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Thread: My Chemo Diary

  1. #1
    Senior User dennper's Avatar
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    My Chemo Diary

    Greetings,

    Since this is my first time through this - I thought I would write a little diary here to document how my chemo goes in the hopes that it will help others.

    I had my first colonoscopy about a month ago (age 50 male) and they found 8 polyps, one of which had cancer. A week later I had a bowel resection (23 staples!) and they found that the cancer had moved to a lymph node about an inch away. Recovery from that was what you expect from any major surgery - 4 days in the hospital and then about two weeks to get back to normal.

    So the CAT is clean, but we are doing chemo as a follow up. A week and a half ago I had a medi-port put in to be used with the chemo treatments. Having the medi-port put in was simple surgery and it healed pretty well so nothing to be worried about there.

    Monday (April 23rd) I had my first chemo treatment. Sit in a big comfy chair, they plugged iv bags into the medi port, and then three hours of pre-meds and hydration. Plugging into the port isn't bad, and you can get some topical lotion to put on ahead of time to numb it up a bit before you go in so ask about that.

    At the end of three hours they did a push of the folfox drugs and then hooked up the pump that pushes the rest over 48 hours. There is a fanny pack to keep the pump in and once you get it situated it's not that much of a bother. I thought sleeping with it would be uneasy but actually I decided to just sleep with the fanny pack on and that works great!

    So it's been pumping for about 30 hours now. Side effects so far are that the tingling when handling cold things has already started. That is the first thing they said would happen. Nothing serious but little pins and needles if I touch something cold or drink something cold. So, already getting used to warm water and juice and soda. Same with foods - all need to be warm or room temp. I've needed a small nap each afternoon. I have been taking the Emend they give you (one pill each of three days during the pump push) and so far have not had to take any other of the nausea drugs they gave me.

    Tomorrow I go get unhooked from the pump and then have a week and a half off before the next treatment. I'm doing 12 treatments, one every two weeks.

    All in all the first treatment is going much smoother than I had expected. I will try to keep up with this little diary in hopes of answering questions others have that are headed into this. Feel free to ask me anything.

    Dennis

    My Exact Treatment & Dosages:

    Here is what I am receiving for comparison:

    FOLFOX 6 - (modified)

    Oxaliplatin - 155mg over 2 hours (treatment day at center)
    Leucovorin Calcium - 720 mg over 2 hours (treatment day at center)
    Fluorouracil - 720 mg push 2 minutes (treatment day at center) <--- 5FU
    Fluorouracil CIV - 4320 mg over 46 hours (this is the pump) <--- 5FU

    Other stuff going in day of treatment at the center:

    Zanatc - 50mg
    Palonosetron - .25mg
    Dexamethasone sod phosphate - 10mg
    Diphenhydramine - 25 mg
    Last edited by dennper; 06-04-2012 at 07:05 PM. Reason: added treatment / dosage details

  2. #2
    Senior User VickieKay's Avatar
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    Dahlonega, GA
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    Dennis,

    glad things are going well. It seems the side effects from folfox are different for everyone. Mom didn't get the tingling or the sensitivity to hot or cold but she did loose most of her hair. She is on the same plan with the fanny pack that you are. She went from 100% to 50% now 75. She is doing very well with it at 75%, she has acually gained 11 lbs...whoot...whoot!
    11-18-14 biospy shows cancer gleason 7 or 8 surgery 1/8/15
    11-11-14 Husband had biopsy psa 7.4 dre hard on one side

    9-18-13 Now my sister colon cancer
    9-18-13 surgery for tumor removal
    9-18-13 ICU aspirated bilateral pneumonia
    9-27-13 surgery for leakage, colostomy
    10-16-13 port put in
    11-5-13 scheduled for a pet scan
    11-11-13 PET scan "CLEAR" started 5-FU
    3-12-14 finished Chemo
    12-12-14 So far doing great!

