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My updates (22 Years old, NSCLC)


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Hey all, 

I had a really long thread on the new members area so if anyone is interested that hasn’t seen my story it’s all mainly on there. I decided to start this thread so I’m more in tune with everyone that has been supporting me as well. 
 

To bring it short for anyone else, my names Ale. I am 22 years old and was diagnosed in February for a form of lung cancer that had spread to my lower back, spine area and caused a cervical fracture in my c2. Since then I’ve received 10 doses of radiation treatments and have seen improvements but don’t know for sure. I start chemotherapy on Tuesday to combat this nasty disease that decided to waltz in my life. 
 

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Hey Ale, I have been following your thread and I know of your issues. Whereas, I'm sure you feel this has all hit you from straight out of the blue, you have to know too that you have some advantages in beating this thing flat out. You're young and you have a wellspring of energy that most of us can barely remember. That and I would trade my 64 yr. old immune system with yours in a heartbeat!! And one last thing...you will probably live long enough to see not just treatments for but actual cures for cancer.

As for now though, I too am in the midst of a four course chemotherapy treatment plan of Carboplatin/Alimta. My first infusion was on 4/5 and some of the side effects from day two through day seven after infusion were kind of rough. The nausea was manageable only with anti-nausea meds (Zofran) on three of those evenings, but you want to watch taking those meds as they will definitely give you constipation. I found that if you keep your eating to small amounts, eat only bland foods, and liberally eat crackers (saltines, graham, animal, etc.) when you start to get even just a little queasy, there's a lot less chance of getting sick. The other problem I had during this period was pretty hard core fatigue. Now there is really literally nothing you can do about that except just give your body a rest and just plain relax. Have faith that your body will come back...from day seven to day eight was like night and day in my energy levels. My energy came back just like that; it was amazing. But know that even after the worst of the side effects are over, that does not mean they are all over. The remaining two weeks before the next infusion consists of other side effects that are not as prominent, but can even be possibly more deadly. I've had somewhat of a bloody nose lately and I'm told that there is a much greater chance of infection of any open wounds that may occur during this period.

The above just shows that while chemotherapy is no walk in the park, it is survivable. You'll do fine and with your above stated advantages, probably better than me... Stay positive and in the fight!!

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Thanks @Jesse L.for the advice I really appreciate it. I really hope that everything works out the way it should in the long run. As for my youth being in my favor, it has helped lots with radiation. It did put me on my butt for a little bit but I recovered pretty fast. The side effects of chemo really do make me nervous as I don’t know how my body will take it. But I’m confident that I’ll be okay in the long run. 
 

I do have an update on my esophagus issue and it seems to be healing now. That day was the worst it was ever at and now I’m able to eat with minimal pain and talk with minimal mucus buildup. I’m hoping that I’ll be good before chemo so I can eat somewhat normally. 

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You should be fine... Oh yes I was worried as hell about chemotherapy side effects too, but I got through it and you will as well. Just stay ever mindful of your body and the signals it's sending you. If you need to rest, then do so, eat good wholesome foods when you can, and stay away from food and maybe even the smell of it when your stomach says no way... 

And before you know it the really rough patch is over. Stay in touch...

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Hey all, 

Today’s my port placement. Feeling a nervous wreck since it would be my first type procedure done. Wish me luck.

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It'll be a piece of cake, Ale. Seriously--you'll barely notice it. Just a tiny bit of pain/itching as it heals--like any small cut.

Hit us up when they cut you loose. 

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Just one tip--if your neck or anything else is sore, you might want to ask to have the port placed on the same side. I had mine placed on the side with my collarbone fracture (which happened earlier that week)--I figured keep any pain on the same side, so I had better use of at least one side.

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3 hours ago, AleHondaa said:

Hey all, 

Today’s my port placement. Feeling a nervous wreck since it would be my first type procedure done. Wish me luck.

You will thank yourself that you have the port instead of going through the usual IV route.  Lexie is correct in that it's just a little bit of pain and then itching as it heals.  After that you won't even know it's there.  Plus it's "one-stop shopping" for your care team....not only for infusions, but labs as well.  And if you need fluids or anything like that.  ;)  Keep us posted on how you're doing, Ale!  Hang in there!  

