Topic: Experiences with steroids and chemotherapy

Hello everyone -

My dad continues to get a beating with the chemo regimen he's under (cisplatin and irinotecan) but at least he's eating OK and seems to be relatively nausea free. Because he lost some much weight and his bloodwork was a bit off in white cell blood count the oncologist recommended he get some steroids.

As expected, dad defies the oncologist and is refusing to take them. We are all pressing him to give them a shot so he can feel better.

The question though is whether they will help him at all? I have read bits and pieces about steroids for cancer patients as a support for chemo but I have not really talked to anyone with experience.

In essence, if there is significant value in using them I will continue to convince him but if the benefits are marginal we might not push too hard.

Any experiences and recommendations are welcome.

Thank you and best of luck to everyone.

Amilcar

Re: Experiences with steroids and chemotherapy

Amilcar - my friend, Kelly, also fought taking the steroids for a long time, as well as the blood transfusions.  She eventually relented when she started to turn for the worse, and the steroids kicked in almost immediately.  It bought her some quality time with her husband in those last couple of months.  She also started doing better after she finally allowed a blood transfusion.

30-something caregiver

Re: Experiences with steroids and chemotherapy

Amilcar,

my husband also had immediate positive responses to steroids.  His energy level and his all around well-being improved significantly.

Marions

THIS INFORMATION IS NOT INTENDED NOR IMPLIED TO BE A SUBSTITUTE FOR PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL ADVICE. YOU SHOULD ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF YOUR PHYSICIAN OR OTHER QUALIFIED HEALTH CARE PROVIDER

Re: Experiences with steroids and chemotherapy

Amlicar,

My Dad was also nervous about taking steroids.  When he was up and about they did make him a bit hyper.  However as my Dad's disease progressed steroids worked well for him, improving his appetite and easing the nausea and also giving him more 'awake' time.  He took 5mg dexamethasone once daily.

Another thing that does occur to me is that if your Dad's blood counts have taken a hammering he might want to consider some iron injections and/or a blood transfusion.  My dad had daily aranesp injections and transfusions helped boost his energy levels and in turn his appetite greatly.

Jules

I wish you and your Dad the best

Re: Experiences with steroids and chemotherapy

Thanks to everyone for the insight - I think dad would really benefit from the steroids but he solemnly refuses. I guess it's a minor consolation that if he does not want to take them he might be feeling a bit better. I still would like him to want to feel a lot better.

This disease is hard enough as it is and my dad sometimes does not make it any easier. I think being a physician has not helped him at all, on the contrary it has made him skeptical and a little hopeless.

Thanks to everyone and I wish for the best to your loved ones.

Amilcar

Re: Experiences with steroids and chemotherapy

Maybe if you can relay back to him some of the feedback you've been given, he might reconsider.
Hope you are OK. Sounds like you are having a tough time. Much love to you.

Re: Experiences with steroids and chemotherapy

Dad could not get his chemo today b/c of low white cell blood count. We are considering using Aranesp or Procrit and we continue to struggle with the steroids issue.

I personally feel exhausted.

At least he was feeling OK and ate quite well. \


Best of luck to everyone!

Amilcar