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The Rob Lowe Interview (Page 1 of 3)

An Interview with Rob Lowe

Gary Barg: You are working to inform people about the negative side effects of chemotherapy. With your Dad, the side effects threw your family for a loop. Nobody told you about it beforehand?

Rob Lowe: Cancer doesnít play favorites, and itís sort of the great equalizer. Anyone fighting cancer, or anyone living with or loving someone fighting canceróitís just the same for me as anybody else. We all want new information, we all want strength and hope. We were aware of hair loss, nausea, bloating, and all those things you usually associate with chemo, but we didnít know that infection is a very common side effect, and potentially a life-threatening one. Knowing would have made a big difference to us going in, because my dadís chemo was stopped when his count was down and heíd gotten an infection. Luckily, it wasnít as bad for him as it is for others. Some people have to go into the hospital. Some people have to be isolated from their families, and, unfortunately, some do die from it. So I wanted that word to get out because today, with new medicines, you can protect yourself right out the door for the most part.

Gary: I think our dads were diagnosed about the same time, í90, í91.; I remember infection was a problem. Theyíd have to stop his chemo and then you donít get the positive effects; you have to change your chemo again.

Rob: And they really didnít have the new medicines. Yes, thatís exactly what happened to my dad. As those things go, he was on the good luck side of it, but he thought he was dying when he came home and he couldnít have his chemo. Forget the logical mind; what he thought was, ďThey told me I canít have my chemo. Iím dying.Ē

Gary: What would you like families to know up front when cancer is an issue?

Rob: The number one thing is to take notes and ask questions going in. Doctors are amazing, and they saved my fatherís life, but remember they work for you. One thing to specifically ask is, ďAm I going to be at risk for infection, and if so, should I be treated for it before we begin?Ē Invariably, you leave the doctorís office, you drive a mile, and then you go, ďOh, I didnít ask aboutÖĒ And then you donít want to call, and when you do call, youíre on hold and you feel uncomfortable.

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