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Thread: chemotherapy and marijuana

  1. #1

    chemotherapy and marijuana

    I hear that marijuana is legal for medical use in lots of the states. Anyone have any info regarding the use of POT to suppress some of the bad side effects of Chemotherapy? I remember back in my college days I took a puff here and there and it always made me extremely hungry and thirsty.
    -------
    Considering discussing this with the uncologist next week since it is legal in the state I live in for medical purposes only. I hear you can get it for medical purposes in a form that can be eaten and not smoked.
    -------
    My ex girl friend had suggested this to me a few weeks ago before I started ChemoTherapy and at that time I did not take her seriously. But now, after reading all the horrible side effects associated with the usual nausea medication that the uncologist prescribe for the side effects .. I am wondering if this might be worth a try ..

  2. #2
    Senior User Buzzard's Avatar
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    I my guess is that it has an indirect beneficial effect, since Doritos therapy is a well known treatment that always makes you feel better no matter what the ailment. Be careful with Twinkies ingestion, however. I can only imagine what those do to our already damaged intestinal tract.
    In all semi-seriousness, I have never heard of any reliable medical study that shows pot to have a medicinal effect. It is certainly not the wonder drug that its advocates claim.
    DX with Lung Carcinoid Tumor 12/04
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    DX with Rectal Cancer 12/26/07 Merry Christmas!
    Radiation/Chemo 1/08
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    More chemo 5/08
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    Recurrence confirmed in pelvic region 12/09
    Tumor radiated with Cyberknife treatment 3/10
    Recurrence/metastasis in pelvis/abdomen 11/10
    Xeloda/Avastin 12/10 to 01/13
    Progression to lungs found 1/13
    Erbitux 01/13 to 01/14
    Acute renal failure, six days in hospital, all chemo stopped for now, 11/13
    Restarted Erbitux, lower dose 12/13
    Kidney function dips again, chemo suspended again. 2/14
    New chemo regimen of low-dose Irrenotecan started 4/14.
    Further progression into lungs, chemo halted, referred to Huntsman Cancer Center for possible clinical trials.
    Lung biopsy confirms that nodules are metastatic, enrolled in clinical trial at Huntsman. 11/14
    Sounds like a lot of fun, doesn't it?

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Buzzard View Post
    I my guess is that it has an indirect beneficial effect, since Doritos therapy is a well known treatment that always makes you feel better no matter what the ailment. Be careful with Twinkies ingestion, however. I can only imagine what those do to our already damaged intestinal tract.
    In all semi-seriousness, I have never heard of any reliable medical study that shows pot to have a medicinal effect. It is certainly not the wonder drug that its advocates claim.
    there was an eye opening special on CNN regarding its medical usage. Israel seems to take it very seriously

  4. #4
    It is mostly used to manage nausea, insomnia and decreased appetite. While many claim it's effective, it doesn't do anything for some people and makes the problem worse for others. It can interact with your prescription medications, particularly pain meds.

    If you're serious about it, there's plenty of reputable information about medical marijuana online. As medical use is legal under your state law, you could go to a medical marijuana dispensary and ask the person who operates the dispensary about what documents you must obtain from your doctor in order to use/grow marijuana for medical use.

    Keep in mind: although medical marijuana may be legal according to your state code, it is still not legal under federal code. Its use may also be a violation of your employee code of conduct.

    Yes, you can use your medical hemp to make "marijuana butter" which you then cook or bake with.

    Hemp seeds are nutritious and a good source of Omega 3 oils.

    Honestly, I see a lot of people who have permits for medical marijuana and most of them are just glorified pot heads. They were so messed up to start with, there's no telling if the MJ is doing anything for them or not. I'd focus more on increasing your intake of high calorie foods which are also nutrient dense and adequate hydration. If the person who's advocating medicinal use is also a strong advocate of recreational use, that makes for questionable credibility in my book.

    If you're talking to someone who's an advocate for medical use and they're talking about THC content, alcohol solubility, tinctures, etc., then it might be a conversation worth having.

