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Just started chemo

maki
Posts: 2
Joined: Jun 2001

I have just started chemo last Thursday(6/07). I had seizures during the therapy, which I have a history, anyone else?
My concern is how much energy day to day should I expect? Will I have more energy as I get further away from my therapy date or should I expect less? Right now I just feel like I could sleep all day. Is this what I should expect? I'm usually very active and hate this feeling!
And ladies what do you do about the hair thing!?!? Or the NO hair thing?
Maki

cherdaetwyler
Posts: 165
Joined: Dec 2000

Hi,
I finished my chemo about 8 weeks ago.
During A/C which is the only one I have much experience with (the doctor quit my Taxol after one treatment)my energy levels were at their worst while I was on the antinausea medicine. I had zofran for that for 3 days.
The secon week I had a lot of energy and the third week I was almost normal.

However my husband says I took it a lot easier than I normally do during the entire chemo time. I will admit that I didn't start any major sewing projects. Nor did I clean the house. But I felt that I had more energy than anyone had told me I would.

Regarding NO hair, I wore hats, scarves, and when I had to look like I had a head of hair wore a wig which received rave comments as a great hairdo for me (this from people who hadn't seen me in the scarves and didn't know the reality) but I hated the wig, it made me feel like an old woman. I am 55 but still see myself as 30, not that I look that young .
My hair is about 3/4 inch long now and looks like a military cut except that it is the same length on the back and sides...for the first few weeks it was really "HIGH ANS TIGHT".

If I were you I would get a couple great sun hats and some bandanas. Don't worry about what anyone thinks about it.

I told everyone (even those who had no reason to know) that I was battling cancer and WINNING and it was surprising how many people responded positively. many were astonished at how brave (or mabe brazen is a better word) I was about it.

If I hadn't been so cold all the time I probably would have gone scarfless and wigless in the least hair phase (I never did lose it around the edges until the new stuff started comine in...I sort of looked like Friar Tuck) cher

dawnpawn
Posts: 5
Joined: Jun 2001

You know your body better than anyone. Listen to it. If you feel tired rest. You will have good days and not so good. Go easy on the days that are good and enjoy them. About the hair thing. When it comes out it is devistating. You will get use to it. You can get a wig or by a good fitting baseball cap. Just think you will save on hair cuts and shampoo. Your body is going through a lot right now you will have your ups and downs it is only natural. You can get throught this with a positive attitude. I have been through this three times. I wish you the best. Dawn

slynne
Posts: 31
Joined: Apr 2001

Dear Maki, It has been 3 weeks since my last Taxol - and my last chemo treatment. We are all different so I can only tell you how it effected me. The AC made me tired and nausous. I took Zofran which helped with the nausea. Certain odors made me sick to my stomach during these treatments so I was careful not go cook anything that might make me sick. The best advise I can give you is to listen to what your body wants. If you feel tired, sleep. Don't push yourself - I learned the hard way - if I'd have a good day I'd try and get EVERYTHING done that needed being done - the next day I was so exhausted I could hardly move. Pace yourself - do a little - then rest. I too am a very active person and it was so very difficult for me to just sit all day. The only positive was I watched cooking shows all day and have learned some good recipies! REgarding your hair loss, yes it will probably go. Get yourself some scarves and little sun hats. That is what I wear around the house. I have wigs I wear when I go to work. I found a good web site that sells reasonably priced wigs and hats.. tlccatalog.org. Your hair will come back Maki, mine is returning, albiet it is more like peach fuzz right now, but it is coming back.
Be good to yourself - get the rest you need and don't feel guilty about the dusting or the vacuuming that isn't getting done. And ask for help. That was one of the hardest things for me, I'm so independent and asking someone to do something that I normally do was very difficult for me. But I did it and I found that people are happy to help. My husband couldn't do anything to give me more energy or stop my hair loss, but he could help me around the house and it made him feel like there was something he could do to help me.
My prayers are with you Maki, you will get through this. If you need to talk just email me. I will be happy to listen.
hugs
susan

mish
Posts: 7
Joined: Jun 2001

Hi Maki,

Since one of the other ladies explained the different chemo drugs to you, I won't bother to do that. What I wil say is, ask lots of questions. I found that sometimes doctors don't always want to explain what they're doing and why. It's up to us to ask and ask again because it's our body that's going through this.
In my experience I was at my most fatigued for the first week after treatment. Then my energy gradually returned until the next round of meds. But I have found that I can't keep up the activity level that I had before I started treatment last September. Keep the other ladies' advice in mind. Rest when you need to. Your body has to have a chance to heal itself from the toxicity of the drugs. Listen to what your body tells you it needs and you should be okay most of the time. There will be bad days, but they pass. Just try to take things one day at a time.

About the hair thing...my hair didn't fall out when I took CMF and ACF, but when I started Taxol, my hair fell out two weeks after I started treatment. It was a devastating because I was sure it would fall out this time either. Anyway, I bought two wigs, but I don't feel comfortable in them. I am a black woman and have worn my hair natural,in braids, or locs, for the last ten years. So most of the time I either wear scarves, fun straw hats with a bandana or there are days when I venture out with just my bald head and some funky earrings (I find it much more comfortable in the warm weather). I have yet to venture to work without my head covered, though. That's my goal for this week. I guess it's all about feeling comfortable with who you are no matter what.

If you need to chat you can email me...
Michelle

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