Friday, December 31, 2010


I get a lot of questions about the upcoming Chemotherapy and Radiation.  I am certainly no expert yet on this but will continue to learn.  This is what I know so far.  Chemotherapy is given IV and takes about 3 hours to administer.  Often the patient is given a MediPort surgically implanted to make this IV access easier.  I will be given 2 types of chemo drug together.  One drug hits the cancer cell from one angle and the other chemo drug hits it from another angle.  The intent is to kill cancer cells whereby "shrinking" the area of involvement.  Chemo is done in "cycles".  A cycle for me is 3 weeks.  So I will get this chemo every 3 weeks.   We will do 2-3 cycles and then do another PET scan to see if it is working.  If they are not happy (ready for surgery), then the chemo continues longer.  There is no clear defining line when this will stop.  The downsize to chemo is it attacks good cells also which causes your white blood count to go down.  This can make you weak, nausea and vomiting, your immune system low. Generally, this "low" period last few days to a week and then you start to regenerate.  After you regenerate at 3 weeks, they hit you with another dose and it starts all over again.  This is by design.

Radiation is used in specific part of body.  So when we shrink my cancer, then later radiation will most likely be used to further kill cancer cells in a smaller isolated area. 

After cancer shrinks, the plan is to have surgery followed by more chemo and more radiation.    I hope this helps a little.  The chemo is done in the doctors office.

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