• Am Confused by reaction to chemo

    Asked by greensmythe on Sunday, March 10, 2013

    Am Confused by reaction to chemo

    I just want to jump in here, for this reason. I started on traditional chemo January 8, and had immediate side effects. Now, I was asymtomatic to begin with so the side effects were a big pain to get through, but I did. I have had a second chemo treatment since then and it was not as bad, but the nausea continued much longer. I also found out I am not BAC, but am Stage IV NSCLC- getting a straight answer from over five doctors has been a big challenge.

    Here is what I notice. Once the chemo effects have worn off, I feel great. I feel as fine as I did before I was ever diagnosed. I do not have SOB, but still have a slight cough, only when outside in the cold. I go about my daily activities, still am working part time and taking care of my grandson.

    I am totally confused by not only my diagnosis, but the way I respond to all of this. Even though I go to a good doctor ( IU Simon Cancer Center in Indianapolis is rated as one of the #1 hospitals for cancer in America)

    5 Answers from the Community

    5 answers
    • SueRae1's Avatar

      Hugs. Everyone reacts differently to chemo. What you are gong through sounds normal. You might start noticing a decline in over all energy as your treatment progresses. I know that was my experience. Speak to your doctor about the cough, just to be on the safe side. But I know that going out in the cold cause my post nasal drip to act up thus I cough outside and when I come back in during cold spells.
      As for the issue of getting straight answers, review your questions to make sure you are asking what you think you are, we sometimes phrase the questions awkwardly (at least I do), and continue the conversation until you get the answers you are looking for. Coordinating 5 doctors might be part of the issue. Find out which one is primary and start with her/him - also speak up when you think there is a conflict between what you were told by different members of your team.

      over 3 years ago
    • nancyjac's Avatar

      I think most people would say that the first chemo treatment is the worst because they had no way of knowing what side effects they would have, how severe they would be and how long they would last. Subsequent treatments are much easier to deal with because those side effects are pretty predictable from then on making them must easier to prepare for and deal with. Some side effect can be cumulative though, so they may become more noticeable or continue for a longer period after treatments. This is also pretty common.

      I don't understand what you are confused about regarding your diagnosis. Can you be more specific. As far as your body's physical response to chemo, that seems to be quite typical.

      over 3 years ago
    • CAS1's Avatar

      I am not sure what you mean by traditional chemo..Lun cancer is a complicated cancer as it is several diseases in one. It has may more mutations than other cancers, its more complex. Your treatment should be based upon your mutation status. Go to "lets test now' and read about mutation testing.

      Are you scheduled for radiation?

      If you don't understand your diagnosis or your treatments its really helpful to have a friend come with you to your ONC visits to take notes as all of this is overwhelming.

      You are at a good facility but do you have a Lung Cancer expert you are seeing?

      Are you taking the medication "Prior" to chemo days as you should? These are important drugs to control symptoms.

      over 3 years ago
    • Peroll's Avatar

      I know how you feel. It does seem that chemo and the other treatments often make you feel worse that the cancer has made you feel. You might what to write down youe side effects and then ask about what can be done to minimize them. I have a cough form mt treatments and use cough med with codene to contriol it at bed time so I can get some sleep. As noted by others you should identify your lead Dr and try and get answers from him/her. If they don't have time for all of your questions because other patients are waiting. then try and schedule the last appointment of the day so there will be no other people waiting. I am famous for this trick and my Dr often requests that I take the last appointment so I can ask all my questions. Be persistanty as you have a right to answers to all of your questions in a manner that you can understand. Try writing them down and if possible send them to the Dr in advance so he can be ready. It sometimes takes some research to get the best answer. Good Luck

      over 3 years ago
    • MRoadrunner's Avatar

      I went through chemo with minimal side effects, thanks to the antiemetics and dexamethasone they gave me prior to treatments. I then had 15 rounds of PCI which did give me a lot of side effects (the doc expected less). I am just recovering from the fatigue and brain fog from these two and Sunday I was back in the ER because I was having symptoms of SVC syndrome and that's what brought me to the ER unconscious last August; I recalled the facial edema and got a CT scan right away and I was diagnosed with another tumor, same type, small cell, pressing on the superior vena cava.and started radiation for that Monday. I was released last night and will continue radiation on an out patient basis with possibly more chemo. So, it's a good thing I went! I'm already having side effects which I will adress with my radiation oncologist today. Keep your head up and don't give up!

      over 3 years ago

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