    MM
    Caregiver to my significant other.
    May 2008: transrectal procedure for Stage I CRC. Age 59
    April 2013: Finally "sick enough" to go to the Dr. CAT scan.
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    January 2014: Changed out oxi for Irinotecan; continue Erbitux, Xeloda
    March 2014: PET scan; NED

  5. #5
    Administrator Top User ChemoMan's Avatar
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    Hi George

    If it is legal then try it for sure. It does help with nausea for some people and it does help in stimulating the appetite for some types of chemotherapy. If you haven't had it for a long time be very careful as it can make you very paranoid and it can make you depressed.

    Good Luck
    Age 58
    Diffuse Large B cell Lymphoma
    Stage 2a
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  6. #6
    Super Moderator Top User Baz10's Avatar
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    Maybe I'm just old fashioned and positively anti drug, so I declare I'm biased.
    I've never used any un prescribed drugs nor would I, but that's just me I guess.

    We have a world that is fighting illegal drug use and here we are discussing the benefits of a (in the UK) a controlled drug.
    To clarify, I'm not judging anyone, I just find it incomprehensible that we ban alternative treatments debate, yet openly discuss a controlled substance and in certain countries a illegal drug and in a few countries possession and use gets the death penalty.
    Barry
    Diagnosed stage 3 March 011
    Radical resection April 011
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    12/09 Colonoscopy clear but picked up hospital infection.
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    Clot buster drugs put me in ICU with internal bleeding. 9 blood units later they got it under control.
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    Groin pain and enlarged lymph nodes still there.
    October -still the same pains but under semi control.
    Additional chest CT scan ordered for 11th November prior to surgery
    Wait, watch and learn (Not too much I hope)
    Stop grumbling Baz, your alive and kicking and too much to do in my life.
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  7. #7
    Moderator Top User esk2poo's Avatar
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    George,
    As I said in another post, got it for my dad when he was in treatment and the only thing it did was help his nausea. I myself never needed it, never liked it, and really don't care what other people do with it. As far as legality in the great state of New Jersey here, I'll give my take on it.

    Not wanting to get all political, really, I love our governor. Wish he would have run for president last time but hope he does next time. Yes, it was made legal here but you cannot get it. Remember, Christy was a prosecutor in his past life and has all kinds of wrenches into the laws surrounding that. There are no approved dispensaries in the state.

    From what I have read though, if you get your hands on it, the best way to go is to get a vaporizer. You have to google it. Like I said, not into the "illegals" but I do believe if it is something to help someone battling this hell than the yahould have access to it even if it is psychosomatic.

    Walk around some of those fields up there in Basking Ridge and you might stumble across someone's growing stash. Watch out you don't get shot though but then I guess you wouldn't have to worry about anything the.
    Allen
    Last edited by esk2poo; 10-05-2013 at 10:19 AM. Reason: Really bad spelling/auto correct at 5 AM
    Stage 3B Colon cancer 8/23/2011
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    Folfox starts 10/31/11
    Dehydration,blood clots, numerous hospitalization due to complications
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  8. #8
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    Fire it up and see what happends..

    My last r-chop out of six is in two weeks.Finished 20 sessions of radi..... mmmmmm (I forgot what I was going to say) Just kidding.I smoked from the start of my chemo and it was a breeze.My appetite was awsome! Due to steroids I have very mild nausea for a few days after sessions.The rest of the three weeks no problem.Lab tests perrrfffect.Worked and played during my chemo.Only side affect...mild fatigue and loss of hair.Another problem was that I'm in Mexico, and believe it or not the pot here sucks! Garbage!But it did the job.Now, I'm not promoting smoking pot for chemo.I'm simply saying that It helped me cope and that it did dimish the so called terrible known chemo side affets.As long as it's legal and you're not hurting anyone I would say to let me know if you run into some real good weed
    Last edited by robmex; 10-05-2013 at 11:02 AM.

