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Advanced Prostate Cancer
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Seeking Details of Chemo Process

Scheduled for chemo (taxotere) in January and would like to now details of the process, i.e. Do they simply tap into a vein in my arm and start a drip? If so, for how long? Am I given other drugs to take to stem side effects? (If so...what?) What are the statistics regarding percentage of recipients having each of the side effects (most common to least common). How long am I 'out of commission'? How long before I'm 'feeling normal? Etc. Etc. Etc.

Maybe there's a web site or link to someplace where these details are explained. If so, hook me up. :-)

Thanks.

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When looking for statistics regarding the outcomes, adverse effects, etc. of a particular treatment it's best to look at the data collected during the trials used to approve the treatments rather than anecdotal evidence.

In the case of Taxotere chemotherapy for Prostate Cancer, the trial is called

TAX 327.

ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articl...

I can also speak from my own personal experience with 6 cycles of Taxotere. The process took a couple of hours total if I remember. They hook you up with an IV and slowly let it drip to make sure you don't have a reaction, then they speed it up a bit if everything is OK. Some have gotten nausea meds along with the Taxotere, but I did not. They had me taking 10mg of Prednisone before the infusion, then every day after. I had separate nausea meds in case I needed them. I never used them. I had some mild nausea, but never got close to vomiting. Basically, I felt pretty crappy for about 5 days, then start feeling better and completely normal after around 10-14 days. It was a bit worse than a cold, but not as bad as the flu. That's a very general statement, just to give you a rough idea. I was able to get around and do quite a bit, even in the 5 worst days. I was walking around 2 miles a day. In general, I didn't have a lot of energy during the first week.

I would advise not to worry, I know it's hard. We all do it, but Taxotere is not that bad for most people. I think you could find many on this site that would agree. I'd certainly do it again if it could help.

Good luck with treatment and keep us posted.

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First step is a blood draw to make sure you can tolerate chemo..Next step, in the "Chemo Lounge" they will start an IV line in your lower forearm or back of your hand..Also hook you up to a vital signs monitor..The first bag they hang is saline solution. they may add a steroid and antihistamine to prevent any allergic reactions. While this is going on an on-site pharmacist will be mixing up your chemo bag as per your oncologists instructions. When ready, they will hang the bag and start the drip. An infusion pump pushes in the correct amount..Usually takes about an hour. In my case, I had no reaction at all at this point. They will send you home with a long list of instructions and warnings and maybe a script for prednisone, a steroid, to suppress side-effects.. Most Chemo Lounges have a personal TV and maybe some snacks, reclining chairs...

So then what? In my case, on the third day after the infusion, came the dreaded "chemo crash"..Not that big a deal, but you may feel like crap for the next couple of days..Loss of appetite, food tastes lousy, a little nausea maybe..Hard to get out of the recliner..After a few days you feel better, things return to normal..At some point you will lose your hair, maybe not until the second treatment..Get a buzz cut to minimize the mess from the lose hair..Hands and or feet feel funny ? That's neuropathy..Tell your Oncologist about it. You want to minimize that if you can..That's about it....I got a "fair" response from it, not as good as I had hoped..Everyone's different.... Good Luck !

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can you elaborate....what is a fair response

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Perfect description of the process I went through, thank you. I worked and swam laps through chemo, except for the day after (when the Neulasta device was attached to me) and the third day after, when I stayed in the recliner.

Good luck!

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I just experienced my first round this week. I recommend searching this site for great advice, especially the ice chips. My oncologist also recommended the CBD oil for my mouth to help with taste. As mentioned the first IV will take twice as long just in case you have a reaction. They also did lab work first so they can monitor your bloodwork before each round. I also am taking the prednisone everyday. There is also another steroid I take 12 hours, three hours. And one hour before each treatment. I am also combining with Eligard every 30 days.

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My experience with chemo was very similar to gregg57. I never missed a day of work but there were times where it was rough for certain. A shot of neulasta was always given by my onc whether needed or not and that, for me anyway, felt like getting hit by a truck the next day. I did have a great response to the treatment and although rough at times it was worth going through.

I actually brought a step stool with me and did light stepping during the infusions. Nothing crazy, just enough to get blood flowing more and possibly to places it normally wouldn't reach. It was also a great aid in keeping from getting drowsy and time passed quickly. I got proficient enough where I could even read my favorite magazines while stepping. The nurses and doctors were very interested in what I was doing and always made great conversation. Just make sure you clear it with your oncologist before going that route.

Ron

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Thanks to all for the response...very helpful.

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I had a port put in for 6 months of chemo in 2004. Too much concern for vein blowout. However, each infusion center has different protocols.

GD

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I too had a chest port put in, made the process easier. I had a friend who was receiving chemo and it “burned “ the veins in his arm after which he had a chest port put in. I took his advice and had one put in before my first infusion. I still have it even though I received chemo 3 years ago, I kept it just in case it is needed again. The nurses use it to draw blood, at which time they also flush it, some simple maintenance that is required regularly if you keep it.

For me, chemo became more difficult after the first 2-3 infusions. It felt like I had the flu 2-3 days afterward, fatigue, chemo brain, I lost my hair, things didn’t taste right and I would develop mouth sores, it was tough but worth it given my current status.

I also was taking neulasta, which can cause significant bone pain as it stimulates your bone marrow, a trick I learned was to take over the counter 24 hr Claritin, they don’t know why it works but it does - the nurse giving my infusion recommended it and it did the trick.

Hang tough, good luck.

Ed

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Taxotere is the insurance company first line chemo. It had very limited results for me. It wasn’t until they added Carboplatin to the Tax that we got good results. My oncologist and urologist at Mayo agreed that Carbo should be first line treatment. It’s a little harder to tolerate that Tax but better results for me.

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Well...maybe I delayed too long, Painful pelvic, groin, crotch; feeling like pulled muscle (which I know it is not). Seeing my Onc this afternoon to find out what's happening and, more important, get something to reduce this pain.

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Get a port less trouble

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