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Bring on the chemo!!

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  • Bring on the chemo!!

    So after 5 months of post-RPLND surveillance, my doc (Vaughn at UPenn) says it's time for the juice.

    I'm just glad I kept to my monthly appointments. In July my AFP was at 7 and a CT was all clear; in August my AFP was 13 and CT showed multiple nodules. In other words, it only took 4 weeks to appear in my lungs! Darn it all!

    So it's 3BEP starting on Monday 9/11, great day to start eh? I'm going outpatient Monday thru Friday for four hours a day, then two weeks "off"... then repeat. Is this normal? Any last minute tips? Five days in a row sounds a bit rough. Thanks so much, all.
    01/16/06 markers at 134 / 117
    01/19/06 right i/o
    01/26/06 diagnosed with 100% embryonal nonseminoma
    2/11/06 AFP at 6.5, HCG below 2
    3/8/06 RPLND; 1 of 21 nodes removed contains cancer
    3/22/06 markers normal; surveillance
    8/23/06 AFP at 13; CT detected nodes in lungs
    9/11/06 3xBEP begins

  • #2
    The cycle you’re on is normal, it’s long but it’s going to work great. I have a few bits of advise going into chemo.
    1) Take your anti nausea medication before you feel sick, don't wait and try and be a tough guy.
    2) Drink lots of fluid, the chemo is bad for the kidneys and needs to be flushed out even on the weeks between treatments.
    3) You will need to eat and it doesn't matter what, indulge yourself eat all the ice cream and goodies that you normally wouldn't and get lots of protein. Your body will want to rebuild itself between cycles and it needs protein to do that. (your body needs three things, fluid, protein, calories) Be careful with the spicy food.
    4) Limit your alcohol intake.
    5) If you take supplements check with your doctor he may want you to give that up during chemo.

    If you don't like needles or you don't have good veins in your arms you may want to consider having a port put in.

    Good Luck and let us know how your doing.
    Last edited by dadmo; 09-08-06, 06:45 AM.
    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.


    • #3
      Hi Rusty,

      So sorry you have to go through the chemo, but once it's over
      you'll be done with the damn disease! Follow Dadmo's advice
      and keep eating and drinking. I'm sure you've probably heard from
      Brian by now and I know he wants to help you any way he can,
      just like you helped him. I can give you support and encouragement
      too, any time you need it.



      • #4
        Sorry to hear that you need chemo. I think Dadmo has covered the bases. Make sure you get enough rest and if you do feel up to exercising, just don't overdo it.

        I hope all goes well for you. Check in and let us know.

        Best wishes.
        Right I/O 4/22/1988
        RPLND 6/20/1988
        Left I/O 9/17/2003

        Tho' much is taken, much abides; and though we are not now that strength which in old days moved earth and heaven; that which we are, we are; one equal temper of heroic hearts, made weak by time and fate, but strong in will; to strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.


        • #5
          I had 3bep scheduled for 9/11 too, but it ended up getting rescheduled for the 18th... Too bad, we coulda been in synch!

          Much luck bro, I'll be a mere 7 days behind you.

          Holy crap, I just noticed you mentioned UPenn! I'll be goin to the chemo unit at 8th and Manning. Small world huh?
          Sleep Without Dreams - 63 days of Chemotherapy


          • #6
            Rusty...great attitude!

            I had a chemo tips post here that others added to:

            Coping with radiation, chemotherapy, RPLND, or surveillance: treatment issues, test results, surveillance reports. Talk about what's going on with you!

            I used to get psyched up the sunday evening before monday chemo...especially before the week long sessions....almost like I could not wait to get started.

            Re: the mental aspect of going thru the 3 cycles...when I started the 2nd one, I knew there was only one to go after that...when I started the third, I knew I was on the home I actually looked forward to the 2nd, since I knew once that was done, all downhill (in a good sense) from there. The first cycle you are so nervous, you do not know what to expect...and you'll breeze through that....the first full week will be over before you know it.

            I can almost promise you, that once you complete it, you may wish you never had to have cancer...but when you are done you will have an experience you will never want to trade. Strange, but everyone says it and it is true.

