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Starting chemo on 8/21

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  • Starting chemo on 8/21

    hello all,

    Am starting chemo on Monday 8/21, just recently diagnosed. I believe the chemo protocol is named CEB. Thankfully it is only a 6 week process, 1week 5 days, 2weeks off, then 1 more week. Also a weekly Iv of Etpside (spelling?).

    My plan is to work while still taking treatment ( I am in construction). Anyone out there know if this is possible (or wise)? How did you feel while going thru this?

    Supposedly I am clear of cancer, but with risk factors that can lead to a 50% chance of re-occurrence. Still a little nervous.



  • #2

    It sounds like your going for 2 cycles (3 weeks per cycle) of what is commonly known in the TC world as "BEP". B = Bleomycin, E = Etoposide, P = Platinum (aka Cisplatin).

    Your reference of "CEB" is probably the exact same thing with C = Cisplatin, E = Etoposide and B = Bleomycin. The weekly IV that your going to get is most likely the Bleomycin. The Cisplatin and Etoposide are an every day thing for just the first five days of each cycle.

    Be prepared to loose your hair by the 3rd week in. I shaved mine to avoid the mess. The first thing to go on me was my facial hair. After 4 cycles of chemo for me, I haven't shaved in more than 8 weeks!

    As far as working, that's really going to be up to you. During your main treatment week (week 1 of each cycle) it might be tough to get to work because it takes about 4-6 hours each day to get the chemo and other fluids into your body. During your first cycle, you'll probably feel OK and will try to get to work. Once you start your second cycle, things may change. I was extremely tired once I got through the first week of my second cycle and there is no way I could have gone to a construction-type job. Some other people have reactions to the chemo right away and if you respond the same way, that might keep you from working. You should really make plans to take it day by day.

    Another issue you need to be aware of is that during the 2nd and 3rd weeks of each cycle, your blood is going to get very screwed up and you're going to be prone to infections. You doctors/nurses will probably tell you to stay away from large crowds and definitely keep away from anyone that's sick. If you do get an infection, you could end up in the hospital. It could also interfere with your second cycle of chemo. Keep that in mind when you go to work.

    You have the shortest of all chemo regimens for TC that I know of so you should do just fine! Most others have either 3 or 4 cycles to go through.

    Oh yeah, you're going to have some weird food cravings and other foods that you might like now are going taste awful while you're on the chemo.
    TC diagnosed 4/3/06, [email protected]; Left I/O 4/10/06; Stage IIa Non-Seminoma, 100% Yolk Sac; Started 4xEP 5/22/06 with [email protected]; Finshed 4xEP 8/11, AFP normal, CT scans clear! Now on surveillance


    • #3
      Thanks Dave


      Thank you for the informative post. I was not given the exact anocronym of the Chemo Protocol so I made one up . I have a couple more questions though, if you don't mind.

      How much nausea and loss of appetite is to be expected? There are meds that are very High Dollar amounts available, are they worth it? Should I worrry?

      What about a less expensive (non-health insurance ) type of plant? Or is that worth it?

      Also on the Cisplatin (Platinum), I noticed on a TC site that you can pass up to 60% of the platinum thru your urine if the drug is injected too slowly. Has anyone been concerned about this?




      • #4
        The anti-nausea meds in my opinion are a must. If you don't take them you will be sicker then you ever where in your life. If you don't have the money check with your chemo lab they may have some free samples available.
        Don't worry about the platinum flushing out too quickly, that's a good thing. because they are putting it in a vein it will get into every cell in your body before it is able to be flushed out and you want to flush it out to protect your kidneys.
        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.


        • #5
          best of luck with the upcoming chemo Steve!!!!!!!!!
          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--


          • #6

            As far as nausea goes, I never really had any and I never vomited. But I have a pretty strong stomach to begin with. My stomach never felt great and at times it felt plain lousy but never really a nauseous feeling. More like a plain old upset stomach.

            I never lost my appetite. I was given some steroids along with my chemo to help settle my stomach and keep my appetite going. I ate quite a bit during chemo despite how I felt. I didn't lose a pound in 12 weeks of chemo. Luckily, I didn't gain more than a pound or two either. I've read posts from a bunch of people on this site about how they could only eat certain foods and their appetites did suffer. I was lucky in this regard, I guess.

            There were two very affordable meds that helped me out with my stomach issues. One was Ativan and the other was Reglan. They're both available in generic and they both worked great for me. I took the Reglan during the day when I needed it and always took an Ativan before bed to relax me a little and take the edge off the upset stomach.

            Can't give you any advice about "plants" but I hear that it can work wonders.

            No issues with passing the Cisplatin. Like dadmo said, it's good to get it out of your system as quickly as possible. Your nurses will be telling you to "drink water, drink water, drink more water, etc.".

            Once again, good luck. I'm sure you'll do fine.

            TC diagnosed 4/3/06, [email protected]; Left I/O 4/10/06; Stage IIa Non-Seminoma, 100% Yolk Sac; Started 4xEP 5/22/06 with [email protected]; Finshed 4xEP 8/11, AFP normal, CT scans clear! Now on surveillance


            • #7
              The "plants" can give a false positive on bHCG, so hopefully the generic ativan and reglan will do the job for you. The guys here have great advice...experience is the best teacher. Good luck with the chemo!
              Retired moderator. Husband, left I/O 16Dec2005, stage I seminoma with elevated b-HCG, no LVI, RTx15 (25Gy). All clear ever since.