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Heigh ho, heigh ho, it's in the dark I glow

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  • Heigh ho, heigh ho, it's in the dark I glow

    Hi everyone, just checking in on the day before I begin my radiation (17 days, para-aortic + pelvic dogleg). I've read other people's experiences and I'm making sure to stock up on proteins & high-calorie foods, as well as a few "Ensure" meal-replacement shakes etc. for those evenings when I just don't feel like eating.

    Any other last-minute bits of advice? Any lotions and/or creams I might want to get should my skin start to redden?

    I'm going to ask this tomorrow at the Cancer Care Center but if I'm already on compazine for nausea and I'm having trouble getting to sleep, is there anything wrong (that you know of) with taking a Tylenol PM or something similar for that extra bit of help?

    While I'm at it -- my doctor seems to be steering me away from the clamshell testicular shield, telling me that the likelihood of infertility is very very low even without it. However, my thoughts are, if the shield lowers that risk a tenth of a percent, I'm still interested!! Any thoughts on that?

    You guys are great, thanks for everything!
    Last edited by QuantumSheep; 09-18-06, 09:31 AM.
    Scott
    Right I/O 8/1/06
    Stage I Seminoma -pT2 (Size 4.2 x 3 x 3 cm) w/vascular invasion
    Adjuvant Therapy: RT 9/18/06 - 10/5/06
    All Clear #1: 5/15/07
    New CD available on CD Baby and iTunes! (Visit michellehotaling.com for more info)

  • #2
    Scott,
    You may have had the first zap by now...hope it went well! My husband had absolutly no skin irritation from this 20Gy over 15 days, so no lotions were needed. Your radio-oncologist will give you tips on the best lotion if you have trouble. No clam shell because he only had para-aortic and we're done with the baby making. Ray took compazine 1 hr pre-zap and chugged pepto for residual nausea (tastes better chilled) for 5-6 hrs. He said he felt jet-lagged the entire time but did not sleep any extra. He has his at the end of the work day so except for leaving a little early each day he didn't miss any work from it. He did have constipation (probably from gallons of pepto) and took Colace for that. There, now isn't that more than you really wanted to know??

    Everyone will react differently so you have to play it by ear (no musician pun intended!). I personally I would stay away from Tylenol PM because it makes me feel like crap in the morning, and go for a mild sleeping aid of low dose of zanax or ativan to help with the sleep and take the edge off your nerves at this time.

    From what I saw with Ray, he went from not being able to look at food at night , to nibbling on salads the second week, and finished up with a VERY spicy Thai dinner after the last treatment. Took him 2 additional weeks for the jet lagged feeling to pass. Good luck!!!
    Retired moderator. Husband, left I/O 16Dec2005, stage I seminoma with elevated b-HCG, no LVI, RTx15 (25Gy). All clear ever since.

    Comment


    • #3
      Karen already mentioned Colace, you may want to have some available, constipation seems to be a very common side effect.
      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


      • #4
        Scott:

        I hope everything is going well.
        Fish
        TC1
        Right I/O 4/22/1988
        RPLND 6/20/1988
        TC2
        Left I/O 9/17/2003
        Surveillance

        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.

        Comment


        • #5
          QuantuumSheep -

          As for the clam shell, it is YOUR treatment and YOUR body...so if YOU want it then insist on it. The rad techs will tell you the percentages are low and I am sure they are right, but there is no harm in being over-protective. One thing for sure, is that if something goes wrong and you end up on the wrong side of the percentages, then none of those techs will be able to reverse the situation. It is awkward, adds maybe 5 minutes to the time you are being set up each day, and maybe not fool-proof....but there is no harm in trying. My techs at first said "not needed" , but then the DR insisted and the techs respected my decision.

          Now it is too late now, but there is some value in knowing how many active swimmers you have prior to radiation treatments. If your numbers are normal or high then the odds of issues post-radiation without the shell are even smaller. However, more than a few tc patients have low counts or are already infertile, so if you are on the low side then the shell is even more important since the odds are working against you.

          Since you have started your treatment this week then you may have already made a decision, but if you change your mind then go ahead and do it now.

