Topic: Chemo delays..am I a chemo washout?

Just wondering if most people stay on schedule. I have NEVER kept to the 2 weeks on, one week off cycle. It usually is more of 10 days off. But this time, I will be off 2 weeks. How normal is this?

Does anyone know if such readjustments decrease the effectivness of chemo?

I try to remind myself that I am in this for the long haul. That I want as many treatments as possible,  not necessarily on time. I know that if my body needs a break, it needs a break. I dont want to spend another week in the hospital, but sometimes I feel like I am not "fighting" enough when I have to take these breaks. It is like I have failed in some way which makes no sense. Sorry for the whine...it can be served with some nice cheese available on request.

Kris

Cancer is a word, not a sentence.

36 year old patient with buckets of hope

2 (edited by Ron Smith Mon, 25 May 2009 04:15:00)

Re: Chemo delays..am I a chemo washout?

Hi Kris

I am sorry to read about your current problems, but you are
not alone.  I am on gemcitabine and have always found it difficult to complete the expected courses.  When I started I was to have 7 treatments followed by a rest week, but never managed more than 3 treatments then needed a week off.  Next, they decided I should have 3 treatments followed by a rest week, but in the 3 or 4 months I had this regime I never managed more than 2 treatments then needed a week off.  So for the last few weeks the treatment has been changed to 2 weeks followed by a rest week.  So far, so good but I am starting to suffer from chemo related troubles.  I have rashes on my arms and buttocks (luckily not itchy),  swollen ankles and feet and breathlessness.  So it may be time to have a longer break from the chemo.  My next CT scan is on 15 June so the result of that may point the way forward.

I know we had discussions with Jeff some time ago about the cumulative effects of the chemo and it was agreed that there was a build up maintained within the body that continued to do its work even during breaks.  I am not sure that anyone knows how long this lasts but short breaks should be ok.  One question I asked the oncologist was, if I had a long break, would restarting the chemo give the tumour the same hit as when I originally started?  He couldn't give me an answer: so much of what we are going through is pioneering stuff.

Re: Chemo delays..am I a chemo washout?

Hi Kris. Bumps in the road. I know that when Teddy finished his 25 radiation treatments it took 3 months after that to get the cyber knife going and I was extremely concerned. The Radiologist told me twice if not three times that it was still cookin. I know its not chemo but perhaps chemo works the same way.
When you serve the whine with cheese let me know I will bring another ordourve along.

Teddy ~In our hearts forever~ATTITUDE is EVERYTHING
Any suggestion I offer is intended as friendly advice based solely on my own experience. Please consult your doctor for professional guidance.

4 (edited by duke0929 Mon, 25 May 2009 07:16:10)

Re: Chemo delays..am I a chemo washout?

hi kris,
    each time before my wife had chemo the doctor would take blood work and depending on the results he would proceed or not. sometimes it is neccessary to change the schedule to let the body build it self back up.
  because while they are killing bad cells they are also killing off good ones, her schedule was 2 weeks on and one week off, one day for chemo and one day for hydration..short breaks in treatment  should not effect the effectiveness of the chemo........ron
   
         he also believes the slower the treatment the less toxic it will be on the patient

Re: Chemo delays..am I a chemo washout?

Thanks for your imput. I am just so nervous. My goal is shrinkage, surgery then LIFE. But sometimes I feel that I will never get there because of all the delays. I need to destress and stop thinking about cc for a bit I think. It does seem to take over your life.


Ron, good luck on the next ct. I think of you often....in my mind (after living in Glasgow for 7 years) I think I  might be part Scottish! smile

Kris

Cancer is a word, not a sentence.

36 year old patient with buckets of hope

6 (edited by Ron Smith Mon, 25 May 2009 11:38:01)

Re: Chemo delays..am I a chemo washout?

Kris

Well jings, crivvens and help ma Boab!  With that flaming red hair you are almost certainly one of us from somewhere down your lineage.  Just in case it is all out of a bottle, here is your nationalilty question:


Give me the names of Oor Wullie's three best pals.


Ron

Re: Chemo delays..am I a chemo washout?

