Chemoradiation

My treatment starts on 4th Jan. On the Wednesday of each week I will be having my chemo. Stupidly, I didn’t realise that I would be having them both on the same day. I thought I’d have radiotherapy mon,tue, Thurs and Fri and chemo on the weds.
Anyway, now I get that I have both. I think I’ve been told there needs to be a 4 hour gap between the treatments. Is that right?
If so that’s basically a full day at the hospital is it because I’ve been told that the chemo takes about 4 hours to administer.
Am I in a room on my own during the chemo? I’ve seen pics on facebook where a few people are sat together attached to drips. Is that what it’s like? Or is that hospitals in America?

I had chemo and radiotherapy on the same day, I went straight to radiotherapy after chemo, there was no mention of a 4 hour gap. My appointment started about 10 in the morning and I was usually finished by 4.

I was in a room with other people which was good because you make friends and you’re all going through the same and I found it really helped me talking to others.

Thanks again mel x 

I don't know where I got the 4 hour gap idea from.

Losing my mind. 

Glad I won't be sat in a room on my own for 4 hours x 

Hi Philleepa,

Yep, same here in Greece, all day at hospital, chemo first in a room with all the other chemo patients followed by a quick blast in the radiotherapy suite. There was one occasion that I actually ran from one to the other.

Be lucky :-)
Tivoli

Thanks tivoli  x no 4 hour gap then? 

Is chemo 4 hour long or is it different for everyone 

Yes mine was about 4 hours. The first 2 hours was a fluid going in, I was told this was to protect your body, then the chemo would go in for an hour and finally the last hour would be another lot of fluid.

Mel x

Just as Mel says, a lot of it is solution to flush your system to avoid the Cisplatin from causing kidney damage. On one occasion when my drip was going stupidly slowly and I really wanted to get out of there I asked if I could just drink a litre of water and was allowed to do that.

Be lucky :-)
Tivoli

Hi, I use to be at the hospital all day when I had my chemo and radiotherapy it was a pain! I have advanced CC so my treatment was longer than 4 hours cus I had to have something else too I can't remember what it was. I would finish my chemo then go down stairs for my radiotherapy and I think I waited an hour between cus you have to have a full bladder and all the fluids I had with the chemo made me go wee every 5 minutes litrally!!

Your sat on a huge ward and there is loads of chairs and people come in and out for there appointments it's not as bad as it looks as I was so scared when I first saw the ward. I would take someone with me (apparently I couldn't do things on my own!) And magazines to keep me occupied as it's so boring! One of the injections I would have think it was steroids use to make me so sleepy I use to fall asleep - which they don't mind - the chairs recline back so I would take off my shoes and put my feet up :-).

The nurses I had were lovely too - you also get a sandwich if your there around dinner time - I would take my own some times and snacks :-)

I hope you go on ok xx

Thanks carmel. I was wondering about the food situation.  

Does everyone need to take someone with? I was planning on being dropped off and picked up. I like being on my own!

Carmel, we're you stage 4b? I'm stage 4a and am not getting anything like the amount of treatment you had. I have been reassured but it does worry me still.

IM glad to hear you are feeling better than you were. You have had such a rough ride. X 

Final question for now - is it just the chemo days that you need to drink such a lot? I'm sick of bring on the toilet now (I drink about 4 pints water a day ).

Just got home from a tour of the chemo ward. Tbh I would rather not have gone but.......... I thought I was going for bloods etc. Hey ho

Anyway, I will be on the drip for 3 hours or so. An hour of chemo then two hours of fluid. The nurse said it'll probably tske 4 hours altogether.  I will be having radiotherapy first and then I will need to hang around for about 4 hours before I start my chemo. I don't know why I'm different to everyone else but like we keep saying, we are all unique.  The travelling is going to be a nightmare cos it's bang slap rush hour and we need to get my little one to school. I think I'll have to ask for lifts. Bit of a pain really but people say they want to help so I'll ask. 