          Just my two cents from a similar experience. Hope it helps. Hang in there. I hope your reaction from the radiation will be mild. My biggest issue was the fatigue.
          Diagnosed 5-5-05 (Stage 1 - Seminoma) / Oriechtomy 5-9-05 / Adjuvant Radiation July 2005

          Comment


          • #6
            Good luck
            Hope the glowing isn't keeping you up at night
            Brian
            5-1-2006 Right IO - Stage 1 Nonseminoma Embryonal and Yolk sac - Surveillance Baby on the way Born 7-20-07

            Comment


            • #7
              Hi everyone, thanks for responding.

              I wanted to come on here with head held high and talk about how wonderful I'm doing but I'm a bit saddened by the news of the loss of Jennifer's husband. So I'll just take a quick moment and let you know that I'm still feeling ok (it's been just 2 days) and I did opt for the shield (THAT thing alone is going to have to be the subject of one of my blogs).

              It's going to be a long 17 days. But at least it's already underway.
              Scott
              Right I/O 8/1/06
              Stage I Seminoma -pT2 (Size 4.2 x 3 x 3 cm) w/vascular invasion
              Adjuvant Therapy: RT 9/18/06 - 10/5/06
              All Clear #1: 5/15/07
              New CD available on CD Baby and iTunes! (Visit michellehotaling.com for more info)

              Comment


              • #8
                I sort of wondered what the shield was like couldn't think it would fell very good that's for sure.
                Brian
                5-1-2006 Right IO - Stage 1 Nonseminoma Embryonal and Yolk sac - Surveillance Baby on the way Born 7-20-07

                Comment


                • #9
                  Going through it too.

                  Hey man. I am just starting radiation this week too. I went for the clam shell. It is not bad at all. You jsut have to be careful not to pinch anything...very careful.
                  As far as side effects my big one is the nausea. I have been up with a sick stomach a few nights. Even with the meds I still get sick some nights...like tonight.
                  Best of luck with the radiation.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Hey Texas ... You are VERY right about being careful not to pinch oneself when applying the testicular clamshell shield ... I will not be sorry knowing I never have to see that thing again.

                    You are so right about the radiation. I actually only made it to night #2 before I threw up. Tonight is night #3 and a held it back but found it really hard to want to eat anything, which I know I should be doing. I finally settled on a half a can of ginger ale and a bowl of cereal.

                    This is going to be a long couple of weeks. The three black "X"s on my wall calendar pale in comparison to the 17 that will have to be there before I'm done.

                    Best of luck to ya Texas, knowing that someone else started the same exact time is somehow pretty comforting.
                    Scott
                    Right I/O 8/1/06
                    Stage I Seminoma -pT2 (Size 4.2 x 3 x 3 cm) w/vascular invasion
                    Adjuvant Therapy: RT 9/18/06 - 10/5/06
                    All Clear #1: 5/15/07
                    New CD available on CD Baby and iTunes! (Visit michellehotaling.com for more info)

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Scott and Texas,
                      If compazine doesn't work ask for something else. Weekend's coming and you get a little break. It really will be over...although I'm guessing it doesn't feel that way now. Hang in there!!!
                      Retired moderator. Husband, left I/O 16Dec2005, stage I seminoma with elevated b-HCG, no LVI, RTx15 (25Gy). All clear ever since.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Quantum - -

                        Hope all is going well with your RT. If it helps, my worst queasiness (my doctors told me it was not nausea if I did not throw up), was the first few days. Perhaps after that I got used to it, but it was not as bad. I did notice that my fatigue, which was the biggest side-effect I experienced, got a little worse each week, but by monday I was feeling pretty good, and each day of the week got a little more tired. So, I just tried to take it easy and slept a lot. I did fight it though, and tried to be as normal as possible. Now, looking back, I wished I would have just relaxed and tried to make the most of the fact that I had an excuse to be lazy for a while.

                        Take care and let your body tell you what you need.
                        Right I/O 4/17/06, Seminoma Stage Ib
                        RT (15 days) completed 6/1/06
                        All clear as of 5/8/09

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