            Just say to yourself, no matter what, you will do it a good patient, good to family & friends, nice to others you see at the'll be surprised the positive impact on others, and yourself, when other chemo patients see you "doing it well"....makes you feel good actually. Early on, when I was scared & nervous...I decided to "do it well" and it really put my mind at ease....

            I also set a simple goal - touching my toes by the end of chemo, so each day I could do a little something towards a goal...yes, stupid...but it kept my mind on something else, and stretching is good for you anyway. When I was pretty weak and getting within inches of my toes, I actually felt good...saw progress.

            All the best and keep us all posted.
            - lump first noticed 11/20/2005
            - I/O right Dec 8, 2005
            - 95% embryonal / 5% seminoma
            - normal markers PRE surgery
            - no vascular invasion, tunica free of cancer, epididymis free of cancer, lungs free, lymph free
            - Stage I diagnosis
            - surveillance
            - mid feb '06, beta hcg slightly elevated = 4.6...small enlarged lower node seen on CT scan...
            - 3BEP began feb 20, 2006
            - finished 3 BEP, last bleo, april 17, 2006
            - CT scan, blood markers, chest..all clear
            - back on surveillance


            • #7
              Petep, what a great attitude. Thanks for sharing!
              Lori and Jon
              Diagnosed 5/22/2006
              I/O 5/26/2006, Stage 3, Good
              Teratoma (Majority), Seminoma (10%), Yolk Sac
              3xEP then determined not working
              HDC w/stem cell transplant 8/16/06 to 9/25/06
              Chest and Neck surgery 10/9/06 - immature teratoma
              RPLND 11/16/06 - immature Teratoma
              2/29/2008 - markers continue to be normal!
              9/16/2008 - released from Dr. Einhorn's care


              • #8
                Hey Rusty! Hope all went well today for you. The wife and I were thinking about you today! I'll contact you later in the week to see how its going. You have my number if you want to talk. Take care of yourself and remember, only 14 more to go!!!
                4/11/06 Markers: AFP-41.0 & HCG-88
                4/13/06 Left I/O
                4/19/06 Diagnosed w/ nonseminoma;80% yolk sac, 15% teratoma, and 5% embryonal carcinoma
                5/10/06 Markers: AFP-4.7 & HCG-1
                5/12/06 RPLND surgery @ HUP
                6/19/06 Started 2 cycles of EP
                7/14/06 Completed 2 cycles of EP

                8/19/11 - Received what I call now my "five year-all clear"!!!
                8/20/11 - First Livestrong Challenge in Philly!


                • #9
                  Just checking in. Thanks Pete, Brian, and everyone for your support!!

                  I've been lucky (so far) with just one episode of vomiting and fever; the fatigue has been the worse part for me. Heartburn is brutal at times, but passes. Otherwise, I was expecting much worse and am extremely thankful for my current condition.

                  Today my doc told me my cancer is in remission, and my markers are now normal (AFP and HCG below 5).

                  I have 4 weeks left (1 week of B only, then 1 week of BEP, then 2 weeks of B only).... I know I can beat this!
                  01/16/06 markers at 134 / 117
                  01/19/06 right i/o
                  01/26/06 diagnosed with 100% embryonal nonseminoma
                  2/11/06 AFP at 6.5, HCG below 2
                  3/8/06 RPLND; 1 of 21 nodes removed contains cancer
                  3/22/06 markers normal; surveillance
                  8/23/06 AFP at 13; CT detected nodes in lungs
                  9/11/06 3xBEP begins


                  • #10
                    Hey Rusty,

                    I know you'll be fine. As you probably know, Brian had a bad
                    time with the reflux/heartburn. He made sure to tell the nurses
                    and they gave him meds in his IV. So glad you checked in and
                    I'm so glad you're hanging in there. It will pass and this disease
                    will be a part of the past!

                    Take Care,



                    • #11
                      Originally posted by rusty009
                      I know I can beat this!
                      Damn straight!!! Hang in there and remember the tiredness and nausea will pass. So glad your markers are down. Kepp us posted so we can celebrate with you when this is behind you (cyber drinking....gotta love it)
                      Last edited by Scott; 10-13-06, 06:37 AM. Reason: fixed QUOTE tag
                      Retired moderator. Husband, left I/O 16Dec2005, stage I seminoma with elevated b-HCG, no LVI, RTx15 (25Gy). All clear ever since.