I, too, did the carboplatin-taxol regimen after an initial debulking surgery. At my request for the initial surgery, my doctor performed a unilateral oophorectomy, which means that only one ovary was removed and the other was reconstructed after the cyst on it was taken out. I still have the other ovary and though I had hopes of conceiving, the other good thing that has happened is that the affects of menopause have been minimalized because my one little ovary continues to put out hormones.
When I left the hospital after the surgery, I had lost 10 pounds. My doctor kept me on several meds, including Emend and Kytril and that prevented nausea. Drinking LOTS of fluids before and after chemo helps to prevent constipation, and will also move the drugs out of your body quicker. Unfortunately for me, I seemed to void all those fluids during the night so my sleep patterns were very off.
Healthwise, my husband made me eat all through chemo, even if it was only a few bites at a time. I did gain weight but I think eating regularly helped me to retain at least some strength. Losing strength was probably the most noticeable health issue for me. I felt very weak most of the time. Walking for exercise, when I could, made me feel better both physically and mentally. It also gave me a lot of down time to pray and seek my faith in God.
I lost my hair between the first and second treatments. I had it cut short beforehand and since it was halfway down my back at the time, I donated it to Locks of Love. They make and donate wigs for children with medical hair loss. The good news, it will grow back.
Also, if you are going to buy a wig, ask your doctor for a prescription. With a Rx, a wig is considered a prosthetic and your insurance company may cover some or all of the cost of the purchase.
I want to say "Thank You" to all of you! You all gave me so much feedback. I no longer feel lost. I had a tumor removed June 2nd, found out 10 days later it is ovca, then was informed that I must have a hysterectomy and chemotherapy in mid July. I had a CT scan less than a week ago. I know it is (at least) Stage I-C but when the tumor was taken out my original doctor felt something on my liver. My oncologist has been out of town and does not come back until July 9th. Needless to say, I don't know any other details and felt that I was thrown to the wolves. I needed answers and you ladies provided answers, tips, advice and opened your heart. THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!
I started chemo May 3. 14 days later, I started losing hair. It was like having 100 shedding cats. I shaved my head a few days later. I've lost a little more, but not a lot. I have my last chemo tomorrow. Yea!
I take steriods the night before and then the day of. I take kimex (I think that's the name) for nausea and I haven't had many problems, except when I forget. I take one the night of chemo, two the next day and one the following morning. I also have more meds for nausea.
My worst problem has been constipation which seems to get worse. I'm drinking plenty of water and will start Miralax tonight and a stool softener tomorrow night.
I am OK the day after (the steroids really hype me up--I can't sleep for a couple of nights after I take them) and then I get worse and worse for about four days and then I get better.
My fatigue has been worse this time. I try to walk 35 minutes a day beginning about five or six days after chemo. Yesterday I was really tired. (Before I started getting sick I was jogging, so not being able to walk 35 minutes is a real change for me.)
My chemo lasts about 5 hours. I have someone come and bring me lunch and eat with me to pass the time. I get really cold and take a shawl and a hat (they gave me a fleece blanket which I bring each time).
I lost 10 pounds with the surgery (my tumor was 7.5 pounds). I had put ten pounds on pretty quickly in the six weeks before I was diagnosed. I haven't lost weight. I'm trying to be reasonably careful about my weight, but I crave carbs and then I have craved red meat. The craving for carbs gets really bad and then towards the end of the third week, my appetite gets back in order.
I also hope that your surgery goes well. I had 6 rounds of the gold standard which is carboplatnum and taxol before my surgery...My last chemo was last August and then I had my surgery 3 weeks later.. I had the blood platelet problems...
, Usually hair can start to fall out from the 14th day on.. mine was on day 23.. first it looked like a little hair and then more and more..Yes you will lose your hair, but the good news it will grow back better...I hope you have cut your hair short... sometimes it is a little uncomfotable.. for example I never wore a wig and I wore ball caps.. I have probably 30 or more from fancy, to baseball to silly... Its part of the treatment...
I went from 122 pounds down to around 114 and now am at over 130 course I have a thyroid problem too... eat what you want and sounds good..
I was diagnosed with stage IV and am hangin out for right now... did have a bowel resection and do NOT let yourself get constipated.... There are many drugs that will totally eliminate the vomiting or nausea check our med page for hints and names of drugs... Wishing you good luck.. Ronni
I cut my hair short before my first chemo, the nurses said that it is good to do that if you have long hair. I had ordered a wig and so I cut it to look like that so I could get use to it. I was hoping it wouldn't fall out but then it started to fall out a little and then after the second it was coming out fast so I went ahead and had my husband cut it all off. Not everyone wears a wig but I am not brave enough to go outside with no hair and I look bad enough as it is. There is a website that sells wigs for cancer paitents called TLC or you can go to the American Cancer Center and they will give you one for free.