  9. #9
    Super Moderator Top User sheila's Avatar
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    all I know about it is yes it is available but only under a prescription which most doctors would rather not give. It doesnt come in toke form its pulverized in a pill form.
    MOMS Journey
    April06- Emergencysurgery,exploratory,10units blood,largetumor and 10inches of colon removed,temp.colostomy.diagnosed stage IV colon.
    oxyplatin,5fu
    Oct06-radiation,surgery,several lymphs,cervix,1 ovary,fallopian,40% remaining colon,large tumor to adipose tissue,appendix,gallbladder removed.permant colostomy/iliostomy
    oxyplatin,transfusion.
    April 07-xeloda-overdose
    surgery-1/3liver,partial diaphra, removed clipped and questionable spots oblated.
    port-port rejection-port removed 1week.
    picc line,5fu,oxyplatin,camptosar.
    Oct-08-surgery-remaining ovary engulfed in tumor,partial bone scrape.
    transfusion central line TPN 1 month.
    oct-09-surgery tumor ,colon and jejuneum removed.
    xeloda reduced. severe dehydration,heart attack.
    april10-remission-avistan
    oct-10-erbitux,camptosar
    Jan-11-5fu
    mar-11 return to original site-oxyplatin,5fu
    Aug-11-erbitux,camptosar.
    dec-28-blood transfusion
    dec-30-back to chemo erbitux camtosar
    Jan-16 injections neulasta and aranesp
    feb16-transfusion
    feb 21-Tumor found stomach,liver, and liver "hot spots" inflamed lymph in rt ureter in kidney causing obstruction-surgery schedualed Mar 16.
    march 16/12-no more kidney obstruction not lymph ...dehydration is causing blockage, two litters blood for anemia, stomach liver tumor small-med,abalation, 1 hidden tumor deep in muscle mass on side flank(hid from scans) -gone!
    june/15/12-blood transfusion
    starting a regimine of celebrex
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    aug/30-12 discontinued celebrex -failure one kidney. needed to see urologist
    sept/10-12-good urologist report one kidney functioning well for now.
    oct/23/12-chemo pill Stivarga(regorafenib)
    Nov/22/12-blood transfusion
    dec/18/12-blood transfusion chemo pill dosage cut back to 1 pill.
    Feb/21/13 neulasta injection
    Feb/22/13-blood transfusion. still taking stivarga.
    mar/20/13-arenespt injection rehydration and magnesium IV
    mar/21/13-acute renal failure-kidney infection
    april/1/13.-recovery from 4 day coma infection cleared/4 units blood/ off stivarga/starting rehab therapy,
    swollen hand no apparent reason black spots in vision off and on. both cleared up.
    may/22/13-home oxycodone for pain shoulder neck arm
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    july 23/13 vicodin cut in half blood transfusion.
    sept/6/13-off all pain meds since late aug
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    sept/12/13-spine healing on its own,weaning off steroids, no visible tumors.
    nov/7/13-edema both legs and one arm on lasix since oct.
    nov/21/13- leg edema subsiding still alot in one arm- she is talking but keeps her eyes closed. achy but no major pain. nurse and aide to visit once a week schedualed. having trouble standing.
    nov/24/13-sadly but peacefully moms cancer journey is at an end, she will start her new spiritual journey together hand in hand with dad.

  10. #10

    thanks for info

    I think, during my crazy side effects last night, I might have sent a message regarding this to the oncologist web portal. Have to check to see what the response was.
    -------
    I know that Sloan Kettering ChemoTherapy department appears to be rather strict when it comes to using their protocol.

  11. #11
    Administrator Top User ChemoMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Baz10 View Post
    Maybe I'm just old fashioned and positively anti drug, so I declare I'm biased.
    I've never used any un prescribed drugs nor would I, but that's just me I guess.

    We have a world that is fighting illegal drug use and here we are discussing the benefits of a (in the UK) a controlled drug.
    To clarify, I'm not judging anyone, I just find it incomprehensible that we ban alternative treatments debate, yet openly discuss a controlled substance and in certain countries a illegal drug and in a few countries possession and use gets the death penalty.
    Barry
    Hi baz

    the problem is that cannabis actually works and has been proven to do so by many rigorous scientific studies. There are also drugs that are synthesized from cannabis, Marinol is one of them.

