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Phil s.

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Good evening,

   My name is Phil I am 62 y/o male. I was just recently diagnosed squamous cell carcinoma of the left lower lobe with a couple of lymph nodes. I will be starting my chemo in a week or so, I need to have head MRI before they start. I’d like to know what to expect on my first visit for chemo therapy? Honestly little scared about all this. I will have 6 hour chemo every 3 weeks after 3rd session then we will be discussing removing the mass in my lung. Any input would be greatly appreciated 

Thank you,

Phil

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Hi Phil,

I was dx'ed with what was stage 2B squamous cell w /2 nodes in 2/2018. I had a complete pneumonectomy (due to the location of the tumor), of left lung & then 4 rounds

of adjuvant chemo. Just had my scan after 4 years and still NED. Not sure what type of chemo they have planed for you and we all react a bit

different to it. But, so far it has done the trick. Stay strong!!

 

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Hi Phil,

Welcome to our forum and I'm sorry you need to be here.  This can be a scary time and nobody understands what you're feeling more than all of us on this site.  You'll soon be hearing from others who have had chemo.  My treatment was surgical so I cannot speak from experience, but I will share some very important information with you.

First, "10 Steps to Surviving Lung Cancer; from a Survivor".  It is a great wealth of information and can be found here.

Second, "Treatment Options for Lung Cancer", a good synopsis of what the treatment options are that may provide some of what you are looking for regarding chemo.  That is on this page.

Finally, is "Chemotherapy", this is a sub-forum where people share their questions and answers regarding chemotherapy and it is found here.

It is normal to be filled with a large range of emotions right now, but we have folks here who are NED (No Evidence of Disease) for years and I am one of them.  You won't be alone in this journey.

Lou

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Thank you Mark and Lou.

I will be starting my chemo soon. I am scheduled for MRI of my head this Friday then chemo will be scheduled. I’ll be getting

Opdivo ( Nivolumab )

Paclitaxel ( Taxol, Onxal )

Paraplatin ( Carboplatin )
and Pegfilgrastim day after treatment

Then onto surgery.

Thanks Phil

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Phil,

I was a Paclitaxel/Carbo girl for 5 or 6 weeks while I underwent concurrent radiation. What to expect? I can tell you my experience, which seems pretty common. Arrive, get the usual check-in: weight, blood draws. They place a needle in a vein and tape it  in place. It's got a small tube and, depending on your situation, maybe other stuff, attached, to which they can run a controlled flow of the medicine. Oninfusion sitece the bloods have been looked at and are OK for treatment, you get the go-ahead for the infusion. In my center, you get to pick a comfy chair with a view you like. 

Once settled in, they'll give you Benadryl and steroids beforehand. Then the nurse shows up with the bag(s) of magic elixir, hangs the bags, and keeps an eye on things throughout your visit. If you have to go to the bathroom, they show you how to do it with the device the fluid bags are hanging from. Maybe you'll get to have some cookies or some other snack. (I was partial to the jungle crackers.) 

I usually slept through most of my infusions. I also brought stuff to keep me occupied: technology & headphones, book, sweater or blanket. My place always offers heated blankets-- who can say no to that? My facility is also still requiring masks, which I would wear even if they didn't. 

Once the fluids have finished, they take out the needle, you pack your stuff, you go home. I don't remember significant after-effects from the chemo, but in order to be prepared for anything, they had me fill prescriptions for three or four anti-nausea meds before the first treatment. I was lucky; once any nausea started, I just took the meds as a matter of course, as prescribed, and never felt awful. YMMV (Your mileage may vary)

Usually, I would have a rest when I got home, mostly because of the radiation. 

If you've never had an MRI, you might want to consider asking for some calming meds to take beforehand. The MRI can take about 45 minutes. I was good without meds for the first two, then I was no longer willing to work on coping with being in a noisy big tube-- having cancer was enough to be coping with. I have a brain MRI next week; I'll take my medicine (from my doc) before I arrive at the MRI place.

I hope this gives you a sense of what you might expect. Again, everybody's cancer center is different, as are treatments. My message: you can do it. 