My oxaliplatin infusion is due tomorrow.  Ugh.  I wonder if I can take a chemo break for the summer.  I'm really sick of chemo since being on it since Sept 07.

Re: Chemo delays..am I a chemo washout?

Lisa wrote:

My oxaliplatin infusion is due tomorrow.  Ugh.  I wonder if I can take a chemo break for the summer.  I'm really sick of chemo since being on it since Sept 07.

Ok Lisa, now you are just showing off! smile  I am so proud of you managing chemo for so long!!!! I hope I am as lucky.

Kris

Cancer is a word, not a sentence.

36 year old patient with buckets of hope

Re: Chemo delays..am I a chemo washout?

Ron Smith wrote:

Kris

Well jings, crivvens and help ma Boab!  With that flaming red hair you are almost certainly one of us from somewhere down your lineage.  Just in case it is all out of a bottle, here is your nationalilty question:


Give me the names of Oor Wullie's three best pals.


Ron

I dont know that! Did I fail? I do know most slang, enjoy a good haggis, used to drink good whiskey, can tell you the fundamental differences between Edinburgh and Glasgow, know that Partick Thistles dont play in Partick, and can tell you what is on the different Scottish banknotes...does that count?

Cancer is a word, not a sentence.

36 year old patient with buckets of hope

Re: Chemo delays..am I a chemo washout?

7 years in Glesca and you didn't read Oor Wullie or the Broons in the Sunday Post?  Well, just in case it comes up in your next pub quiz, the answer is:

Fat Boab,  Soapy Soutar and Wee Eck.

This will give you a lot of info on Wullie:

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


Still no answer on how much of the red comes out of a bottle?  You are coy about it.

Anyway, you were always going to be an adopted daughter of Alba.

- BUT -

Scotch whisky does NOT have an "e" in it!

Ron

Re: Chemo delays..am I a chemo washout?

Kris,

Mom has a friend who had colon cancer, which spread to her liver.  She ended up having surgery very similar to the removal of cc.  Chemo took a LONG time for her, because she had to wait 10 weeks between chemo sessions quite a few times.  Either her blood work wasn't what they wanted, or her liver function wasn't what they wanted.  The dr told her that it wasn't going to affect her in the long run.

Amy

Re: Chemo delays..am I a chemo washout?

Kris;
I had 7 months of Gemzar/Xeloda after I was first diagnosed. I was on a 3 week on 1 week off schedule. After a few months my white cell count started getting low when I went in the 2nd week for infusion. The Dr I see for accupuncture started me on Echanacea. She adjusted the dose based on my WBC. I think at first I took 1/4 dropper twice a day and the last few months she upped to 3X daily after the first week of chemo. What was interesting was that I never ended up missing a dose until the 7th month. They would give me the 2nd dose even though I was low and when I came back for the 3rd dose my counts were always higher. I told the nurses it was because I took the Echanacea after the 2nd dose when I knew my count was low. I do believe the chemo has a cumulative effect also. Each month the counts got lower and didnt come back as well after the week off. When I  tried  doing chemo after my resection I didn't tolerate it at all. Counts really bottomed out and I couldnt take the 2nd dose. Ended up not doing anymore after the 3rd dose.
Another thing I did when I was on chemo was get an ionic foot bath on the week I was off chemo. She said it would help get rid of the toxins, etc from the chemo. They did not recommend it the weeks I was on chemo, only on my off week. I don't completely understand alot of the alternative options I have tried but I do trust the practitioner I use and therefore what she has had me try. If you could find a source for echanacea  drops or a practitioner that could guide you it might help. I know what you mean about being disappointed when you can't get the chemo. I was afraid if I missed a dose I had somehow not done my best. I think we need to try and do the best we can and not beat ourselves up when our bodies don't keep up with our minds. Our bodies probably know more than we do and just needs a break to regather it's strength.  You are a fighter. You are doing an amazing job of fighting this war with cc. If you are interested in finding a practitioner/accupuncturist and need help let me know. I could check with Fiona. She was originally from Europe so she may be able to help. Give yourself a big hug from me and feel free to email me if I can be of any other help. God Bless,
Jamie