    10-26-11 Mom 72 diagnosed stage 4b rectal cancer
    11-19-11 5FU chemo and radiation
    12-27-11 hospitalized with blood clot in the lung
    1-12 total colostomy and vaginal floor reconstruction 23 of 23 lymph nodes cancerous
    3-15 started folfox & oxyplatin
    5-12 blood transfusion
    8-29-12 pet showed no colon cancer but 3 medialstinal nodes cancerous
    10-16-12 started camptosar and erbitux
    12-3-12 back on chemo, no chemo working
    2-4-13 begins radiation for nodes in chest
    3-25-13- ICU for radiation neumoititus
    4-10-13 Mom took the hinges off the Pearly Gates

  3. #3
    Moderator Top User esk2poo's Avatar
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    Dennis,
    Sounds normal to me so far. Chemo affects everyone differently but no matter what you do, make sure you stay hydrated with electrolytes. I was in the hospital after the first 2 treatments for several days getting IV fluids to catch up with the diahreea.
    Good luck.
    Allen
    Stage 3B Colon cancer 8/23/2011
    Resection 9/15/11
    Folfox starts 10/31/11
    Dehydration,blood clots, numerous hospitalization due to complications
    Gall bladder/ hernia repair, 4/2013
    Melanoma sole of right foot 2010
    Clean scans so far.
    12/14/14 that little puppy in my avatar went to heaven

  4. #4
    Top User mojo's Avatar
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    Welcome Dennis hope things continue to go well for you.

  5. #5
    Senior User
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    Sounds familiar! This will be a great service for people -- glad you're doing it. (Wish it had been last year so I could have looked at it for what to expect

  6. #6
    Senior User dennper's Avatar
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    Chemo Diary - Wednesday 4/25 (first chemo treatment) - ok so the pump beeped around noon that it was empty and I shut it off and went to the clinic to have it unhooked. They flushed the port thru the iv and pulled out the hook up - no feeling/pain at all there so don't worry about that part. Feels sooooo good to get that off! As before, so far the only side effects are the tingling when touching cold things and a little sleepiness in the afternoon. Next Monday go in for blood draw to make sure the first treatment went as expected, then nothing until a week from next Monday to get the 2nd treatment. Will check back then if nothing else changes. Enjoy the day!

    - Dennis
    Last edited by dennper; 04-27-2012 at 02:26 PM.

  7. #7
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    Chemo diary

    Dennis,

    This is going to be a great help to me! Right now I am doing radiation/Xeloda and after that (around June) I will be having surgery for my rectal cancer, then onto follow up chemo with a port. This is all a bit scary to me, the most anxiety is not knowing what to expect. Was the surgery difficult or no? Again, thank you for posting this, and I am glad you are doing well so far

  8. #8
    Newbie Regular User Geri's Avatar
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    Thanks Dennis for doing this diary. I will shortly be going through Chemo and I had no idea what to expect. I don't even know what type of Chemo I will be getting but the Oncologist did mention a port and that I will be having Chemo for 6 months. That's all I know at this time so your diary will be very helpful.

  9. #9
    Senior User dennper's Avatar
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    Hi Chrswife,

    The recovery period for the bowel resection was as 'difficult' as any comparable major surgery. I was in the hospital with an epidural, morphine drip, and pushes of some pain drug for four days. After getting home it all healed up rather quickly. I did need to use lots of stool softeners and easy back into a 'regular' diet over a week or so as it takes a while for the bowels to 'wake back up' after such a procedure. Took pain meds for maybe three or four days after getting home. I'd actually say the overall recovery time for my hernia operation was more painful for a longer period of time, but this is going to vary person to person. The surgery to put in the medi-port is easy and nothing more than a sore shoulder for some days.

    - Dennis

  10. #10
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    Dennis

    Thank you for the information! How long were you "laid up" in bed not doing much? I am on day 12 tomorrow of 28 days of radiation and taking Xeloda for Chemo. I am starting to have side effects and just want the radiation part over...lol

 

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