    It is useful in glaucoma, reducing nausea, increasing appetite , controlling pain and is the best expectorant there is, it is also useful in combating inflammation among many other uses

    The main problems are A) it is illegal in most countries and B) it makes you intoxicated These are the main reasons I would never advocate using it in countries where it is illegal.

    Since George lives in a US state where it IS legal then I have no problems with encouraging him to try it. I did however fail to mention that you should always seek counsel from your doctors first and that was a big mistake.

    Wikipedia has a great article on this Baz, it may help you to understand my position on this by reading it.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medical_cannabis

    Under no circumstances should anyone expect cannabis to "cure" cancer. It doesn't and to rely on it is suicide.
    Age 58
    Diffuse Large B cell Lymphoma
    Stage 2a
    Finished six cycles of R chop 21 26th May 2008
    Officially in remission 9th July 2008
    Remission reconfirmed 1st October 2008
    Remission reconfirmed 17th June 2009
    Remission reconfirmed 7th June 2010
    Remission reconfirmed 6th July 2011
    NED on the 2/01/2013
    No more scheduled visits to the Prof
    http://cancerforums.net/viewtopic.php?t=9620

    RULE NUMBER 1.....Don't Panic
    RULE NUMBER 2..... Don't forget rule Number 1

    Great moments often catch us unaware-beautifully wrapped in what others may consider a small one.

    I may not have gone where I intended to go,
    but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.

  12. #12
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    My 2 cents...

    I've dabbled through massive weight loss at the beginning of treatment. To help stimulate appetite also before surgery. But I just am not a huge fan. And anti-nausea meds work well for me, it was just an appetite stimulant for me. Problem is I just don't like the way it makes me feel always, and you do have to be careful with interactions with other meds, especially anesthesia!

    Some people swear by it, and some say we really can get what we need to combat side effects from our doctors. Do your research, and always have open communication with your medical team. That's my advice.
    30 yr female
    dx 12/7/12 stage 4b colon cancer
    tumor in lower colon, 12cm left ovarian tumor, lymph nodes affected
    mets to liver, omentum
    lung ct on 12/17 clear (finally some good news)
    started treatment 12/26/12
    xeloda pills 7 days on, 7 days off 3600mg/day
    oxaliplatin and irinotecan infusion every other week
    2/5/13-added avastin to my infusions!
    3/5/13-Treatment number 6,cut oxaliplatin out, now on irinotecan, xeloda, avastin.
    3/5/13-CEA has completely normalized! Under 5.

  13. #13

    haha

    Quote Originally Posted by esk2poo View Post
    George,
    As I said in another post, got it for my dad when he was in treatment and the only thing it did was help his nausea. I myself never needed it, never liked it, and really don't care what other people do with it. As far as legality in the great state of New Jersey here, I'll give my take on it.

    Not wanting to get all political, really, I love our governor. Wish he would have run for president last time but hope he does next time. Yes, it was made legal here but you cannot get it. Remember, Christy was a prosecutor in his past life and has all kinds of wrenches into the laws surrounding that. There are no approved dispensaries in the state.

    From what I have read though, if you get your hands on it, the best way to go is to get a vaporizer. You have to google it. Like I said, not into the "illegals" but I do believe if it is something to help someone battling this hell than the yahould have access to it even if it is psychosomatic.

    Walk around some of those fields up there in Basking Ridge and you might stumble across someone's growing stash. Watch out you don't get shot though but then I guess you wouldn't have to worry about anything the.
    Allen
    As far as the governor is concerned, I am not a fan of his. I do like him in a comedic sort of way because of his very funny, in your face sort of personality he has. He also isn't afraid to give you his opinion on any topic, irregardless of how intelligent or how stupid that opinion might be.
    ------
    My main issue with him is that he is somewhat conservative in his outlook on life; seems to dislike gays, is somewhat anti anything for the poor, extremely religious for the most part, is anti anything but what is pro-business and pharmaceutical in nature ... ... you know the type.
    -------
    Even the laws in New Jersey regarding legal pot still are illegal because of the various restrictions he puts up regarding its medical usage.
    -------
    It is difficult for me to understand the argument that people have against its usage for medical reasons. It seems to be far less dangerous than alcohol, which has been legal for years.
    -------
    My logic about its illegal status has to do with MONEY. And this is why it will be almost impossible for it to ever be made truly legal for any use, medical or otherwise.

