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  • Chemotherapy schedules

    I just want to know how does a chemptherapy cycle works?

    Im in college at the moment and will hopefully just miss a few days every week.

    If anyone can just give me a brief idea of the schedule of a chemo, ill appreciate it. How many days do i have to stay at a hospital during a chemo injection? I should be out of hospital more days than being inside, right?

    I just need to plan out for the days, ill be missing from college.

    Im doing 3 cycles of BEP if that helps.

    Thanks.

  • #2
    contact me
    On yahoo : SS_Ady3000
    On MSN : [email protected]
    and I'll tell you about my experience with 3xBEP
    2005-03
    Stage III EC 85% + Sem 15%
    AFP=2.6; HCG=10, 20,28 and rising
    FULL CAT scan:
    -abdominal lymph clear
    -subpleural lungs metastasis [bipulmonary lesions with diam <= 1cm]
    4 x BEP changed to 3 x BEP at my request
    from 2005-05....Surveillance

    Comment


    • #3
      Hi Adrian.

      1 series of BEP consists of one week with 3 or 5 days of Etoposide and CisPlatin, with Bleomycin added one day. This is followed by 2 weeks of only bleomycin once a week.

      Bleomycin causes mild fever reactions that is easilly beaten with paracetamol. There may rarely be skin reactions and even rarer, lung fibrosis. Be aware of symptoms but don't fear it. I had no problems with it.

      Etoposide and CicPlatin causes nausea, but with the right antiemtica you will be tired but fine. You will be flushed with saline before and after cisplatin infusion to prevent kidney damage. Your kidney function will be measured by "crom clearence" 2 -3 times during treatment. Your job is to drink approx. 1 million litres of water pr. day.

      Your bone marrow will be affected and hence you will have a rather severe decline in red and white bloodcells. Therefore you will be tired and susceptible to infections.

      Perhaps you can do your ordinary things - or not. I'm sure you will be fine most of the time but I'm also sure there will be tough days.
      Such is cancer, good days and bad days...

      For me 3XBEP was OK. Mild side effects and the possibility of having my couch on the back most of the time made it quite agreeable.

      I had an infection in the final round, but it was over in a few days.

      To be specific as to your question: 2-3 days after Etoposide and Cisplatin I was somewhat affected for 2 -3 - 4 days and otherwise it was OK. Expect to be most tired in the middle week of a series.

      Keep asking, knowledge makes you prepared!
      And accept the side-effects as a sign that there is an (very much desired) effect! Stay positive and be cured!

      Best wishes
      Jens
      Embryonal carcinoma, stage II,
      3 x BEP, apr - june 2005
      Surveillance

      Comment


      • #4
        Thanks for the reply Jens. So lets say in a 21 day cycle (thats how long it lasts right?). It should go like this in terms of staying in and out of hospital.

        Day 1-3 - in hospital doiing chemo

        3-21 - out of hospital, but coming in for some shots once in a while.

        So out of the 21 days, i should be in hospital for 3 days. Right?

        God i cant wait till this is all over. I know this is just another obstacle in life, just a bump. My target is end June/early July to go back to reality. I cant wait. This makes you appreciate life more though. Im going to do so many things, that ive holded out.

        Its sure going to be the quickest and longest 3 months of my life.

        Comment


        • #5
          Hi Adrian

          My 3 x BEP went as follows ;

          Days 1-5 at hospital for infusion ( Day 1-Bleo,Etoposide,Cisplatin,Days 2-5 Etoposide and Cisplatin )

          Days 8 & 15 at hospital for just Bleo

          Repeat above x 2

          It will be done before you know it !

          P.S- Drink LOTS of fluids...I even "snuck" the odd Carona !

          Best Wishes
          Dec/04-Right I/O-nonseminoma (95%E/C),Stage 1, surveillance
          Nov/05- 2.2 cm lymph node= Stage II A
          Nov/05 -Jan/06-3 x BEP
          Jan/06 -Surveillance



          ___________________________________________

          Comment


          • #6
            My son Chris did four rounds of EP....one week from around 9-3 daily and then two weeks off in between...he would be pretty sick during the chemo week and by Wed of the first week off he would head back to college.....chemo is cumulative, so every cycle he was more sick....but its over and he is better and seems to have forgot alot of it...and back in school full time...keep us posted...Mary Ellen

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            • #7
              Adrian,
              My husband was able to go the radiation route with his seminoma, but what I have learned from this forum and other sources that that, as all things in life, everyone will react a bit differently. Eveyone's experience is unique.

              Go to battle with a POSITIVE attitude (the famous Lance A. mantra "Attitude is everything").

