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Thread: Diving after chemotherapy

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    RBW Member seaturtle is an unknown quantity at this point seaturtle's Avatar
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    Diving after chemotherapy

    Hi all,
    I've recently completed chemotherapy treatment for Hodgkin's Lymphoma.
    I was diagnosed with stage Ia back in May and did four months (8 treatments) of ABVD.
    One of the chemo drugs administered was Bleomycin, which apparently has an adverse effect on lung function and their ability to deal with elevated levels of 02. I've read a few things on the internet about it, but honestly not much out there. At this point, I'm hoping to return to rebreather diving by next summer. I've done pulmonary tests before and after treatment with no change and even dropped the Bleo for the last two treatments. I'm looking for anyone that may have gone though similar treatment and hopefully returned to diving.
    Any input is much appreciated as diving is my profession.
    Thanks, Capt. Chuck Wade

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    RBW Member laphiloche is an unknown quantity at this point laphiloche's Avatar
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    Re: Diving after chemotherapy

    2 years ago i was diagnosed for a Lymphoma not Hodgkin.
    When i have a discussion with my doctor about diving, the only control i have his my hearth. In certain situation (rarely), the chemotherapy could attack the left part of the heath: No problem for me. When i back home, i look if they use the same drug for the chimio.
    Cheers
    Philippe

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    RBW Member dreamdive has disabled reputation dreamdive's Avatar
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    Re: Diving after chemotherapy

    Another consideration is if you get Bleomycin or a drug like that, as it has been associated with pulmonary toxicity with increased oxygen.

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    RBW Member LeCrabe is an unknown quantity at this point LeCrabe's Avatar
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    Re: Diving after chemotherapy

    Quote Originally Posted by seaturtle  View Original Post
    Hi all,
    I've recently completed chemotherapy treatment for Hodgkin's Lymphoma.
    I was diagnosed with stage Ia back in May and did four months (8 treatments) of ABVD.
    One of the chemo drugs administered was Bleomycin, which apparently has an adverse effect on lung function and their ability to deal with elevated levels of 02. I've read a few things on the internet about it, but honestly not much out there. At this point, I'm hoping to return to rebreather diving by next summer. I've done pulmonary tests before and after treatment with no change and even dropped the Bleo for the last two treatments. I'm looking for anyone that may have gone though similar treatment and hopefully returned to diving.
    Any input is much appreciated as diving is my profession.
    Thanks, Capt. Chuck Wade
    Hi,
    First of all congrats to have completed your chemo!
    I would suggest you return to sport gradually. Use the winter to get back in shape.
    I believe bleomycin should be washed out by now.
    Nevertheless why not to do an effort test at a sport physician in spring to make sure (if only for your peace of mind...
    take great care of yourself and dive safe

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    RBW Member LeCrabe is an unknown quantity at this point LeCrabe's Avatar
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    Re: Diving after chemotherapy

    Quote Originally Posted by dreamdive  View Original Post
    Another consideration is if you get Bleomycin or a drug like that, as it has been associated with pulmonary toxicity with increased oxygen.
    Correct me if I am wrong but I think the tox effect is accute not long term?
    interesting discussion

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    Dive addict taliena is an unknown quantity at this point taliena's Avatar
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    Re: Diving after chemotherapy

    Sadly I have a friend and divemate that has now chemo with bleomycin too. He is told that he normally can return diving in summer again (needs 3 treatments, different type of cancer). In the past they said with bleomycin that you never could go diving again because of the existing sensitiveness on oxygen, but nowadays the doses given of bleomycin is lower without affecting the chances to heal and in most cases diving is possible again without any limitations. I believe they advise some tests after the chemo to make sure that diving is ok. Hope you will be lucky to dive again. I can only say go for it and don't accept 'we don't know, so better not' advices.
    Last edited by taliena; 21st November 2014 at 08:11.

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    RBW Member laphiloche is an unknown quantity at this point laphiloche's Avatar
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    Re: Diving after chemotherapy

    In my case they used R-CHOP 21.
    I have no indication if they used Bleomycin in the cocktail.
    Sorry to can't help you.

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    RBW Member laphiloche is an unknown quantity at this point laphiloche's Avatar
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    Re: Diving after chemotherapy

    Quote Originally Posted by taliena  View Original Post
    I can only say go for it and don't accept 'we don't know, so better not' advices.
    Totaly agree with that.

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    RBW Member Blazer383 is an unknown quantity at this point Blazer383's Avatar
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    Re: Diving after chemotherapy

    In October of 2006 at age 47 I was diagnosed with stage 2 Hodgkin's Lymphoma. I was treated with ABVD for four months followed by 1 month of radiation. I don't remember how far along I was when I told the doctor that my lungs hurt when I took a deep breath. They felt just like when you take a deep breath on a smoggy day in L.A. He stopped the Bleomycin at that point. I recall being easily winded during and for a while after the treatment ended.
    My first dive after treatment was in June of 2007 at a quarry. I was diving open circuit back then. The first few trips I was really nervous because of what I had read about effects of Bleomycin. With in a month I was making short deco dives. I always used 50% for my deco gas. In September of 2010 I bought a rebreather and I haven't had any problems diving with that. In my case the chemo has not prevented me from diving. Safe diving.
    Alan

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    RBW Member seaturtle is an unknown quantity at this point seaturtle's Avatar
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    Re: Diving after chemotherapy

    Quote Originally Posted by Blazer383  View Original Post
    In October of 2006 at age 47 I was diagnosed with stage 2 Hodgkin's Lymphoma. I was treated with ABVD for four months followed by 1 month of radiation. I don't remember how far along I was when I told the doctor that my lungs hurt when I took a deep breath. They felt just like when you take a deep breath on a smoggy day in L.A. He stopped the Bleomycin at that point. I recall being easily winded during and for a while after the treatment ended.
    My first dive after treatment was in June of 2007 at a quarry. I was diving open circuit back then. The first few trips I was really nervous because of what I had read about effects of Bleomycin. With in a month I was making short deco dives. I always used 50% for my deco gas. In September of 2010 I bought a rebreather and I haven't had any problems diving with that. In my case the chemo has not prevented me from diving. Safe diving.
    Alan
    That's very encouraging news.
    Thank you!

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