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How the treatment schedule works

Updated: Feb 5, 2019


Here's how my treatment schedule is organized...


Over a period of about 6 months, I will receive the chemotherapy drugs on a regular schedule. The 6 month period is made up of 8 cycles. A new cycle begins every 3 weeks, for a total treatment period of 24 weeks, which is close to 6 months.


Each of the 8 cycles is 3 weeks long, and each one begins with a heavy dose of the cancer-fighting drugs Cisplatin (Platinol) and Herceptin (Trastuzumab). Those 2 drugs are given to me intravenously in a one-day session at Arizona Oncology. I sit in a chair in a room full of other cancer patients and nurses for about 6 hours that first day while they pump those drugs into me, along with other fluids to help things go more smoothly. (For example, that first day I also receive steroids that last for 3 days and provide me with more energy, and they also lessen the perceived impact of the chemo drugs on my body.)


On that same first day of each of the 8 cycles, I also begin taking a chemo drug called Capecitabine (Xelado) in the form of a pill. I take 4 pills after breakfast, and 4 more after dinner. (Recently, in an effort to reduce side effects, Dr. Brooks has reduced my after-dinner pills to 3.) I continue taking those 7 or 8 pills everyday for 2 weeks. After that, I get a 1-week break where I'm not adding any chemo drugs to my system. That 3-week period completes 1 cycle. I will do that 8 times over the 24 week total treatment. After that, we will discuss the pros and cons of starting another 8 cycle session.