    1. If it were made legal for medical reasons then the following would happen:

    1.1 the law enforcement agency would loose billions of dollars per yer. Complete departments would be put out of business. Complete ways of life and making money would cease to exist.
    1.2 the heavily pushed pain-killing, nausea preventing departments of top pharmaceutical companies would end up loosing "TRILLIONS" of dollars per year because most of their pain-killing drugs would no longer be needed. This will never be allowed to happened. We are talking about taking money from lots of millionaires with lots of power. NOt going to happen in our life time.
    1.3 Even the funeral industry would hurt because of all the people that overdose on legal pain killing drugs that supports their funeral service would dwindle ...
    ---------
    However, there is a legal medical pot dispencery in the town I live. I have sent a query to the oncologist to investigate for me.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Baz10 View Post
    Maybe I'm just old fashioned and positively anti drug, so I declare I'm biased.
    I've never used any un prescribed drugs nor would I, but that's just me I guess.

    We have a world that is fighting illegal drug use and here we are discussing the benefits of a (in the UK) a controlled drug.
    To clarify, I'm not judging anyone, I just find it incomprehensible that we ban alternative treatments debate, yet openly discuss a controlled substance and in certain countries a illegal drug and in a few countries possession and use gets the death penalty.
    Barry
    True , it is illegal in many places. However, it is simply a plant that is part of mother nature as far as Im concerned. Its illegal status is mostly based on "GREED". That plant supports a billion dollar law enforcement department and a Trillion dollar pharmaceutical industry. Believe me, if it were legal for a pharmaceutical company to put a patent on it, it would not be illegal today. In fact, a majority of the pain killing, nausea suppressing drugs in use today would be based on the many properties found in weed. .... But this is a political issue based on MONEY and GREED.

  15. #15
    Administrator Top User Didee's Avatar
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    Which we won't go into any more here. As a support forum we keep out big Pharma greed and conspiracies, politics, fanatical religion posts etc etc. We all are allowed our views of course but they are better stated elsewhere. We are here for day to day support.
    Aussie, age 58
    1987 CIN 111. Cervix lasered, no further problems.

    Years of pain, bleeding, women's plumbing problems. TV ultrasound, tests, eventual hysterectomy 2007, fibroids in lining of Uterus.

    Dx Peripheral T Cell Lymphoma stage 2B bulky, aggressive Dec/09.
    6 chop14 and Neulasta.
    Clean PET April/10, 18 rads 36gy mop up. All done May 2010
    Iffy scan Nov. 2011. Scan Feb 2012 .still in remission.Still NED Nov 2012.
    Discharged Nov 2014.

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    Out of all the things I have lost, I miss my mind the most.

  16. #16

    Agreed ---- Leave the politics and fanatical religion out of it

    Quote Originally Posted by Didee View Post
    Which we won't go into any more here. As a support forum we keep out big Pharma greed and conspiracies, politics, fanatical religion posts etc etc. We all are allowed our views of course but they are better stated elsewhere. We are here for day to day support.
    Yes .. I agree 100% .. This is not the place for conspiracy theories, politics, fanatical religious views and ... well .. anything overly subjective or negative in nature. From this point point forward, my religious, political and subjective views will be totally suppressed. Hopefully, I can also suppress these crazy side effects of both the cancer and Chemotherapy ... which is by far more important than my own personal political/relgious views ....
    -------

  17. #17
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    It was a huge help for Ben...

