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anyone have any experience with chemotherapy?

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by Chris A, May 16, 2005.

  1. Chris A

    Chris A Chemo sucks! In Memoriam

    Feb 25, 2000
    Manchester NH
    Hi guys,

    As some of you know, I've been having some health issues. I had a cancerous tumor removed from inside my heart 5 weeks ago. I went to the oncologist today and he told me I need chemo once a week for 10 months. I'm just wondering if anyone out there has had chemo and can tell me what to expect. I was supposed to go back to work next week, but I don't know how this will affect it. I'm just wondering if chemo totally knocks you off your feet, or if I can go back to working a desk job most of the week and just take a day off to do the chemo and stuff?


    Chris A. :rolleyes: :bassist:
  2. Joe Turski

    Joe Turski

    Jul 29, 2003
    Chemo will effect people differently. Some people get very sick, and some people don't. It all depends on what type of chemo they are going to do, there are many kinds.

    My wife's dad had chemo he had lost his appetite and claimed that the food he did eat tasted like metal. He had a lot of fatigue.

    I wish you the best of luck with all of this. Take all the time you need away from work in order to get better. Don't push yourself if you don't feel you can. Take the time to heal.

    If you ever need to talk, you know how to find me.
  3. it all depends on what their recommending. if you provide names it might be helpful. Some treatments & combo have limited side effects, while others have more intense toxicities
    good luck w/ your treatment

    MAJOR METAL The Beagle Father Supporting Member

    From what i have seen it does take alot out of you but i hear their are some great new drugs that really take the edge off of the side effects. Chris you are in my prayers, feel free to drop me a line if you want to chat.
  5. My mother's chemo just makes her a bit tired. A friend of mine gets hit a bit harder (nausea, etc). It depends on the situation. My mom has gone back to work with minimal problems. Good luck.

  6. jobu3

    jobu3 Artist formerly known as Big Joe

    Feb 17, 2002
    Mountain Top, PA
    Like everyone said, each kind is different and everyone's response might vary a bit. There are newer drugs out to help combat the fatigue and dietary supplements to help put back some of what the chemo takes out of you.

    Take it easy and get better. Hope you have a speedy recovery!
  7. Chris A

    Chris A Chemo sucks! In Memoriam

    Feb 25, 2000
    Manchester NH
    Thanks guys. I wish I was paying more attention when he started throwing around the names of the drugs. I was at Mass General and he had my local oncologist on the phone and was talking to her about the drugs and not really directing the conversation to me, so I didn't get a chance to ask him about them. I still have no appetite to speak of from the surgery. I lost 29 lbs.! The Dr told me that I would have to be admitted to the hospital for an overnight stay once a week for a 10 month course of chemo. I'm worried that I'll have to work 3 or 4 day weeks at work until this is done. I can't afford that and I don't know if the powers that be will go for that. I'm hoping the "side effect reducing" drugs will allow me to miss as little work as possible.

    I appreciate any and all prayers and well wishes. But I want you all to know that this is not the reason I posted this. Anyone who knows me(Joe T can probably back me up on this) knows that I am not an attention-hog or limelight seeker. I'm really having a hard time with all the attention that I'm getting around town, at church, from co-workers and in the neighborhood. People I don't even know call me, write me, and email me that they are praying for me. I was/am honestly astounded at people's reaction.

    Anyway, I know I'll get through this, I'm just hoping it's more "seamless" than it's seeming to be.........

    Chris A. :rolleyes: :bassist:
  8. Joe Turski

    Joe Turski

    Jul 29, 2003
    Try and find out from your doctor what types of medication he plans to put you on. I'm sure you can find tons of info on the net about the drugs. If not, let me know and I can find out for you.

    If by some (slim) chance you are out of work for longer than you had hoped for, does you work or insurance offer some kind of long term disability? Not to get you down bud, but it might be a good idea to check into this as a back up option.

    It's good to have support from people during times like this. And people will support you whether you like or not! ;)

    As I stated last post, anything you need or just want to talk, I'm here for ya. But only after you show me a picture of the scar.

  9. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member


    My mother in law is undergoing chemo for the second time.

    It doesn't make her nauseous, but it does take away her appetite.

    It also pretty much wipes her out the next day.

    But, she is in her fifties, a chain smoker, a diabetic, and has high blood pressure.

    Hopefully it won't hit you as hard as it does her.
  10. daofktr

    daofktr irritating, yet surly

    Feb 15, 2005
    aurora, IN
    hey chris...
    first of all, i'm sure i can truthfully say that we're all pulling for you!
    you have a plateful, and no mistake.
    second, if it isn't any problem, would you list meds and dosages when you get a chance? i can't do nuthin', but my sweetheart's been a nurse for about 30 years, and she can answer most any question about most anything, including chemo meds and such.
    (ps...since this is supposed to be a PG-13 forum, i won't mention a certain [illegal] plant that is supposed to help with nausea... :D )
    (that previous comment was from me, not my sweetheart...she's a professional...i'm just a dork whut wants to help.)
  11. Steve


    Aug 10, 2001
    Been there, Ther is an enormouse info on the net about chemo. it's "standard of care medicine" for a great part.