Karen

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Phil,

I agree with everything Karen said about receiving chemo. My experience was basically the same. As far as the MRI, I was really nervous but it wasn’t that bad. The noises can be a little unsettling but I just closed my eyes. Hopefully you are not claustrophobic and the entire procedure was over with in about 20 minutes for me. Best of luck and keep us posted.

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On 5/18/2022 at 5:26 PM, Karen_L said:

Phil,

I was a Paclitaxel/Carbo girl for 5 or 6 weeks while I underwent concurrent radiation. What to expect? I can tell you my experience, which seems pretty common. Arrive, get the usual check-in: weight, blood draws. They place a needle in a vein and tape it  in place. It's got a small tube and, depending on your situation, maybe other stuff, attached, to which they can run a controlled flow of the medicine. Oninfusion sitece the bloods have been looked at and are OK for treatment, you get the go-ahead for the infusion. In my center, you get to pick a comfy chair with a view you like. 

Once settled in, they'll give you Benadryl and steroids beforehand. Then the nurse shows up with the bag(s) of magic elixir, hangs the bags, and keeps an eye on things throughout your visit. If you have to go to the bathroom, they show you how to do it with the device the fluid bags are hanging from. Maybe you'll get to have some cookies or some other snack. (I was partial to the jungle crackers.) 

I usually slept through most of my infusions. I also brought stuff to keep me occupied: technology & headphones, book, sweater or blanket. My place always offers heated blankets-- who can say no to that? My facility is also still requiring masks, which I would wear even if they didn't. 

Once the fluids have finished, they take out the needle, you pack your stuff, you go home. I don't remember significant after-effects from the chemo, but in order to be prepared for anything, they had me fill prescriptions for three or four anti-nausea meds before the first treatment. I was lucky; once any nausea started, I just took the meds as a matter of course, as prescribed, and never felt awful. YMMV (Your mileage may vary)

Usually, I would have a rest when I got home, mostly because of the radiation. 

If you've never had an MRI, you might want to consider asking for some calming meds to take beforehand. The MRI can take about 45 minutes. I was good without meds for the first two, then I was no longer willing to work on coping with being in a noisy big tube-- having cancer was enough to be coping with. I have a brain MRI next week; I'll take my medicine (from my doc) before I arrive at the MRI place.

I hope this gives you a sense of what you might expect. Again, everybody's cancer center is different, as are treatments. My message: you can do it. 

Karen

Karen thank you for this info and your experiences. I had a port placed about a week ago for my chemo treatment. MRI all done just waiting on results now. Then I have a pulmonary function test to prepare for surgery in a few months. My chemo will be around 6 hours each session with a 3 week break in between. 
Thank You so much

Phil

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On 5/19/2022 at 5:22 PM, Pstar said:

Phil,

I agree with everything Karen said about receiving chemo. My experience was basically the same. As far as the MRI, I was really nervous but it wasn’t that bad. The noises can be a little unsettling but I just closed my eyes. Hopefully you are not claustrophobic and the entire procedure was over with in about 20 minutes for me. Best of luck and keep us posted.

Pstar MRI went well took my Xanax and listened to my music.

Thank You 

Phil

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  • 1 month later...

I had my 20th IGRT this afternoon and my 5th chemo treatment with Taxol/Carbo. It's just as Karen said. So far not many side effects except being really tired days after the chemo which is once a week, the radiation 5 days a week. My chemo lasts about 2 hours. I think I am lucky that I have most of my hair so far! I do have wigs and ordered some scarfs thinking it will be coming. I also have a sore throat and it's sometimes hard to eat. The Mediastinal Lymph Node is close to the esophagus. They are doing radiation on that and my right lower lobe 4cm x 3.3 mass. I am taking Mylanta, Pepsid and Aloe Vera Drink - I didn't know there was any such thing, but it really soothes my throat. I should be done with IGRT by the end of July but my Chemo after that will be 3 weeks on and 3 weeks off. After a month I will get a CT scan and see how much progress has been made and if I am a candidate for a Lobectomy. I am hoping for that outcome.

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