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i am about to start chemotherapy- Carboplatin/Etoposide.

 Know everyone is different, but what are your experiences and any tips! 

Also, read different things about hair loss (though least of my worries), but want to prepare the children. 

thank you 


  • Hi  I have a completely different type of cancer from yours, I have not had Carboplatin but have had Etoposide (LINK) as part of my R-EPOCH back in late 2013 to April 2014.

    I had 6 cycles over 5 nights/6 nights on my 2 IV pumps 24/7 for over 120hrs...... so I had over 750 hrs of this as well as the other drugs and honestly I did ok..... yes my hair was like snow on a warm day but a small price to pay.

    You may want to post your question in the Head and neck cancer group to widen your search.....

    Nausea may be a challenge, in but remember you must not to suffer in silence as there are lots of tools available - but your team need to know how you are getting on as at times it is trial and error to get the right one. I was only sick once during my 750+ hrs of main chemo but this was down to a bad food choice.

    Fatigue may well build up over time so take each day as it comes but at the same time keep some activity going as this does actually help overcome some of the fatigue..... the less you do the longer the recovery.

    There is a real risk of infection so care needs to be taken to control infection contacts. Generally it takes about 48 to 72 hours for the body to break down and/or get rid of most chemo drugs. But the effects of the chemo on growth areas and your general immune system will last for weeks and is important to remember that you may well be more open to infections at about days 7-14 as this tends to be the window when our immune system is at its lowest……. then the body recovers in time for your next cycle….. but the more chemo you have the longer the recovery can take so by the end of treatment it could take a few months this to recover completely.

    I was given this simple rule for keeping eye on infections…… If my temperature is 37.5°C, repeat in one hour. If my temperature has increased, whether I feel unwell or not, I must contact the hospital.

    I would also highlight the importance of drinking lots of water (the aim is 2 litres every day) as this will flush out all the toxins released by the chemo, protects the kidneys and keeps him well hydrated.

    It is VERY important to have accurate contact information/names/numbers for reporting in issues especially during out of hours and weekends.

    All the very best.

    Mike (Thehighlander)

    It always seems impossible until its done - Nelson Mandela

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