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NOV 6 - encouragement needed

sueholm's picture
Posts: 221
Joined: Oct 2000

hi, i go for my first consultation with my oncologist today, and i will likely start chemo this week. i am filled with trepidation. are there some of you who did not find it too bad? i would love to hear from you. i just need to bleieve it won't be too bad, and then maybe it won't be. mind over matter. ok, bye for now, susan

Posts: 137
Joined: Aug 2000

Susan, getting the chemo is not bad. And remember, there are a lot of ladies who have absolutely no side effects. Having a lot of side effects does not mean that the drug is working better on you than on someone else. It's just that, a side effect. It is scary the first time you go for chemo. You don't know what to expect. I was very nervous. After the exam by the doc you go in this large room with recliners and TV sets. We even had a small refrigerator filled with juices, a coffee pot going, a bathroom and of course the nurses' station. Patients are in the recliners, and we were allowed to have our friends or family go in this room with us. There were magazines and books to read. There were VCRs with some movies available or you could bring your own. It really helped to pass the time of day and make it better. It was a friendly atmosphere. Of all the times I was getting chemo, only one time did a patient actually get sick while in the chair; and unfortunately, she was in the end-stage portion of her disease and died within a few days. You are first of all given your antiemetic, something to keep you from being nauseated, and it does not make you sleepy. Then you are given your drugs. I received a combination of 5-FU, Cytoxan and Adriamycin. They were given to me separately with the Adriamycin being given last as it was the lovely one I got to wear at all times and learned very quickly to hate. Hopefully you don't have to take that one. If you are going to be sick it doesn't happen right away, it's usually the next day or two or three after you are home where you are even more comfortable. Don't be afraid. Just remember, each drop of those drugs is killing your cancer cells. Believe me, it's worth every moment of discomfort in order to know YOU WON. Hang in there. We are all here for you and will continue to be so throughout your treatment and even after treatment. Love you. Jane

sueholm's picture
Posts: 221
Joined: Oct 2000

jane and tiger: thnk you so much for your encouragement. i am having cytoxan (cyclophosphamide) and adriamycin (doxorubicin) every three weeks, starting likely next week. there has to be one more heart test before they can start. the oncologist has ordered the path report be done again because she is not happy with a lack of clarity in the first to do with the nodes. she says she will add taxol if the second path report shows something about what was happening to the nodes(clumping together) so far, only four treatments are scheduled, followed by radiation, followed by tamoxifen. my tumour is grade 2 (on 1 to 3 scale they use here) and there is vascular invasion, which i understand is not a good thing. she was encouraged, re side effect, that i did not suffer morning sickness with 2 of my babies (did with the twins) and that i do not generally have a queasy stomach. I'm not going to get a wig. just scarves. have to go to work now, thank you again for your supprt. susan

Posts: 292
Joined: Oct 2000

Hi Sue, Tiger here, You are going to hear all kinds of different stories about chemo and its effects, but you have to take yours and see what happens, when I first started in Jan i had a combination on 5fu,doxarubicin,and cyclophosphamide. they warned me of all the possible side effects, but I had none of them, it worked on me for about the first three doses, I went from having six tumours on the liver to having only two, then they started to grow, so we switched chemo and now I am receiving Herceptin Taxol, and it is working!!!! There are so many different combos of chemos that if one does not work, another will, and there are back up plans too if conventional chemo does not work. Never fear,you will be fine, it is scary, but once you find out the stuff is working,you will be gung ho looking forward to your next session. I have been bald since Jan, and I figure i will be until this time next year, i dont wear my fake boob anymore, it is a pain in the behind, i accept myself the way i am right now because i know it will get better.this is just a small glich ,but what is a few months or a year of discomfort,compared to the next twenty years of our LIFE?!! Go with the flow,cry when you feel the need, but laugh too, walk,shop,sing and dance, dont get yourself tired,rest is important, but that does not mean we spend our next few months as couch potatoes,enjoy each day as it comes and know that there will be a tomorrow. We are all here to help and support and love you, if you need scream or cry or share a funny story, we are here to listen and offer encouragement. Hang in there and fight the good fight. lets kick some cancer butt!!!!
Love and hugs.Tiger xoxox

Posts: 3
Joined: Nov 2000

I did Adriamyacin/Cytoxcin followed by Taxotere, and in general it was apiece of cake, BUT the best advice I can give all of you is to buy Purell antibacterial hand sanitiser, and carry it with you whereever you go. Have on in each car, one in your bag, etc. Every time you go out of the house and into a public place USE the stuff as soon as you leave the store or hospitalor what ever. NOT GETTING SICK is the key to a smooth chemo round. Remember , you are most vulnerable, the second week after your treatment. Stay home if you can, stay away from kids if possible and don't go shopping just for fun! You could end up in the hospital with pneumonia! It really wasn't that bad, but I highly recomend having a port-a-cath installed before you start, as sometimes it's the accessing of the veins that is theworst. Beg for Zolfran, too. Then chin up, you'll be fine!

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