Carboplatin and Taxol - very scared!: Hi, soon I am... - OvaCare

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Carboplatin and Taxol - very scared!

Elsa1111
Elsa1111

Hi,

soon I am supposed to start my chemo but I am extremely scared. Some people say it's unbearable, some say it's not that bad. Just trying to figure out some pattern there! Not so bothered about losing my hair but extremely scared of neuropathy as it obviously might never go away. I am a musician and love sewing, knitting, a thought of not being able to do that is almost taking my whole life away!

I never guessed my irritable bowel syndrome and bloating was because of the cancer. There was a mess with the periods but the doctors said Im approaching to the menopause as I am 49. When suddenly out of nowhere appeared a 10cm cyst, my GP couldn't find even the cyst. Don't want to moan about the healthcare system so I better skip some part. When I finally got the histology results of the laparoscopic surgery I was totally shocked. Ovarian cancer! In 2 days I was back in the hospital for removing everything what they could. It turned out that both my ovaries had cancer plus fallopian tubes. Luckily only one lymph node had cancer and there was a small bit of cancer somewhere else, too. Stage IIB.

Recovering from the extensive surgery isn't that bad but there is the chemo waiting and after that all the stress of cancer returning.

I'm a mess right now, I know. Sometimes crying nonstop, then suddenly feeling like everything might be ok. Maybe it's the effect of the surgical menopause, there are hot flushes and night sweats and no HRT as I am waiting for the chemo. Yes, I was asking my questions to the oncologist and to the nurse but somehow it feels like I didn't get the answers because they never experienced cancer on their own.

Are you getting any permanent side effects after the chemo?

11 Replies

I can imagine how scary it is. Everyone responds differently, so it is difficult to predict how it will be for you. The waiting and the unknowns make it very hard. It is so easy to say and sounds so trite, but try to just take it one day at a time. Look for little things that give moments of pleasure and focus on those moments. Let people do things for you and ask for help. People want to be there for you, sometimes they just don’t know what to do.

Sending you love and light.

Hi Elsa ... I'm so sorry to hear your news and I know exactly how you feel (everyone on here will). This is very brief as I'm just about to head out to the pub (its late afternoon here in Australia), but hope this will ease your mind a bit.

I had chemo from June 2015 to Oct 2015 after major surgery, Stage IIIA, OC, 59yrs. I was completely petrified at the thought of chemo and I was sure I would get every complication on the list. The only thing that didn't worry me was losing my hair. But you know what, for me anyway, it wasn't really that bad. A few hours after my first IV my friend and I went out for dinner. I was never sick (and I was sure I would be throwing up all the time). If I felt a bit queasy I would eat some toasty sourdough bread and it would pass. I opted to have fairly full-on treatment which also included IP chemo (pumped directly into the abdomen), so even though this was harsher treatment it was still do-able and it would only be for 2-3 days after that treatment that I would feel quite bloated and a bit blah, but again really it wasn't nearly as bad as I had imagined it would be. I went out for a walk every day, which really benefited me.

I didn't have any problem with neuropathy. The oncologists are really on top of that and will ask you every time you have chemo, so it can be monitored.

So here I am almost 4 years on since chemo and I think I can say I don't have any long term side effects from it. Hope this has helped to ease your stress just a little bit. We all reactive differently to treatment and I really hope you it all goes well for you.

Sending love from Australia ... Ruth xx

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Fear of what might happen, Elsa, is almost always worse than what does happen. Chemotherapy is different for everyone as the ladies here will share, but while you are having it, the nurses keep a very close eye on you and will help manage any complications should they arise.

I was diagnosed 3C and after surgery underwent 18 weeks of chemo (every week - not once every three weeks). It sounded horrific to me and I was anticipating the worst. It was not nearly as bad as I thought however. There were some side affects (nausea, though no vomiting), lack of energy for a few days after each treatment, ravenous hunger some days (steroids), and of course the loss of one's hair...but nothing that wasn't well managed. And, whenever something felt off or not well controlled, a call to the oncologist provided whatever relief was needed.

Neuropathy is possible (I have it at a moderate level, but I also had many - 22 - lymph nodes that were impacted and removed) but is limited to the legs (hand/arm more likely with removal of lymph associated with breast cancer) and does not affect walking (mostly pins and needles feeling at night or while at rest, some mild swelling, etc.). You should be able to continue to play your music, to sew and to knit without much difficulty.

Patterns, like statistics, can be misleading. Trust in your body's ability to fight this and to work toward returning you to "normal." Focus on the positive outcome you desire and work toward it. Be open and honest with your Oncology team and let them know what you feel during/after each chemo treatment and they will make every effort to minimize any issue that might appear.

I'll share this quote from Corrie ten Boom as it has gotten me through many dark thought nights and keeps me in the present:

"Worrying is carrying tomorrow's load with today's strength - carrying two days at once. It is moving into tomorrow ahead of time. Worrying does not empty tomorrow of it's sorrow; it empties today of it's strength."

Stay in the moment, and stay strong. You've got this, girl!

