How many times can one go through chemo?

It seems like my cancer likes me a lot and has decided to pay another visit. Is there a limit to how much chemo one little body can take? How many times is ovarian cancer known to return? And how can we make it go away forever?

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21 replies. Join the discussion

Last week I had my 72nd infusion in 6 1/2 years. Lost count of reoccurances-LOL

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5 recurrences...and still here...For every day of no pain, no chemo, hair loss/regrowing...it seems worth it. Don't ask the same question on a sick, bald, yukkkkkkk day... but, the gain is worth the pain ...sort of, now....hang in there, appreciate EVERYTHING that makes you feel good NOW....don't leave a trace of what doesn't, when you can. Accept, seize the sunshine, ride the waves...not always easy..but TRY!

Tomorrow...post again, there are so many gals going through this..and they'll be able to help. God Bless dear friend.

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Debipar,
glad you asked the question. I have just started my 3rd treatment in just over 2years. I am BRCA2+ so should according to recent research have good remisions!?! However I am lucky that carbo works so well for me, I get about 6 months free, however this time I am only having carbo so fingers crossed, I like to remember Greg's post that carbo alone works as an akalytor, good for BRCA+

I wish you all the best and hope you have a really good response, keep us posted.

Madge,
love your advice, thank you.

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I think the answers to these questions varies from person to person. we ourselves maynot be knowing
until we go through it. Wish to see you in remission earlier and forever

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I love your post and some positive replies. I wondered the same since I'm on 2nd line and will have 3rd surgery. Wait for the rise- cause they say stage4 with nueroendocrine ( which I still don't fully understand still) doesn't plateau. If it's ready- my next "round of cocktails" will be doxil. After that- another surgery-
We should be given a frequent flier card for the OR. LOL
Anyway- be well and thanks for posting the same question I was wondering :)
Dolores

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Love all the humor that goes along with our stories. I have had 4 lines plus a trial. I am now on Avastin alone for a rest and due to slower growth. I am platinum resistant, so no more carbo, at least for now. I, too, start forgetting how many "rounds" of the wonderful poisons that have been put in my body. however, I AM STILL HERE. Let's keep chins up and keep up the humor. I love it. We need to laugh.

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On my 4th recurrence since dx 3c in June 2004. I went 3 1/2 years before my first recurrence. Have had 30 taxol infusions, 20 carbo, am currently on cisplatin/gemzar so have had 3 cisplatin and 6 gemzar. Hadn't really kept track so I had to think back and add them all up! I have had good responses to all treatments (Ca 125 is a good marker for me), but cannot seem to get past 6 months NED with the recurrences. My sites are too small for surgery. But I'm still here and as long as I continue to respond I plan to stay! So live your life and keep fighting!

Good luck
Gale

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I have friends who have been on chemo since 2002 and 2003 with very few breaks. They continue to lead active lives. People can continue on chemo for many years until they have trouble finding drugs that work and trouble keeping their blood counts up.

I was diagnosed stage IIIc in May, 1987. I had 2 surgeries and 2 1/2 years of chemotherapy including a recurrence in 1993 but I have needed no treatment since March, 1994.

I hope this gives you encouragement.
Helen

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I've had 2 recurrances since feb 2005. Just finished a 2 year long treatment of Doxil once a month. Still feeling great. Hang in there

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What warriors we are! Just the answere we gave make me realize what a tricky question this is to answer. I've had 32 chemo sessions, but since most were combos of drugs, I've had 30 infusions of cisplatin (carbo), 6 of taxol, 24 of taxotere, and 26 of Avastin. I also had 6 weeks of Arimidex. Then we get into the varying dosages....

At my first support group meeting, I sat between 2 ladies who'd each had more than 200 infusions.

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This all made me start counting up mine, I'm a relative newcomer. Stage IV xyz or whatever!!! 8 carbo/taxol, 7 month remission, 8 cysplatin/gemzar/avastin, then three months of avastin until it wasn't working anymore. I start Topocatan next Tuesday. Anyone had that and how did you feel?? I still have a life!! I can get out of bed and do things although not quite as much. I developed a herneated disk in my back from laying on lung catheters for eight months, so I am dealing with that, but I still can see my children and grandchildren and fit in a movie and paint and sew and play. How grateful I am to be alive!! Hang in there and grab the sunshine moments and make happy memories! Hugs, Charlene

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I'm in my 5th year now, 9 different protocols, two of which have been carbo/taxol which works the best for me. Am finishing up Avastin next month and then will see what's up with a CAT scan. Doc does not want to operate on the two tumors he knows I have at this point as the risk is greater than the side effects of treatment. I had second opinion at Dana Farber in Boston and they agreed. I'm treatable, stable and chronic. I'll take it!
By the way, I blamed my muscle aches on the Avastin but come to find out the statin I take for cholestero and the amlopidine I take for blood pressure can cause muscle aches. I was told to stop the statin and within two days, my muscle aches have decreased immensely....almost nil.

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I salute each and everyone of you. I have gone through one round of six and have sworn never to do it again; well, of course for me chemo was worse than the tumor, side effects....So, if you ask me, I have decided to not do any more rounds of chemo if cancer decides to pay me another visit. But then again, I will only know for sure if and when.
How do you guys do it over and over again? I hope you are all doing great and hope that one day I might have your strength. Go warriors! There is a huge campaign going on here in Mexico called "Pink Power" I think there should be one also: "Teal Power"

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its now my 3rd recurrance started july 2007 .been on chemo. off and on i stop counting how many chemos. i been on . now ihave been on this chemo. topotcean since feb. but now my ca125 have Gone up so wed i will find out about my ctscan and go from there

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I am back in remission after my second recurrence in less than four years. Besides surgery and chemo I also had 15 radiation treatments. How does one handle chemo over and over? For me, it is worth fighting for life. I have a husband, children and grandchildren and want squeeze every single moment I can. Essentially, you do what you have to do.

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OMG! What a group of real supporters! You are the ONLY ones who give me hope and make me feel so much more optimisitc about all of this SH...T! I'll keep you posted- today is my CT and then we'll know more... THANKS- I send a MASSIVE hug to all of you fantastic super women out there!

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I hope you'll hear from Kibbie. She's been at it for nearly 20 years and I can't even recall how many treatments and surgeries. Just remember, it ain't over until it's over!

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I am about to begin my third round of treatment. In 2010 had 9 treatments of Carbo/Taxol, then 9 treatments of Cist/Taxol. (my platelets didn't like carbo) This year I have had 6 treatments of Cist, 12 treatments of Cist/Gemzar/Avastin. The next chemo will be Cist/Taxol & Avastin. Not yet exactly sure of the sequence, meeting with Onc this week to get more specifics

Keep your chin up and keep fighting!!

God Bless you!!!

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My docs just told me that they wont run out of chemo tricks to try. Thats what allows ovca to be considered chronic unlike many other cancers. That the the equation depends more on how much our marrow can endure and the cancer staying responsive to some concoction. Right now the docs are trying to figure out my next chemo recipe.

Now the question is, how do we protect our marrow?
And are we eligible for bone marrow transplant if needed?

One doc suggests that I get only single agent chemo to preserve the marrow. Feedback?

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Just reading these stories gives me courage! And I have been thru 11 different combos in past 7 1/2 years. No remission, just little breaks for rest or surgery. And I've done quite well. As Madge said, "Don't ask this question on a tough day." I think I will know when to stop but for now I'm aiming to live as long as Kibbie has! Best wishes. Mary

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