    If you know what type of cancer you have the american cancer society website and several others can tell you the drugs you'll be given...the dosages and the side effects to expect.

    The effects of chemo are cumulative. 10 months is a pretty long run. You're gonna feel pretty crappy by the time you get to the end of it but it's not all that big a deal.

    If your hair goes south.....chicks dig bald guys. I kept my bald head for a long time after it started going back and I still get chicks telling me how much they liked it.

    The nausea that you may or may not deal with is different than the kind of nausea you get from drinking too much or having the flu. I had very little of that and it came and went fast. Like by the time I realized I was queezy, I was over the sink and when I I was done I was done. No biggie.

    The anti nausea meds WORK to keep you from getting sick but they won't help your lack of appetite.

    Pot won't help you with the nausea but..it'll give you an appetite.

    It's a little daunting but...it's really not that bad and it damn sure beats the alternative. If I can handle it, anyone can handle it.

    PM me if there is anything at all I can do for you, it's done.
  12. jobu3

    jobu3 Artist formerly known as Big Joe

    Feb 17, 2002
    Mountain Top, PA
    Actually, they have a drug called Marinol which is pot-based. It's the part of it that stimulates your appetite. It's much safer I'm sure than smoking it. There are many other app. stims out there. I'm not sure if any of them will actually help with you (they don't always work) or have any contraindications with whatever other meds you'll be on. See how you feel after the chemo begins and talk to your doctor about where to go once the side effects kick in.

    And don't worry about the work aspect of it... Go through the necessary steps to keep your job when you're feeling better if necessary. Work out some long term disability plan. Your superiors should be able to help on this. Would you rather be slightly behind in some payments or dead? It's not like you're trying to get 10 mos. of vacation off of them for nothing... You'll have your doctor to back you up as well.
  13. My girlfriend is in the final stages of her chemo...
    there are a lot of diferent intensity treatments for chemo.

    On hers, she has a treatment done every 15 days, and usually she'll be a bit tired for a couple of days after, there is sometimes some swelling on her body, legs,etc, which goes away after a few days, and for some strange reason, she gets liquid in her lungs and stomach which she has to get drained every 15 days. She also hasnt lost any hair.

    ON the other hand, my cousin also has chemo, and she gets extremely hungry, eats everything, no real body sideeffects like losing hair, or swelling, and she also gets really tired...
    I think for something like that, you should be able to get some kind of financial help so that you can be off work during the treatments, but as they are all diferent, you have to see how it goes.
    might not affect you like what I've described.
  14. Hollow Man

    Hollow Man Supporting Member

    Apr 28, 2003
    Springfield, VA
    My drummer and close friend had chemo for several months, and his reaction varied. Sometimes it seemed like he'd be up and running around right after a dose, and sometimes he'd be out of commission for a while. This may not be the most appropriate place for this, but I can tell you that chemo gave him some of the worst gas ever (and not the fun, gear-buying kind)... we were on our way back from a vacation in Florida, and my guitarist friend and I had our heads hanging out of the van because he was in the back stinkin' the place up (and laughing wildly about the whole thing).

    I imagine you'll have up days and down days, but with some determination, you can get through it no worse for the wear. Best of luck to you!
  15. Timbo


    Jun 14, 2004
    Yeah, it's liquid THC. THC is the active "ingredient" in Marijuana.
  16. You have my prayers.
  17. you will be in my thoughts and prayers during your treatment. I pray that it is a complete success and that the side effects you suffer are minimal.


  18. Chris A

    Chris A Chemo sucks! In Memoriam

    Feb 25, 2000
    Manchester NH
    I guess it's time for an update. I've had 2 chemo treatments and they really haven't gone all that bad. I haven't gotten sick or the mouth sores that they told me about. Apparently the chemo drug that they'll give me next week will give me my new hair cut(I don't think there's enough sunblock in New England to cover my dome). I've still been playing gigs/weddings/church through out this time, too. I have a wedding on Sunday afternoon that I'm playing and I really have to learn my vocal part.

    I'm hoping to go back to work the following week and do a part time schedule, I'll only be in the hospital in Boston a couple of days a week. If any Boston/Mass TB'ers are out there and are in Boston on Thursday evening/Friday morning, I'm up on the 14th floor of MGH, come and waste some time with me.

    Chris A. :rolleyes: :bassist:
  19. I'm a bit too far to visit...but I'll share that my mother will be done with chemo in about 3 months. She is still doing well with only a few down days. I'm sure yours will be the same. Good luck.

  20. canopener


    Sep 15, 2003
    Isle of Lucy
    My fiancee is starting chemo in a couple of weeks. She's getting 4-3 day treatments every three weeks. This sounds pretty light compared to the rest of your experiences, but her treatment is more or less a precautionary measure after surgery. Best wishes to all of you who are going through or know someone going through chemo.

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