  18. #18

    Response from Oncology Nurse regarding medical MJ

    Quote Originally Posted by Gartist View Post
    As far as the governor is concerned, I am not a fan of his. I do like him in a comedic sort of way because of his very funny, in your face sort of personality he has. He also isn't afraid to give you his opinion on any topic, irregardless of how intelligent or how stupid that opinion might be.
    ------
    My main issue with him is that he is somewhat conservative in his outlook on life; seems to dislike gays, is somewhat anti anything for the poor, extremely religious for the most part, is anti anything but what is pro-business and pharmaceutical in nature ... ... you know the type.
    -------
    Even the laws in New Jersey regarding legal pot still are illegal because of the various restrictions he puts up regarding its medical usage.
    -------
    It is difficult for me to understand the argument that people have against its usage for medical reasons. It seems to be far less dangerous than alcohol, which has been legal for years.
    -------
    My logic about its illegal status has to do with MONEY. And this is why it will be almost impossible for it to ever be made truly legal for any use, medical or otherwise.

    1. If it were made legal for medical reasons then the following would happen:

    1.1 the law enforcement agency would loose billions of dollars per yer. Complete departments would be put out of business. Complete ways of life and making money would cease to exist.
    1.2 the heavily pushed pain-killing, nausea preventing departments of top pharmaceutical companies would end up loosing "TRILLIONS" of dollars per year because most of their pain-killing drugs would no longer be needed. This will never be allowed to happened. We are talking about taking money from lots of millionaires with lots of power. NOt going to happen in our life time.
    1.3 Even the funeral industry would hurt because of all the people that overdose on legal pain killing drugs that supports their funeral service would dwindle ...
    ---------
    However, there is a legal medical pot dispencery in the town I live. I have sent a query to the oncologist to investigate for me.
    we usually try other avenues first before medical marijuana.
    she'll discuss more at next visit

  19. #19
    I PM'd you.
    Caregiver to my significant other.
    May 2008: transrectal procedure for Stage I CRC. Age 59
    April 2013: Finally "sick enough" to go to the Dr. CAT scan.
    May 2013: PET scan, surgical biopsy. DX'd terminal, inoperable, recurrent, metastatic, hypermetabolic StageIV CRC w/mets to liver & lymph node in neck
    June 2013: Port placement. Oxaliplatin, Erbitux, Xeloda
    August 2013: PET scan; NED
    September 2013: surgical repair of inguinal hernia
    November 2013: PET scan; NED
    January 2014: Changed out oxi for Irinotecan; continue Erbitux, Xeloda
    March 2014: PET scan; NED

  20. #20

    Second Round Of Chemo FOLFOX6

    Oncologist Consultation Regarding First Round:
    Oncologist was very happy with my blood work; commented that my blood was great!! Also, after I told her that my bowel movements were now happening 3 times a day, normal bowel movements .... though the contractions were fairly intense. Also, no trace of blood in the stools any more. She was very pleased to hear that also and stated that the Chemo is having a very positive effect on the tumor.
    The only really messed up side effects I had were a few bouts of hiccups which seemed to last for 5 to 10 minutes each time they happened and of course the usual fatigue.
    ----------
    Round 2 initial side effects:
    1. Right after I finished the in house 2 hour session and then having the port attached, as soon as I got into my car I noticed that my lower lip seemed to contracting as if it were trying to purk as in whistle. I noticed this for about an hour during the drive home. This went away.
    2. When I got home from the clinic, I urinated. I notice immediately that there was a slight stinging sensation from urination. This immediately got my attention since I did not experience this effect during the first Chemo treatment. I immediately started to drink lots of spring water and also at a moderately size meal of Noddles and beef and a few PorK dumplings ( hehe ). I then went on a 30 minute walk with the port attached ...
    3. Also noticed that my eyes felt a little strange. Hard to describe the actual sensation, almost as if the muscles around the eye were either contracting or moving in some way. That later went away.
    4. Noticed that when I later that night ate a granola bar, the part of my throat where the tonsils are located seemed to exhibit strange sensations, difficult to describe .. like something was causing them to tingle a little.

    I noticed that the stinging urination went away after that because it did not happen with next urination. My theory here is that the 2-hour session of chemo must really fill your body with some pretty strong and nasty stuff that sort of builds up in your system until you have the first urination at which time it comes out in concentrated form ... and THUS ... stings a bit.

    Thats it for the first night of the second Chemo session.

 
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