range drastically. Besides low blood counts, my mom didn't suffer most of the others (thank God). I layed awake the entire night after her first chemo ... I live about 20 minutes away and my dad is still living, so she wasn't alone. I was sure she was suffering from nausea and she wasn't able to sleep. Turns out she had a great night sleep and never did get very nauseated.

I hope your dad has little side effects but a great response from the chemo ... keep us updated.

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Welcome Michelle: Your dad is getting treatment that is intended to do maximum damage to the cancer. It is hard to say how he will do with the side effects. It is always a little harder to do chemo and radiation at the same time. Lots of people have a less intense delivery dose of chemo while on radiation and then move on to stronger chemo after the radiation.

Don M

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Hi Michelle and welcome. I had the same combo that your dad will be receiving along with concurrent radiation. You've already been given lots of great advice about possible side effects, etc., so I won't add to that. What I will say is let your dad eat whatever he wants whenever he wants. I gained 15 pounds at the start of treatment but lost that and an additional 10 pounds by the end of treatment. If his radiation is aimed near the esophagus, he may have lots of difficulty eating as radiation progresses. I'll say some extra prayers that treatment goes well for your dad.

Take care,

Trish

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Thank you everyone for your advice, kind words and prayers. I am very thankful that I found this forum. I know my dad has a long battle ahead of him but so far he has been very positive about this. He's only 50 years old and in good health other then the cancer. He's a fighter, and i'm not going to give up hope that he will pull through this.

I will keep everyone updated.. I'm sure I'll have plenty of questions once everything gets started on Monday.

My prayers are also with all of you :)

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Hi Michelle and welcome. Tell your dad about the site and perhaps he would come post or chat with some of us. I had the carbo/taxol with concurrent radiation and the main side effect was tiredness and I needed a lot more sleep than usual. I also experienced some horrendous burns to the skin from the radiation but they have long since healed. I stayed alone throughout my treatments and did fine. Do what Dad wants you to do and visit here and ask questions as needed.

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Michelle,

I'm glad you found us, although I hate that you had to. Sometimes the psychiological side effects can be as bad or worse than the physical. My mom got tired and achy from the Carbo/Taxol (hers were once every 21 days, but what really got her was the change in her appearance--no hair, no eyelashes, no eyebrows, and a rash on her face a couple days after chemo. I know that was harder on her than the physical effects from the chemo. It's part of the "new normal" so don't be surprised if your dad has as many psychological saide effects as he does physical.

Susan

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Well my Dad made it through his first week of chemo/radiation. He seems to be feeling fine. The only bad day he had was on Wednessday, but has said he is feeling much better now. He's been eating a lot more this past week, which is great!! The more weight he can put on the better!

Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!

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  • 1 month later...

Today was suppose to be the 6th round of chemo for my dad but his white count is down to a 1.8 so the doctors couldn't. After today the plans was for him to get 3 weeks off and then start again. Now they may either give him the chemo next Monday or wait 4 weeks to start again. Also, because of radiation he has a pretty bad burn on his neck. He has been using cream to help with that but he said it is still pretty painful. The only other side effects he had is ocassional dizzieness and cold chills. Is this all normal. The thing i'm most worried about is his count being so low.

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Michelle - I understand how you feel. Please know that a low white count and the other symptoms are pretty common for this stage in your Dad's chemo. Many on this board have gone through the exact same things. The Oncologist may give him a shot of a med like Neupogen or Neulasta to help with that count, and delaying the next chemo treatment is also a normal step to give him a chance to rebound. Though unpleasant, this is medically manageable. You may want to take a look at www.chemocare to get information on this and other issues related to chemo. Take care, and stay in touch with us!

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Hi Michele.

Sorry I took so long to welcome you here. So welcome Michele. So sorry you had to find us, but as you can see there are so mamy caring, knowledgable people here.

My husband had the same chemo but he did not have radiation. He tolerated that chemo well, but it effected him if I remember about the 3rd day after, he had flu like symptoms in his legs. Otherwise he was fine as far as neasuea and he did eat, even though much of he food tasted like paper.

He had a different type of chemo the 2nd time around but this one he received a needle 24 hours after the chemo so his white counts would be fine for his next chemo treatment That drug was called Neulesta (sp)

I don't know about the chills, I would Don's advice check with his doc about that.

Please know that we are always here for you. You are never alone going through this as we have all walked in your shoes.

Maryanne

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