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R + CHOP chemotherapy for non-Hodgkin Lymphoma cancer: What side effects did you experience and how you did you manage them?

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Please share any advice or tips you would give to someone starting R + CHOP chemotherapy including any side effects and how you managed them. We’ve found that this information is some of the most helpful when starting a new chemotherapy regimen. Thanks in advance for your help.

  • Post #1
  • Wed Oct 10, 2012
I'm bendeschaadsthinkingagain, and I'm a healthcare professional

I received 6 TX of R-CHOP. Takes about 4-5 hours every 2 weeks. Nurses were very effecient and comforting. Due to long period of 5 hr. a lunch from cafeteria was provided. The predisone was useful in giving me a ‘boost’ after each TX, however, once the prednsone wore off (about 3-5 days later I ‘crashed.’ Very tired, lethargic (doc provided small dose of ritalin daily for energy—very helpful), nausea (doc provided zofran which worked), muscle and bone pain-aches(doc provided pain meds which helped a little). Developed ‘chemo-fog’ i.e. forgetful, difficulty concentrating (nothing for this but it finally cleared after TX). Very low white blood count developed which left me open to infections (doc gave me a shot of neupogen)(avoided crowds, people with infections lot of had sanitizer…missed numerous family gatherings). Had pneumonia once and, mild cardiac toxicity (both cleared after TX completed). Heavy chills and ‘shakes’ came with TX (nothing for this except blankets). Extreme shortness of breath (cleared after TX). Could not continue working my job ( I retired). I did not lose weight as the predisone actually caused a weight gain. I was what the doctor called “an early responder” which is good. Had to budget my daily task and place myself first. I lost all of my hair (it grew back as before). Appetite was so-so with some foods tasting different and other foods causing me to vomit just from the smell. Had some mouth sores(used Biotene which helped a little). Drank lots of fluids i.e. water, gatorade etc. Wore a mask wherever I went and limited person to person contact to very brief encounters (majority of cancer pts. die from infection). I prayed and used visualization-meditation ( I had never meditated before). I will be 5 yr. cancer free November this yr. I am 63 yr of age this week. Recovery is long and takes a lot of work. Being a nurse I was not shy about asking for medications….ths is your life and your disease….claim it…own it….beat it.
You can access my journey at bendeschaadsthinking again as I kept a journal. Keep a copy of all lab work, x-rays etc as you may see other doctors. Get a second opinion.
Hope this is useful information.
Aaron

  • Post #2
  • Mon Oct 22, 2012
Check out my story at jodiesjourney.com - I have battled NHL twice, dealt with medical negligence and a disability, whilst raising a disabled daughter. Strength is my middle name!!

Life is hard with cancer, keep fighting and searching and advocating for yourself, during this journey. Take your lemons and make lemonade – show the world you can kick it
From Jodie @ www.jodiesjourney.com & www.consumerconsultation.com

Hello to those reading this and are looking for info on R-CHOP Chemotherapy Regimen – you can read about my experiences through 63 doses of various cancer treatments for (Folicular) Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, Low Grade on my site above: www.jodiesjourney.com AND you can talk to other patients who have experienced difficult waters @ www.consumerconsultation.com

All the treatments I have so far endured are here:

Jodies treatment list of Chemotherapies & related drugs

GY = Grey (Measured/metered radiation).
CVP = C: Cytoxan – V: Vincristine – P: Prednisone.
CHOP = C: Cyclophosphamide – H: Doxorubicin – O: Vincristine – P: Prednisone.
R = Mabthera (Ritixamab).
MTX = Methotrexate.
F = Fludarabine. CYT = Cytarabine.

INITIAL DISEASE DISCOVERED/DIAGNOSIS – SEPTEMBER/2006.
RADIATION ONCOLOGY

10 dosages of measured GY radiation to large tumour pressing on Sciatic Nerve

CHEMOTHERAPIES AND RELATED DRUGS

2 x CVP (6 treatment dosages chemo & related).

2 x R (2 treatment dosages B-cell monoclonal antibody).

4 x CHOP (16 treatment dosages chemo & related).

4 x R (4 treatment dosages B-cell monoclonal antibody).

2 x R (2 treatment dosages B-cell monoclonal antibody).

REMISSION ACHIEVED – MARCH/2007.

1 x C massive dosage (1 Prep/Stem Cell Harvest).

6 x R (6 maintenance dosages B-cell monoclonal antibody).

RELAPSE – DISEASE S1 (SCIATIC NERVE) IDENTIFIED – AUGUST/2008.

5 x R (5 treatment dosages B-cell monoclonal antibody).

5 x MTX (5 Lumbar Puncture treatment chemo & related).

(2 ADDITIONAL LPs TO HARVEST CSF)

3 x F (3 treatment chemo & related).

DISEASE REDUCED IN S1 (SCIATIC NERVE) STATUS: STABLE – JUNE/2009.

Suspected RELAPSE – DISEASE S1 (SCIATIC NERVE) IDENTIFIED – MAY/2010.

1 x CYT (1 Lumbar Puncture treatment chemo & related).

1 x MTX (1 Lumbar Puncture treatment chemo & related).

(1 ADDITIONAL LP TO HARVEST CSF)

1 x MTX (1 Lumbar Puncture treatment chemo & related)

(Suspected relapse turned out to be progressive scarring to the S1 due to post radiotherapy/disease).

As a result, Jodie’s R leg is currently becoming weaker with dropfoot & muscle atrophy, however she uses a cane and a Leaf-Spring ATO splint for foot & leg support.

Total:63 dosages of treatment.

