Starting radiation and chemo on Monday. I know radiation doesn’t take long but how about chemo? Should I pack a lunch?
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Hi Scooter, chemo time depends on the type of chemo drugs. Usually it is bag drip which takes a while but sometimes it is injections or oral meds. Sometimes chemo makes you lose your lunch. All I can say is I guess you will find out. Good luck and good healing.
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I'm sure they are hanging a bag. Old iron gut here doesn't want to miss a meal. I'm guessing 2-3 hrs?
@scooter4 Pack a snack or two. Some infusion centers will offer you water or juice, or crackers. But I always see many people bringing in their own little coolers with what they want to eat, at my infusion center. One time, a gentleman brought in his bag, unpacked a little placemat, and had himself a little picnic lunch! Just be mindful of tuna or liverwurst smells ;))
And if you are bringing homemade cookies or treats, bring enough to share! Best way to make friends….
@scooter4 you might also appreciate the tips in this related discussion:
– Chemotherapy Reading: What activity do you do during chemo sessions?
As @gingerw and @hrhwilliam suggested, chemo infusion appointments can take several hours from check in until you leave. I think you might find the reading and activity tips helpful.
How did you first chemo session go? How long was the appointment? What tips would you like to add for others reading this discussion?
I got 7 sessions of Cisplatin Chemo (along with 35 radiation sessions) in 2020. Mine lasted on average 5 hours. They first have to order your specific cocktail from the pharmacy on site, then they'll send saline drip intravenously along with a tiny amount of your chemo, then wait for about 40 mins to an hour to make sure your tolerating it. Once that's cleared they push through some nausea med, steroid, and pain if you need it along with starting your prescribed dose bag of chemo, which mine lasted around 3 hrs. If your labs come back showing your low or lacking in vital nutrients, they'll order those to and give along with other meds. When the IV session is complete, they'll remove IV line if you don't have port placed already, and then you're free to go. If you're getting Cisplatin be prepared to loose a lot of hearing ability and you'll also develop severe Tinnitus that does not go away. This chemo does do the job….I was stage 4 and now I'm 3 years NED❤️
lilyann here. i have just been informed that i will be getting the "pill" form of chemo: tramtinib 0.5mg and dabrafenib 50mg. can someone enlighten me on exactly how they felt because when you read the side effects, its awfully scary and i love to try and stay as active as i can. which at my age and all, i think i do pretty good for a few hours work outside and of course the cooking is a: never seem to be able to get out of the kitchen. ha ha, got to eat even if its a hard job to swallow. of course i tire out and have to do the "nap" thing. time flys by so fast. i can't hardly believe the prices on these medicines. i do not have any supplement insurance. i have the aggressive for of pappillary carcinoma, with tall cell and it is still within my neck after the removal of my thyroid and i am on levothyroxine. my thyroglobulin is remaining high. so here i am, looking for wisdom for an octogenarian here. take care all, i do a lot of praying for those out there in the cancer world.
Congrats on 3 years NED (no evidence of disease), @chas2776. May I ask what type of cancer you had?
@lilyann, you're so right. When you read that list of side effects, it can be intimdating to say the least. Keep in mind that the drug makers are obliged to list all common and rare side effects. It doesn't mean you'll experience all or any of them.
Targeted drug combination dabrafenib (Tafinlar) and trametinib (Mekinist) is used for the treatment of people with nearly any type of advanced solid tumor that has a specific mutation in a gene called BRAF. So you may be interested in joining Tom in this related discussion:
– Any experience with targeted therapy for BRAF V600E mutated tumor(s)?
Have you been told that you have the BRAF mutation?
lilyann, please keep in mind that some people experience very few side effects / experience relatively minor side effects. I was lucky enough to have a relatively good experience with a kinda nasty chemo (FOLFIRINOX, for pancreatic cancer), and I hope you do too.
(Fwiw, pls do be prepared — with food in the freezer, and with friends+relatives alerted to your chemo day so you can call them if you need them — because some side effects, even if mild, are likely.
. . . . . . . I felt awful for two days out of every 14-day cycle and felt not-great for at least another five. As chemo progressed, the number of not-great days increased, bc chemo tends to be cumulative — I don't know whether it always is or just tends to be. And by the final two of my eight cycles, I had no good days. But I was back to normal within three weeks of the final chemo.)
If you find that your side effects are intense, please tell your onc. immediately. S/he might adjust your future dose, or offer other meds to mitigate the side effects (I experienced the latter).
I hope you're doing well.
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