              Plan on NOT being able to plan for those few months and then plan to party your butt off when it's over and celebrate going forward with your life with a true appreciation for how very precious it is. We are all here to cheer you on, share your sorrow, and drink along with you at the completion of treatment and with every good follow up report (I particularly like that part )

              Don't let anyone's bad experiences scare you off or mess with your ability to face this with your mind in a good place and your feet firmly planted on the ground and ready to take this on and WIN!!!!!!!
              Retired moderator. Husband, left I/O 16Dec2005, stage I seminoma with elevated b-HCG, no LVI, RTx15 (25Gy). All clear ever since.

              Comment


              • #8
                Hey Mikey,
                Oh yours lasted 15 days. I need to ask my doctor how long one cycle lasts. I just thought it was 21 (I think i read it somewhere) Are all BEP cycles 15 days each?

                Days 8 and 15, you just went in for a couple of hours and went back home, right? I just hate hospitals, the environment and everything.

                Yeh ill definitly keep you all posted through all of this. Its going to be a long journey.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Thanks for the words Karen. Ill take that on board.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Adrian:
                    One cycle is 21 days. What Mickey was referring to was days of active treatment.
                    Son Jason diagnosed 4/30/04, stage III. Right I/O 4/30/04. Graduated College 5/13/04. 4XEP 6/7/04 - 8/13/04. Full open RPLND 10/13/04. All Clear since.

                    Treated by Dr. Rakowski of Midland Park, NJ. Visited Sloan Kettering for protocol advice. RPLND done at Sloan Kettering.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Ah cool. 15-21 is just spent resting.

                      The main side affect im pissed about is hair loss! Damn! Being bald would does not suit me for hell! Im known for my hair and its just going to be taken away from me like that. Man im going to look like such a punk. Im going to have a hat on 24/7, thats for sure.

                      How does the hair loss thing happen? Do bald patches just end up appearing and it eventually just all comes off?

                      Or not?

                      Im guessing if not, i will then have to get a haircut to make it look all even as it will look odd with patches of bald skin and hair.
                      Last edited by Adrian; 03-15-06, 03:38 PM.

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                      • #12
                        The first thing you will notice is that you don't have to shave. Then about two weeks after your first chemo the hair will just start to fall out. It's best to get a close haircut or shave it, if you don't you will get a patchy look.
                        Son Jason diagnosed 4/30/04, stage III. Right I/O 4/30/04. Graduated College 5/13/04. 4XEP 6/7/04 - 8/13/04. Full open RPLND 10/13/04. All Clear since.

                        Treated by Dr. Rakowski of Midland Park, NJ. Visited Sloan Kettering for protocol advice. RPLND done at Sloan Kettering.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          [QUOTE=Adrian]Hey Mikey,
                          Oh yours lasted 15 days. I need to ask my doctor how long one cycle lasts. I just thought it was 21 (I think i read it somewhere) Are all BEP cycles 15 days each?

                          Days 8 and 15, you just went in for a couple of hours and went back home, right? I just hate hospitals, the environment and everything.


                          It still considered 21 days,because your next cycle starts on the following monday,and yes, the bleo only days were just a couple of hours at the hospital.

                          As for hair loss,I took the initiative of shaving my head prior to receiving chemo,knowing it was going to fall out anyways. I like the fact that I took control of the situation !
                          Dec/04-Right I/O-nonseminoma (95%E/C),Stage 1, surveillance
                          Nov/05- 2.2 cm lymph node= Stage II A
                          Nov/05 -Jan/06-3 x BEP
                          Jan/06 -Surveillance



                          ___________________________________________

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Make life and chemo alot easier on yourself and have a port installed-- If not you will have at least 1 iv ran each week--usually more then that for days 1-5 because alot of times the site goes bad and that have to start agin somewhere else on the arm.. Not to mention getting stuck every day 2-3 times for blood and a few other times for othr meds--- The port will save you a lot of avoidable pain... Best of Luck to you Adrian!!!!
                            Moffitt Cancer Institute
                            CANCER SUCKS
                            Diagnosed/Left I/O 9/18/2004--Non-Seminoma/Stage IIIC--3X B.E.P chemo--3X T.I.P. Salvage chemo---Abdominal [email protected] 34cmX 24.5cmX 17.5cm---4/19/2005 --RPLND/Left Kidney,8 1/2lb Abdominal tumor,42 nodes removed---7/16/2005 Remission/Surveillance---Severe Peripheral Neuropathy--

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              To me the hair loss was a minor glitch. It's back in full strength now and I just had my first post-chemo haircut last week! That was approx. 11 month after my wife cut it all off prior to the treatment and it had grown somewhat out of control... I just liked the feeling :-) Now I'm quite civilized (imoho).

                              Chemo is a strange experience. Scarry and yet ever so welcome.
                              I knew I needed the treatment and I knew it was effecient, so in a way it was easy to accept and appreciate it.

                              There are good days and bad days, but in the end Chemo is Good, Chemo Works! (I'm sitting right here, aren't I?)

                              Best wishes
                              Jens
                              Embryonal carcinoma, stage II,
                              3 x BEP, apr - june 2005
                              Surveillance

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