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newly diagnosed, afraid of chemo

SuzanneS
Posts: 2
Joined: Jan 2005

HI, i recently had to have surgery to remove my right eye due to cancer of the lacrimal gland, now will face radiation and chemo, I don't know what to expect! Help! The radiation will be to the orbital area where my right eye was. Please share any experiences you have had which you think will help me get ready emotionally and physically. Chemo especially scares me. I know it is necessary, but well, you know.. I never went through this before. The last month and half have been a roller coaster ride which I am sure all of you are familiar with.
Thanks... this is a rare type of cancer... and I feel like i'm alone on the planet even though i know i'm not. so hearing from some of you would be fantastic.

TereB
Posts: 288
Joined: May 2003

Hi SuzanneS,
Sorry about your rare cancer. Mine is rare too. I know chemo is scary but some people cope better with it than others. I have not have chemo so I cannot help you with that. I've had radiation many times, 2-3 times in the head. With radiation your skin will darken (no pain) in the area of radiation and will go back to normal a few months after you finish treatment. You may feel nauseated (there are good medicines for that) and you may loose your appetite. For nausea, besides medicine, you can try Canada Dry ginger ale, it helps. You can drink Boost or Ensure if you are not eating. They come in three flavors and taste like a milkshake. I prefer mine cold. You can mix the vanilla one with a banana for extra nutrition. Radiation also makes you feel tired. Take naps, and really rest. Protect your face from the sun using a hat. After treatment you'll start feeling better little by little, your appetite will return and your skin will go back to normal. It takes about 3-4 months to recover.

You may want to try the cancer survivors chat room for support. Everybody there has had surgery, chemo, radiation and can help with information. They also give support when you need it. Another thing that helps many people is prayer; it doesn't matter what your believes are. Support from family and friends helps too. Having a positive attitude helps a lot too.

All the best,
TereB

SRM49
Posts: 5
Joined: Jan 2005

I feel for you, I really do. A lot will depend on the exact treatment schedule you will recieve and how well you tolerate it. I had radiation twice a day for 6 weeks (weekdays only) and two 96 hour chemo sessions. You will get sick probably sicker than you've ever experienced, but you'll make it through. You'll be able to handle it and once you're through and begin to feel like yourself again you will be renewed and will know that you will likely never fear anything else in life because you made it through this. The doctors will give you pain meds and other drugs that will help. You will be fine. Life will be good again.

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