Hi Elsa. It's normal to be scared so don't you worry about that! The main thing I want to answer is about possible neuropathy. I found out that if the clinic where you are having chemo has cold ice pack gloves, wear them on your hands and feet. (Can't remember what they're called!) Phone and ask the clinic before you go the 1st time. You can buy them on Amazon but I thought they were pricey so you can also buy icepacks and put them in big oven mitts! Not so effective as the custom made ice gloves etc.

I wore cotton gloves and socks on my frontline and 1st recurrence Cabo/Taxol chemo's and didn't get neuropathy. I also took icechips and had them in my mouth and on my 1st chemo, had no mouth ulcers or sore mouth. It works as the chemo runs through our blood and the cold reduces our blood supply to those areas. It's a bit uncomfotable but I reckoned better than getting neuropathy.

You must tell the nurses and oncologist immediately if you start getting any tingling, pins and needles or numbness in your hands and feet.

and we are all different in our side effects, make sure they tell you about what may happen and have meds to deal with possible nausea, constipation etc. The chemo clinic should tell you this.

Bigs hugs from English gal in Australia.

It’s no picnic but it’s mostly fine, especially for the first few treatments. The fact that you found it easy to recover from the surgery is a sign that you’re strong. I was 49 when I had that operation and I found it fairly tough. You’ll feel bad for a few days after treatment. You’ll have a day or two extra of feeling bad after each treatment but most days will be good days. Be nice to yourself. I subscribed to Netflix and decided to spend most of my days on the couch watching TV. I also met friends for breakfasts & lunches & dinners. Try to get lots of sleep and drink lots of fluids. Take all your medications. Take all help that’s offered from friends & family.

I had a little neuropathy but it went away soon after I finished treatment.

Could you have the cold cap so that you wouldn’t lose your hair?

Get your house set up for the first few days after treatment. Have food in the freezer. Make sure to have someone to bring you to & from chemo.

It’s rotten luck that you have to go through this but hopefully you’ll be in remission afterwards and can get your life back to normal.

Sounds like everyone came thru chemo ok. My story is much different. The first treatment of carbo/taxol seemed to go fine. Unfortunately. it went down hill after about a week. I developed thrush in my mouth. My white and red blood cells along with my platelets went way to low all at the same time. I was hospitalized. They had me on 4 antibiotics at once. They called in something called the Rapid Response team to save my organs. I gained 13 pounds in 5 days. I had my second treatment at a lower doseage. It started off ok but then neuropathy in hands and feet started. My 3rd treatment the neuropathy

Was horrible. Now they want 3 more treatments. My numbers still are too low so they keep checking my bloodwork weekly. It has been 5 weeks of no improvement. So who knows if my 4fourth treatment will be this Wednesday or not. It has helped my Inhibin A and B to go down drastically. So that makes me want to keep tryi g. I am stage 4 so this is my last option since I am inoperable. Am on oxycodone and elavil to help the pain. I hope all goes well for you.

Yes dear, I had my first chemotherapy with Paxil and Carboplatin, I was shocked the first week no symptoms at all until I received my shot, in my arm, then the trouble began, leg pains, because the white blood cells were being rapidly grown to protect my bones, then the constipation came, terrible, until i bought Exlax, the medicine the doctors prescribed for me did nothing, for 4 days , plus its unclear from my doctors and getting tired of waiting for diet to help with the stomach problems now with other I truly don't know what to do and dont know if a naturopathic doctor would be better but all these medications now our body is not use to makes it difficult, Hope this helps also bought hats to wear in case we loose our hair.

Thanks to everybody who replied, much appreciated!

I am still wondering how often there side effects after stopping the chemo? Some irreversible changes of the function of liver, kidneys, heart? Basically, damage at the cell level which will never come back.

Also, I am wondering maybe the hardest bit of the chemo is the fact that it lasts for such a long time? If you feel bad one or two days then it is mostly bearable; if it is nearly 6 months then it is a constant nightmare.

Hi Elsa, sorry to hear you find yourself in this situation. I had the same chemo regime which I finished just over 2 1/2 years ago. I was okay after the first one but I did encounter quite a number off side effects with the remaining 5. I felt okay for 1/2 days after the chemo before the side effects started and generally started to feel better the week before the next dose was due. The neuropathy was quite mild and did go completely within weeks after finishing. I’m back to good health now with the only long lasting effect being tiredness. The thought of the treatment is overwhelming but it is really surprising how quickly those 3 weeks roll round and before you know it your on the last treatment. The nurses are super nice too and at the beginning of each chemo session they check how you responded last time. I did also see my oncologist Inbetween each chemo to monitor how things were going and to adjust meds accordingly. Hope it all goes well. Best wishes, Jo xx

Dr finally said blood levels are ok to begin chemo ok again. It will be taxotere and carbo. Worried about side effects. Still have bad neuropathy in hands and feet. We will see how it goes

I am diabetic Type 2 so already had neuropathy to begin with. Carbo/Taxol has made it unbearable. They lowered the dose, then switched to a whole different drug. Still having side effects of incontinence. Plus oxycodone and elavil. Still beholden to my family for help to stay in my home. I now live right across the street. It does help. Feel like a burden.

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