I am lucky to have my husband support me through this, he has first hand experience in this, he had cancer when he was 11 years old and has had skin cancer twice in the last few years caught early enough so he didn't have to have chemo for it. He has been pretty much cancer free for 28 years. I was hoping for the same results. I am in menopause due to the surgery but hardly paid any attention to that while going through chemo now I notice it more. I am not sure what you can eat before surgery. I was'nt told anything about diet just the no food or water after midnight or something like that. I know I should be eating healthy now but I am junk food person and it is hard to change that.
The doctor started me on chemo about two weeks after my surgery. I had surgery to have a port put in the day before my first chemo. Thank goodness I left it in since I may need it again in the near future. I know this is a scary time for you and I wish you didn't have to go through at all but you can get through chemo. It is not as bad as it use to be with all the meds they have now and if I can do it anyone can. You are not alone.
Since you have time to prepare for surgery, you may want to eat real good...pack on a few lbs if you can. I'm not a heavy person and I still lost nearly 20lbs after surgery!!! Mine was May 2nd. I was home in a week, and back to work in 2.5 weeks!! I've always eaten well, and excercised reagulary...I guess my hard work paid off!
I started chemo 5 weeks after surgery. I think I would've started at 4 weeks, but they had some conflicting info with my pathology and we were waiting for a 2nd opinion. Since I've started chemo, I've gained back about 10lbs!!! Not losing ANY appetite w/ chemo. Actually, for me its the opposite, I'm constantly ravenous!! But I think thats the steroids they include w/ the treatments. I havent been sick yet, just very fatigued for 3-4days after. But I have 3 weeks between treatments, so far, I've felt fine in between......but I'm only on round 2, so we'll see how it goes.
As for the ealy menapause..............UGH!!!! I'm only 38, so its real early for me also!! The hot flashes are the worst part......invest in some little fans to leave around!!!
Good Luck to you!
Thanks Joanne! I should be having my surgery July 16th. How long after surgery do the doctors usually wait before starting me on chemo? I am thinking of shaving my head before my hair starts to fall out. However, I don't want to shave it too early if it is months after my hysterectomy. Is there anything I can do to prepare myself before surgery? Diet?
To answer some of your questions,yes carbo/taxol is the usual "gold standard" treatment. As you have been told everyone has different reactions to each chemo. You will be given a RX for nausea (I like EMend the best) and another RX for steriods. You will need to start these meds before you start each chemo cycle. The first cycle is a bit long 6-7 hours,but as you become accustomed to the chemo,they will increase the flow rate,so it should be around 5-6 hours. The next day I had what they call the steriod "flush" I looked like I had been to the beach....usually sometime on this next day the side effects started. I had alot of bone pain,also no appetite. It is crucial for you to keep yourself hydrated,as dehydration can cause side effects that are pretty nasty. I also got mild constipation. As for the appetite,my onc gave me a RX for appetite stimulant..and it did work,I can't recall the name of right now. Yes you will lose some weight,but you usually gain it back by the time for your next treatment. Losing your hair is a definte....I lost mine about 15 days after my 1st cycle. Your scalp ache,like you have had your hair in a tight band and just took it off. I lost alot of weight in the hospital. I had alot of masses and alot of fluid..but don't worry you will gain it all back and then some if your not careful. Good luck..I'll keep you in prayer for a sucessful surgery and chemo...~~~Joanne
Thank you so much for the feedback. I heard that I was going to lose my hair and I am okay with that...guess I have no choice. :-) I think the thing I am scared about most is feeling sick to my stomach. I am also newly married and I am concerned about the stress on my husband. He is great and has had a lot of "experience" with cancer due to his mother battling colon and breast cancer. I really wanted children. Instead, I will be going through menopause at the age of 35. Have you started going through menopause?
I hope your surgery goes ok. I had mine last July and did chemo also. Taxol/Carboplatin is the standard first treatment with most ovca paitents. Usually 6 to 8 rounds. The side effects may be different with each person. I lost my hair after the second treatment. I would be fine the day after treatment but then on the third day I would have very bad leg cramps and pretty much sleep around the clock for three days. I couldn't eat much. I only got sick if I took the pain medicine for my leg cramps though thanks to the pills I was given. I would start feeling a little better a few days before it was time for another treatment. I lost 30 lbs by the time I left the hospital after my surgery. I had a very big tumor and fluid also. I didn't eat either while I was in the hospital. I gained all my weight back and then some after my last chemo. That was in Nov. I may being going through it again soon due to my rising ca 125. It has been 8 months since my last chemo and was hoping to go a year before having more chemo. I will know next month after my next lab work. Let us know how everything turns out. Take care.