PLUS: (lots of blood product) – (at least) 6 bags of Blood, 2 bags of Platelets and 14 infusions of Plasma Octogam.

  • Post #3
  • Tue Nov 20, 2012
Hi, I'm Mary Ellen

I finished with RCHOP in June, 2012. I am in remission or as I like to say, I am healed. I was very fortunate and the biggest side effect I experienced was fatigue and low blood cell counts. I think a lot of it is what you ar willing to accept. I decided in the beginning that I was not going to miss my kids events or stop working. I am very thankful.

  • Post #4
  • Sat Jan 5, 2013
I'm bendeschaadsthinkingagain, and I'm a healthcare professional

Very, very glad for you Mary Ellen. R-Chop is no picnic especially if combined with radiation and surgery. I have been in remission (CA free) 5 yr. now, since November 7 2012 was 5th yr. I too am so very thankful and blessed. Have a good day.
Bendeschaad

  • Post #5
  • Tue Jan 15, 2013
I'm bendeschaadsthinkingagain, and I'm a healthcare professional

Jodie, how are you doing? You are correct ‘life can be hard’….hang in there…what else can one CA survivor say to another. You are being put through the grinder. Keep fighting!
Bendeschaad
bendeschaadsthinkingagain.blogspot/com

  • Post #6
  • Tue Jan 15, 2013
Hi, I'm John R J.

I was 79 when I had the standard 6 sessions of RCHOP, three weeks apart. I am now 2 years in remission. I was fortunate in having few side effects compared to what I’ve read about other people. I had good appetite, even though food was tasteless for a week after each session and also had dry mouth in the middle of the night, for which biotene was very helpful. I had pretty good energy, no sleep or memory problems. I started hair loss after session 3 and was bald by end of session 6, but it all grew back after about 2 months.
But then my feet and ankles suddenly became swollen. I tried acupuncture without luck, wore compression socks, took diuretics, but nothing helped. This lasted at least 2 months. it was not painful but very worrisome. Eventually around the third month the swelling finally stopped.

  • Post #7
  • Sun Jun 17, 2018
Hi, I'm Cozy

I had a mass to my sacral area affecting my S1&2 area also
Numerous bone biopsies that only one was questionable for B cells
A lot of back pain over 5 months as the lab could not identify type of cancer. My MRI identified I had metastasized into both hips and muscle.
After 5 months of knowing that I could die I asked for a second opinion to go to Rush in Chicago, they reviewed slides from where all the bone biopsies were done and in 4 days diagnosed me with Diffuse Large B cell lymphoma.
I had 10 radiation treatment to the mass which helped the pain 75%
I started Rchop for6 treatments. I crashed after a week and required hospitalization after.
I received 6 spinal injections of Methotrexate.
I have been in remission 14 months.
Due to it affecting my spine I have severe neuropathy in both legs
I had to have my L3 4 5 and sacrum held together with titanium rods and screws this March.
My nerve pain has been ongoing since Sept 2017.
It never goes away despite gabapentin, prescription topical creams
Will see a neurologist this week
Residual symptoms from cancer, tearing from eyes, cold sensitivity of teeth, taste lost, nerve pain,
Loads of physical therapy to learn how to walk again.
If anyone has had these symptoms I’d be curious as to how long they lasted.
Thanks and God bless and stay strong in the fight

  • Post #8
  • Sun Oct 20, 2019
Hi, I'm Bill_C

In Sept 2010 I was diagnosed as having Diffuse B Cell Lymphoma after suffering back pain for a few months. By that time the pain was intense enough that my oncologist prescribed oxycodone to relieve it. My first treatment of R-CHOP was administered early in November. My condition was stage III. The back pain went away very soon after the first treatment, the cancer did not show up on a scan after the third treatment but the doctor said we had to finish the course of six treatments. The first three made me feel much better, the last three caused me to feel worse not to mention complete hair loss which didn’t really bother me because I was still alive.
What did bother me a lot is that my cancer returned within two months after my sixth treatment. My immune system had been lowered by the drugs to the point that the cancer could gain foothold again. The short story of all this is that I started an alkaline diet afterward and I’m still alive 9 years later, but I’m also on a low strength anti cancer pill (Revlimid) after having a lymph node swell on my neck earlier this year. My point is that I would not advise R-CHOP to anyone because it’s a group of five drugs that’s overkill in my opinion. Neither would I do the stem cell transplant that was offered to me in 2011. There are now better and safer choices. Take a safe drug and go on an alkaline diet. Read about how that works.

  • Post #9
  • Tue Oct 22, 2019
Hi, I'm Albert S.

Hello to all and my name is Al and I am 73 years old. In 1998, I was diagnosed with Non Hodgkins lymphoma which appeared as a lump on my tongue and which was confined to that area. I was scheduled for 4 sessions of R-CHOPS and radiation to follow. After the first chemo session, the tumor was practically gone and by # 3 it had completely disappeared. My oncologist told me he was not going to administer dose #4 because of the amazing results and that he wanted to begin radiation therapy as a safety net to prevent a reoccurence. He scheduled me and I completed/endured 26 treatments. In retrospect, I wish I had refused the radiation. I lost most all my teeth, a lot of my sense of taste and have had chronic dry mouth. Now 20+years later, I find myself relapsed having a tumor appear on my left underarm. I will be having my first consultation this week and I am having a difficult time accepting what is before me. I do not that I will not do radiation therapy anywhere near my head or neck. I am grateful for 20 years of being cancer free and I can only hope and pray that I can achieve it again if for only a few more years.

  • Post #10
  • Mon Nov 4, 2019

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