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Alright so once again, the port was put off. The doctors were concerned with my neck during the procedure so they put it off until they get approval from my neurosurgeon about it. So my first infusion tomorrow will have to be done through an IV. I’m so frustrated right now, I just want this done and over with so I can start to get better. 

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Aw, I'm sorry. Well, one infusion in the arm won't hurt anything. Ports are better/easier, but it takes time for infusions to do damage to the veins.

It's really annoying, though, when it seems like they could've realized the issue BEFORE the day-of, ya know? Like, let's be prepared, people!

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Yeah exactly what i was thinking. At first they were debating on doing an arm port but they spoke to my oncologist and said that they can’t since I’m gonna be long term on the chemotherapy. 

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Again, my platelet count is low and it’s gotten lower. I can’t start til Friday and I’m on a steroid to hopefully boost it up. So again I wait. 

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Yeah exactly lol, I was a lot better today. At this point I’m just ready to get going. 

I was supposed to get it done Friday but they canceled it due to my platelet count. So no word as of yet when it’s going to be done. 

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OK, so at least the neurosurgeon-weighing-in piece of it's done. Are they giving you anything to boost platelets or do they think they will come back up on their own?

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Really? I didn’t know that. They gave me that for pain at first. I don’t like it because it makes me snappy and keeps me up at night. 

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Hmmm...so I had to look it up on the paperwork for the dexamethasone which I have. The prescription for me is to take two pills daily the day before, the day of, and the day after infusion. Per the paperwork, "Dexamethasone belongs to a class of drugs known as corticosteroids. It decreases your immune response to various diseases to reduce symptoms such as swelling and allergic type reactions."  

The corticosteroid part is what makes a person agitated and wide awake and it is really given to a patient to reduce any bad reactions their body may have from receiving chemotherapy.

A typical chemotherapy infusion begins with an IV drip of plain fluids first with a bit of Zofran to make sure that the patient is completely hydrated and does not become nauseous when receiving the intended chemotherapy. Hydration is an absolute must in the first three days after infusion as the body expels nearly all the chemotherapy drugs from the body within 48 hours of infusion through bodily wastes snd sweat. The extra hydration aids in the liver and kidneys from being burned out during the expel process from the chemicals which in reality are really rough on the body.

So I asked the next obvious question...if the chemotherapy is nearly out of a person's system in two days, then what is it that kills short life cells in the body to include cancers cells for the next 19 days or so before the next infusion? The answer was most interesting; apparently in that short period of time cancer cells learn how poisonous chemotherapy is and if the mere trace of those drugs get near them, they basically commit suicide. 

It's amazing how this stuff is supposed to work... Now the key in my opinion is that the chemotherapy reaches every last nook and cranny of the body where a cancer cell may hide. A tough job given cancer's persistence, but not an impossible feat.

So we have to be every bit as persistent and more than cancer...tough but definitely doable!!!    

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Oh...and before each infusion they will check your blood each time. Most important are your red blood cell counts, your white blood cell counts, your platelet counts, and your liver and kidneys function numbers. Depending on your risk factors for low numbers they may check your counts more often than that and most definitely after your first infusion. Everybody reacts differently to chemotherapy and that includes right down to blood and platelet counts.

Now if your counts are low, they may lengthen the days between infusions (usually 21 days) or they may lessen the dosage of chemotherapy given by up to 20 percent per infusion.

As stated chemotherapy is rough stuff...it has to be to do what is intended. There is no doubt about it; we have to be tough too!!!😡😡😡

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@Shella677Ive been okay, I had to delay my treatment AGAIN. I’m going this Friday in hopes that I can start. The steroid had a very bad reaction with me and gave me major anxiety so I stopped taking it and let the doctors know. Since I started working again, just part time to ease into it. My neck has its days, it feels good sometimes and other days it’s not to good. I’m hoping that this is the process of it healing. 

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