The chemo ward does look horrible. A bit like the hospitals in the war torn areas where there are just people being treated wherever there's a space. I'm sure I won't feel that way once I've been there for the first session. I'm hopefully only there 4 times as well.

I don't have to have anyone with me which is good and I'll be given soup and a sandwich if I fancy it. 

Am keen to get started now. Sooner it starts,  the sooner it finishes  x 

Hi Philleepa :-)

I have to say I thought the chemo ward looked off-putting the first time I saw one but once you are hooked up you'll find it's really comfy. It's interesting to hear that you are being done the opposite way around to everyone else, it sounds as though your hospital is very pioneering. It may be very different in UK but here I used to turn up at the hospital at about 8am and join the queue for chemo. First I had to wait to be called for a blood test which was to check I was strong enough to receive the therapy that day. Then there was some sitting around waiting for the results to come back from the lab. After that I had to wait to be called by the oncologist who would assess my blood test results and give me my anti-nausea pills. Then I would sit around waiting to be called for the treatment. I used to take sandwiches in but was not allowed to eat them in the chemo suite for fear of causing others to puke. After four or so hours of chemo I would go round to radiotherapy and be seen pretty quickly there. I was normally out of the hospital around about 4:30, so it was an 8 - 9 hour day at the hospital that way around as well. Perhaps your four hour wait between treatments is for the blood tests etc.

You'll know in a couple of days :-)
Be lucky
xxxxx
Tivoli

No you can go on your own I did some times - it was my family that insisted I couldn't be alone it drove me nuts! They say to keep your fluids up as the chemo can cause issues with your kidneys hence the blood tests to check kidney function.

I don't know the grade I was just told advanced and I didn't ask anything more I just wanted to get on with the fight and get it over and done with.

The treatment depends on how far the cancer has gone and what your doctor thinks will work best I think - it's catered to each individual. My cancer had spread to my lymph nodes and part of my kidney tube which is possibly why I had more than what your getting. My chemo was every 3 weeks also not daily/weekly - I had 2 extra sessions whilst having radio and it made me so poorly as I had already had 5 sessions and I was poorly throughout that.

Just be aware that your treatment plan can change as mine did.

Keep us updated x

Thanks for the reply. Yes I'll know on weds hopefully.  I think I have blood tests first thing (8.30am) then have my radiotherapy then the appointment time for my chemo is 1.3pm 

I've arranged for .y friend to collect me on the Wednesdaysas it is a good night for her and she wants to help. I know my friends feel useless so this is a good way for them to feel involved. 

I think the hospital is a teaching hospital. 

I'm sure I'll be posting a LOT over the next few weeks. 

Thanks for being my psychiatrist  x 

Thanks carmel.  I find your advice really helpful  x 

Your very welcome I'm glad I can be of help :-) sometimes I ramble so I do apologise lol!

My hospital is a teaching hospital but all the nurses on the wards are professional and no "beginners" not that I dealt with anyway (they will always have a nurse with them if they are). 

That's strange that your having your bloods the morning of your treatment as I had to have mine done the day before, I don't know if this is because I had a low count of something in my blood - for the life of me I can't remember what it is! I think it is also because I had to have stents in my kidneys to my bladder cus of the cancer growth and they were checking my kidney function.

I really don't understand the 4 hour wait maybe it's because your having your radiotherapy 1st as I was the other way around. I would plan to be there all day as my treatment starred at 9am and on the 1st session I finished at 8pm...The earliest I finished was about 6pm I think so it can be a long very boring day!

The good news is that the nurses are lovely!

Good luck x

Thanks again carmel. Nothing is ever straightforward with me so I guess I'll just have to take everything as it comes. I'll be there every day now for 4 weeks so they may take my blood the day before the chemo. 

You're not in the Manchester teaching hospital are you?

No I'm in Stoke on Trent north staffs.

its annoying being there but once its all over the relief is amazing lol!

i wish I did all mine in 4 weeks! I started treatment in March and finished in October 

This week I'm having bloods on the Tuesday morning instead of the same day as chemo (Wednesday )