Sunday, 1 December 2013


Hello everyone,

We are sure many of us have heard about 'chemotherapy' before. Due to increased number of cancer patients; this treatment has becoming more popular and familiar, hasn't it?

So that everybody will be on the same page, we will briefly explain about this treatment.
"Chemotherapy is the treatment of disease by the use of chemical substances, especially the treatment of cancer by cytotoxic and other drugs"

There are two ways of giving chemotherapy. Depending on the type of cancer, chemotherapy may be administered orally or intravenously (directly into the vein).
  • Oral chemotherapy (swallowing tablets)
    These will be in the form of tablets. If the patient's health allows it he/she will be able to take them at home. However, regular hospital visits will still be needed to check on the patient's health and response to treatment.
    It is vital that the tablets be taken exactly when specified. If the patient forgets to take one at a specific time he/she should call the medical team immediately.

  • Intravenous chemotherapy @ IV (straight into the vein)
    Intravenous chemotherapy may be given as:
    • An injection straight into a vein.
    • Through a drip (intravenous infusion).
    • Through a drip or pump.
    • Through a pump that the patient wears for several weeks or months. This is called continuous infusion, protracted venous infusion, or ambulant infusion (meaning the patient can walk about while receiving the medication).
There are many types of cytotoxic drugs used to treat different cancer types. One drug might be useful for MFH, but not for lymphoma (another type of cancer); and vice versa.
It is VERY IMPORTANT for the cancer patient (and the caretaker of course), to get to know about the drug(s) to be used for the treatment and also the side-effects.

Below are some information related to hubby's chemotherapy:

Used drugs:
Epirubicin + Ifosfamide

Final dosage: 
Day 1 --> 500ml Epirubicin + 1000ml Ifosfamide
Day 2 --> 500ml Epirubicin + 1000ml Ifosfamide
Day 3 --> 1000ml Ifosfamide

Additional medicines:
Nexium (gastric)
Maxolone (anti vomit #1)
Emend-Aprepitant (anti vomit #2)
Synflex (control of tumor fever)
Lactulose (anti constipation)
Difflam (gargle for sore throat)
Anti vomit #3 *cannot remember the name
Mesna (to avoid internal bleeding)

IV using chemoport.
**During the first 2 cycles, chemo was done via IV drip on either hubby's right or left hand. It was a total nightmare for him. There is still side effect up to now. 

Snapshot taken: 01st Dec 2013

Can you see lines in between of his hand's bones? The veins are blue black since early of Mar'13. It was worst back then.

How does a chemo port look like?
Chemo port is inserted on top of hubby's right chest. It was implanted under the skin. 

Image of standard chemo port location:

Hubby's chemo port

OK, that's all for now. We will be sharing hubby's chemotherapy experience in our next posts.

Till then, take care peeps!!

Intan & Naim
Shah Alam