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Old 12-11-2011, 08:25 PM   #7
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: northern New England, USA
Posts: 510

Originally Posted by ktinkel View Post
Sorry to hear your news.

I am in a similar state, with metastatic (urinary) bladder cancer. I am just completing my third chemotherapy cycle (of six planned) with cisplatin and gemzar (which is what I think they also use for your cancer), and am finding it less unpleasant than expected. I do take the anti-nausea meds faithfully; playing the stoic ended up being really unpleasant.
I didn't know you were dealing with bladder cancer. So sorry to hear it! I hope you do well. We need you here!

Yes, I'm getting the same two drugs. They are using a newer protocol and I get both drugs each session one week apart and then two weeks off. I've had three complete cycles of two treatments each and am having CT scans on Dec. 21 to see how things are going. I've been very fortunate to have had no neasea at all. My worst side effects are tiredness and anemia. I still have hair, though it has thinned considerably.

Progress is unpredictable. A scan last week showed that all my tumors had reduced in size. The doctor had ordered the scan because he feared things might have gotten worse, so it felt as if I was beating the system at least a bit.
That is great news! I'm hoping for the same after my scans. I have reason to be optimistic. The slight tumor pain I had before I started treatments disappeared on Day One and has not come back. My oncologist thinks that's a good sign. I also have no new symptoms or reason to think the cancer has spread to a vital organ like my liver, lungs, stomach, etc.

The chemo “pod” rooms can be a comfort (you may be spending whole days there; at least that’s how it works for me). I find oncology nurses to be amazing fonts of useful information and good practical comfort.
"Whole days" is right! The nurses are great. So are the doctors. Usually a pharmacist comes around with information and advice on drugs--chemo, prescription, and over the counter. There is a volunteer who plays the Irish harp for a short time and we've had a therapy dog or two around, which is fun. The nurses bring us food and beverages during treatments. I bring along my Nook Color, PDA, Nintendo DS, and MP3 player. They have WIFI throughout, so if I'm not reading an e-book I visit forums and blogs. My husband comes along but he usually does some shopping or errands while I'm getting my medicines.

I'm sending you constant good wishes for successful treatment. Keep us posted.
--Judy M.

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