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BEP Chemo finished + CT scan results

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  • BEP Chemo finished + CT scan results

    Thought I would post an update on how my treatment went and say that this forum has been a great source of information while I have been treated for TC so I will post how mine went in hope that someone will find it useful for them.

    I was diagnosed in June with seminoma and my CT scan showed two enlarged lymph nodes 1: 24mm X 19mm and 2: 17mm X 5mm both near my kidney. I started BEP chemo in August and had my last bleomycin shot today, which means chemo is finally over!

    I know people have a tough time with BEP chemo which makes me feel bad to say this but I'm only being truthful, but BEP chemo for me wasn't all that bad and in general I found it quite easy (It's deffinatley not something I would like to experience again, it was very boring and in no way fun but in general I had quite an easy ride compared to some other experiences I have read), I must have been one of the lucky ones which I'm grateful for. For me the thought and anticipation of receiving chemotherapy was the worst part but once it started it was no way as bad I was expecting. The first cycle I found to be the worst due to not knowing what to expect and only ever suffered from nausea during the 3 day stay (each cycle) in hospital but that was always quickly resolved with the anti sickness form the nurses. I did find that anything I ate during my stay in hospital has completely put me off it and just thinking of said food makes me feel instantly sick (weird). Once I left the hospital I felt pretty good and the only side effects I got (apart the obvious one of losing my which didn't bother me because it grows back + I didn't really need to shave anymore which is a bonus) was chemo brain and a bit of tiredness but this was only minor and never left me in bed or sleeping longer than usual. This all cleared by day 10 of each cycle and then I was feeling completely normal again by day 15 which left me week at the end of each cycle feeling as good as I did pre chemo. I managed to exercise during each cycle from day 10 (running 3 miles per day until start of next cycle) which I felt really help relieve the fatigue and made me feel much better. I know this might not be what most peoples chemo experience is like but hopefully it helps other people anxious about starting chemo know that there is a chance that it may not be so bad for them.

    I had a CT scan on day 8 of cycle 3 to see the progress the chemo has made, here are the results:

    Lymph node reduced from 24mm X 19mm to > 14mm X 7mm (They told me this is quite normal and that they expect it to keep reducing over the next 6 months. 2nd Lymph node 17mm X 5mm is now not visible on the scan which means it has cleared already. Everything else cleared.

    Now onto surveillance for the next 5 years.

    Thanks to everyone who takes the time to post on this forum, it has made the whole process much easier and has gave me a lot of reassurance over the past few months.
    UK
    June 2012 - LEft I/O
    July 2012 - Seminoma 24mm
    June2012 CT - Two enlarged lymph nodes near kidney 24mm X 19mm and 17mm X 5mm, everything else clear.
    August 2012 - CT scan showed no changes.
    August 2012 - Started 3X BEP chemo.
    October 2012 - BEP chemo finished - CT scan: Larger lymph node reduced to 14mm X 7mm (expected to continue shrinking over next 6 months). Everything else clear.

  • #2
    Congrats! I am glad to see you're all clear. Keep up with the surveillance and put this in the books as a small bump in the road.
    09/12 - Right I/O - Embryonal (89%), Yolk sac (10%), Teratoma (1%) - 2.5 x 2.2 x 1.0 cm, LVI, X-rays & CT scans clean
    10/12 - Markers normalized, Surveillance
    11/12 - Rising Markers
    12/12 - Start 3xBEP

    Comment


    • #3
      Hi,

      I'd just like to say that I unfortunately had to have 3x BEP chemo over the summer (August - October) of 2012 (I had been on surveillance, but my tumour markers or LDH went up to around >1200 so got called in for a CT and had a large lymph node), and I really did not find the experience to be as bad as I had expected. After doing research online, I was expecting it to be far worse - there aren't enough people posting that it isn't so bad, and maybe people with extreme cases who suffer the worst are more likely to post and want to share their horrible experiences?

