Chemo update

11 years 11 months ago #39605 by Kathleen_T
Replied by Kathleen_T on topic Chemo update
Thanks. Appreciate the encouragement. (Not tempted to quit in any event.)

— Kathleen

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11 years 11 months ago #39601 by CatherineH
Replied by CatherineH on topic Chemo update
Happy to hear your first two cycles have had a positive effect. Sorry this one has been a rougher ride but hope that those nasty old tumors continue to be bombarded until they decide to just go away!

I wish you continued positive results with your treatments and as Anita said, "hang in there" and know we are all cheering for you!

Best wishes... Catherine

TURBT 1/21/10 at age 55
Dx: T2aN0M0 Primary Bladder Adenocarcinoma
Partial Cystectomy 2/25/10
Vanderbilt Medical Center
Nashville, TN

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11 years 11 months ago #39592 by DougG
Replied by DougG on topic Chemo update
Kathleen,

Glad to hear that two of three tumors have shrunk. Hang in there with the treatments.

Anita

Anita
Forum Moderator
Caregiver

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11 years 11 months ago #39590 by Kathleen_T
Chemo update was created by Kathleen_T
Haven’t written in a while, so thought I would post an update.

The good news is that after three 3-week chemo cycles (Cisplatin and Gemzar once a week for two weeks, off for the third in each cycle), two of three tumors have reduced about 20% in diameter (no advice on the third).

My brilliant oncologist was pleased, so I am too, at least cautiously. He now thinks I should be able to tolerate six cycles. The more the merrier, or so I gather — so long as the tumors continue to shrink and my kidneys remain strong enough to take the strain.

For a treatment that mostly consists of sitting around and being poisoned strategically, the cycles pass quickly, with lots of diversions (not even counting the day of the East Coast earthquake): visits from various counselors, complementary massage sessions, tests of this and that, shots to boost white cells, transfusion to increase red cells. Some weeks (right after hurricane Irene, for example) my weekly blood work report came in late, so we were late getting to the chemo (I get three hours of saline first to help my kidneys tolerate the Cisplatin). Another day, I was kept late to get a unit of blood, which runs slowly. So a typical chemo day, which starts around 9 a.m. can easily run until 5 or 6 p.m. (Some patients have even longer days, so I am not complaining.)

The first two cycles were relatively uneventful, but the third has been tough, with significant nausea, poor appetite, fatigue, fluid retention, and weakness. Medications help with the nausea, not so much with the other problems, so I have to keep after them myself.

— Kathleen

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