Friday, December 19, 2008

Chemotherapy ... the nuts and bolts of it.

This picture was taken on Tuesday by one of the nurses at the Cross Cancer Institute. I was getting chemotherapy.

So what is Chemotherapy ....

Chemotherapy is a drug used to treat cancer. What happens is that the body’s cells usually grow and divide in a controlled manner however; cancer cells grow and divide uncontrollably. It is like they go a bit crazy. What chemotherapy does is that it stops or slows down the multiplication of cancer cells and in some cases it destroys them.

The type of chemotherapy you get depends on the cancer you have. Some types of chemotherapy drugs are used for many types of cancer and other drugs are used for just one or two types of cancer. The treatment schedules for chemotherapy vary widely ... again depending on the type of cancer it is. For example, some cycles are once every 3 weeks, others can be 1 week of chemo and 3 weeks of rest.

Chemotherapy may be given in many ways. It can be given by injection, it can go directly into an artery that is feeding the cancer, it can go directly into the area that contains the organ that has the cancer, it can go directly into the vein, some can be a cream that you rub on your skin and some can be taken orally ... in a pill form or liquid form.

It is important to note, that cancers vary .... people are different, treatments are different and so are the side effects.

My chemotherapy is called Docetaxel (Taxotere) which is administered via a catheter into a vein in my chest area and my cycle is once every 3 weeks.

1 comment:

Renee said...

Daria, just want you to know that taxotere really helped me. It got rid of the cancer in my lungs and in my chestwall.

I had it weekly and it was not to bad at first (flu like symptoms and aches). Just after awhile and the longer I was on it, the effects lasted longer. I found it almost a depressant, so sometimes if you feel extra sad maybe it is the taxotere. I would take all the sadness again to have it out of my lungs though.

Take care and I am thinking of you.

Love Renee