      I used to absolutely hate needles and hospitals and was dreading it, especially after reading some horror stories online and got myself a bit worked up (which is understandable I think when you find out you still have cancer). One account described throwing up blood, and all sorts of nightmarish descriptions which quite frankly scared the crap out of me! However, I did not throw up once, had a healthy appetite through out, slept and woke up normally and would have been happy to go into work if I worked a 9-5, but annoyingly I work offshore so working wasn't an option.

      The worse bits for me were hairloss (I'm not normally vain, but didn't like that) and just being in the chemo ward surrounded by lots of people who are extremely ill. This is a totally selfish thing to say, but in some ways I did not want to be on the same ward as people who were dying. Luckily for me, there was another TC patient diagnosed at the exact same time as me, so we kept each other entertained on the hospital days. I did have some side effects - tinnitus was the most noticeable one, and change in taste and I was more sensitive to heat/humidity and my skin would sometimes be a bit sensitive which was not normal for me. It just sucks having your life on standby for a while, and having to deal with this but you just have to remember that things will get better.

      At the time I was more concerned with long term side effects which I guess I have been quite unlucky with so far - I still have tinnitus, perhaps a bit of a numb left foot and sometimes get a bit of dry skin which I never used to have but I think the fertility test will be the next big thing. Not sure if it has messed about with my hormones a bit - had a blood test last week and waiting to hear...

      But yeah - advice to anyone about to start BEP is: 1) Don't stress too much, as there is no option - this will just be a couple of months of your life which don't quite go to plan 2) Eat as much as you can and go for walks and exercise if you feel up to it (like I said I never lost my appetite and think this really helped as the only time I'd feel a bit weak/sick was when I started getting really hungry) 3) Have friends visit you during your hospital days as it can be depressing, and try to focus on the people getting better 4) take your anti sickness pills if you feel crap, especially in hospital (although I didn't bother taking Domperidone while I was out of hospital, as I felt alright generally). 5) Just remember things will get better.

      I'm hoping more people who thought 'it sucked but was not as bad as they were expecting' will post, so less people in the future will read some of the horror stories online and get really worried like I did.

      Comment


      • #4
        I'm a newbie just heading into treatment, so I appreciate you guys sharing your experiences. Regarding exercise, I've been trying to project what I might be able to do (if anything) once I'm going through treatment - so, I was wondering if you found fatigue or nausea to be the bigger issue?

        Comment


        • #5
          Hi Jraw,

          Nausea seems to be controlled for most guys as long as they take the meds as a preventative measure, before feeling ill. Also, sometimes the anti-emetics need to be tweaked or changed to see what works best for you. For example, my son did not do well on Zofran, but Kytril worked wonders.

          To answer your question though.......from Austin's experience, as well as what I've read from others on this site over the past year or so, I would say fatigue is by far the bigger obstacle. Some guys gave reported being able to work out, where others had difficulty getting up the stairs. Also, fatigue seemed to be worse during certain periods in each cycle (days 3 or 4 it would start and last through days 8 or 9 as I recall). Oddly enough, although the effects are cumulative, for him Round 1 was the toughest!

          Hope things go as well as possible for you. Looking back, I agree, even though there were some tough days, the experience was not as bad as I feared, and I think Austin would agree.... although being only 16, I carried most of the worry and anxiety for him.

          Diane
          Cook/Maid/Chauffeur/ATM Machine/Personal Asst. to Austin

          12/07/11 I/O AFP: 291 hCG: 151
          12/08/11 CT Scan, Xrays - clear
          12/15/11 Non Seminoma Stage1-B
          EC, Teratoma, Yolk Sac, Intratubular
          4/21/12 Relapse- Start 3XBEP
          6/25/12 Finished BEP
          7/02/12 Markers and CT Scan normal
          10/3/12 3 month post-chemo check-up - All Clear!
          2/28/13 8 month post-chemo check-up - All Clear!
          6/30/13 ONE YEAR- ALL CLEAR!!
          2/14/14 20 month post-chemo check-up - All Clear!

          Comment

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