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Starting radiation and chemo


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Hi everybody!

Hope everyone is well! I haven't posted for awhile because I was so busy with tests and meetings with the radiation and chemo teams at the Oshawa cancer centre, and after one more test this week on Thursday - a plumonary function test - I start radiation and chemo next week. It's been a long (or fast!) three months since the chest x-ray showed a mass, that's for sure.

Not sure if I mentioned it last time I posted, but I have Stage IIIA lung cancer - and I feel silly to say it, but looking over my vast notes, I forgot to ask what *type* it is. Sigh. Anyway, they tell me I have a one in five chance of a cure, which surprised me, because I wasn't expecting any chance of a cure at all! So, who knows?

I start radiation and chemo next week. The radiation will be everyday, Monday to Friday, for 33 days. The chemo will be done once a week, on a cycle of one week of Cisplatin (takes four hours), one week of Vinorelbine (takes and hour and a half), one week off, then the cycle repeats, then I get a month off, then two more cycles. So, I figure the chemo will be over in mid-Dec.

So, I don't really know what to expect. I've been told every from the best reactions to the worst, and everything in between, so will just have to wait and see how I react to the radiation and chemo. Experience is the best teacher, eh?

So, that's where I'm at. Now I'll go and read where you're all at!


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Thanks for the welcome back, Patti! I really can't believe how many appointments I had this month, and with work on top of it, it was a jammed schedule.

Also, I did try to update my profile before I posted the first message, and I can't seem to get it to keep it, it keeps posting my old profile. I go into Profile, update it, hit submit, it tells me my profile has been updated and then the old one shows up when I post. What am I doing wrong?

Also, did a search here on Cisplatin, one of the chemo drugs I'll be getting and it sounds really nasty! I am worried about it because I am allergic to aspirin (it causes the same bleeding symptoms in me that Cisplatin can cause) so am worried my body will react the same to it as it does to aspirin. I've told the chemo people about it, and they say my blood will be monitored for platelets, just hope I don't have a problem there.

Anyhoo, I am so thankful for this group and all the great people and knowledge!


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kelly...I had the exact same chemo as you are going to get..was not that bad...never lost my hair...just stopped growing....side effects were all controlled pretty easily.Read the rest of my info and you will see what I mean. Best of luck


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Hi Kelly. I had a similar first line treatment plan as you. I sailed through radiation for sure, but that can be different for everyone depending on location. My chemo was a bit different and I definitely had a few side effects from that, but really just a few off days per cycle and then rebounded back after that. I worked out through all my first line treatment and I credit alot of how well I did to that. So be sure to do whatever exercise works for you. And of course stay positive...and don't listen to any stats or prognosis...a good attitude goes a long way as well. Best wishes on your treatment and please keep us posted on how you are doing.


ps is Oshuwa in Ontario Can...even my Cdn geography is bad and I live here!

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Hi there fellow Ontarioan Ontarioite Ontarioster ??? What ever fits... :wink:

I just finished almost the same scenario in March/08 and feel pretty darn good. All my treatments were in Juravinski Cancer Clinic in Hamilton. They are all angels from heaven there just like all Cancer Clinics I am sure.

We are coping very well here what with the crazy hot humid weather, how are you?

Best wishes on your treatment! Keep posting!

Take care

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Hi Kelly,

I also was stage 3A. I had daily radiation and weekly chemo before surgery. The chemo that I had was taxol and carboplatinum. It was not so bad. They told me that they do not give you full strength chemo when you have radiaion concurrently. After my treatment I was able to have surgery. I had an upper right lobectomy. My surgery was July 1, 2005. My scans have been clean since. I hope and pray the same for you also.


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Hi everyone!

Thanks for all the best wishes!

SandraL, thanks for the exercise tip. And yep, Oshawa is in Ontario, right outside of Toronto. It's a one-hour drive from the city I live in - Peterborough.

Snowflake, the surgeon who did my biopsies said that since it has spread to two lymph nodes outside the lung (they are near my windpipe and he called them local) that surgery would be controversial. He basically said no to surgery and left it at that.

Lorrie, aren't the people who work at the cancer centres angles? Actually, my cousin works as a chemo nurse at the centre I go to in Oshawa, which is really nice. She won't be my nurse, though, but it is nice seeing her when I am there! And, fortunately I have central air conditioning, which has been a blessing in the heat and humidity. Makes breathing much easier!

Don M, I don't know if they will offer me surgery after radiation and chemo. I guess I will have to wait and see.

Carolhg, congrats on your great results! I've been reading all of your histories and they are very encouraging and helpful.

I'll report back next week and let you all know how it goes. Keep your fingers crossed!

Thanks again, everyone!


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Kelly, Good luck next week. Your posts have such an upbeat tone--don't lose that. I have a constitution that has always had zero tolerance for any type of anesthesia as well as prescription pain medicine. Because of my tendency to upchuck (sorry, can't think of a more descriptive word) on any of these, my daughter (a Registered Nurse) and I dreaded the possibility of me ever having to do chemo. I won't say I never had naseau but as long as the chemo was administered according to the doctor's orders, it was definitely tolerable and no upchucking.

Bottom line, for most of us treatment is seldom as bad as we expect it to be. Good luck again.

Judy in Key West

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Hi, Kelly.

I was NSCLC IIIB (squamous cell) with RLL tumor and metastasis to lymph nodes in chest chavity. I underwent cisplatin/etoposide concurrent with radiation therapy (see links below for more details), and although it was unpleasant and docs definitely had to deal with a variety of side effects, in between and afterwards was great (I even managed a couple of super vacations and have another planned for next week).

Nobody claims it's fun going through chemo and radiation, but if you can buy Quality Time, it's definitely worth it! :D

Also, as others have written, if you stay on top of meds for side effects and keep your docs and nurses posted on every little thing going on with you, they can do a much better job of keeping your side effects minimal.

Best of luck to you!


Carole the Perfect Puker (never missed the bucket once!)

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