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first day of chemo.........

seanslove's picture
seanslove
Posts: 71
Joined: Jul 2009

I wanted to post this for anyone else who maybe facing their first day of chemo. For my husband the first time sure did have him and I scared,however,upon arriving our fears were quickly laid to rest. In his case,he only did a 2 1/2 hour push in short stay and was able to bring the 48 hour drip home,therefore,as I write,he is laying here at home with his drip going.
He is reciving FolFox 6 which is Oxalipatin(done on the push),Leucovorin(done on the push),a small bag of Fluorouracil(done on the push),then 48 hour drip of the Fluorouracil. The small bag was done to insure no reactions so when we came home we would know the odds of a toxic reaction were less than.001%.
Prior to any chemo drug going in his port they gave him a whooping dose of Zolpran which kept the upset stomache to little or nothing. He only got a little green around the gills once about half way through the Oxalipatin,which is the drug known to make you sick to your stomach,however,he did not throw up,and upon arriving home,within a half an hour,for the first time in a week said,"I'm Hungry". Best words I have heard in a long time. He was able to eat over half a burger and quite a few fry's. While most would tell you this is less than a healthy approach or diet,he has lost over 40lbs so his doctors said if he'll eat it,feed it to him.
We go for round two in two weeks. I know I came to these boards searching for answers on how others went through their first day,and I wanted to return the favor,and hopefully bring some comfort to another,as many here have comforted me.

MichelleP's picture
MichelleP
Posts: 254
Joined: May 2009

Hello my friend! Glad to see his first chemo went fairly well for him. Did they give him nausea meds to take at home too? The Zofran you mentioned is a good one. My husband uses the ones that melt on the tongue and hasn't had any issues with vomiting or anything.

He had is chemo this morning also and all went well. Blood counts were a bit low but not enough to prevent the chemo. I just love the people and nurses at his onc's office. They treat me just like I was staff myself when I arrive. My first job once hubby is settled is to make the coffee and serve donuts etc to the other patients. There are ten chemo chairs in there so they keep me busy. ha ha I'm amazed at how happy and positive the patients are there and that's a good thing for cancer patients to stay positive. The staff helps a lot with that too keeping all of us laughing.

Got some more good news today too...the chest x-ray says improvement is noted each week since the beginning and the tumor has decreased in size. Also that the pleural effusion has decreased dramatically! I'm thrilled............I told hubby that I was so darn proud of him and that we would celebrate with a "tiny" glass of red wine tonight. ha ha ( maybe the wine will help him sleep so I can get some too?)

Take care and keep us updated!

seanslove's picture
seanslove
Posts: 71
Joined: Jul 2009

Michelle P,

I am so Happy to hear your good news. Sean's zolpran was run through the port,and as we already have promethzine at home,they said try what we have if needed,and if it doesn't work,then they wrote me a script for the other. However,considering the sickness did not occur during the Oxalipatin push,they do not expect it to happen here with the Fluorouracil drip.
We were in shortsay this morning and all the nurses were exceptionaly nice to me and kept offering me something to eat or drip,but like him,at the time,it was the last thing on my mind. I did go to the vending machine and get us each a juice,as we wanted of course,what they didn't have. Next trip I will know to bring jucies with us now that we know what they have and don't have.
My shocking moment was upon coming home and him wanting to eat. I was so stuned he said whats wrong I said can I take your order sir.LOL I hope your news continues to improve and I hope our night stays as quite as it is now.

donnare
Posts: 266
Joined: Jun 2009

Hi,

Happy for your good news too Michelle, and seanslove, I'm glad your husband did so well with the chemo. Thanks for your reply to me on the other thread. First time is pretty scary, isn't it? My husband was so sick after his surgery and was just starting to put weight back on and feel well again. All I could think of is "..they're going to make him sick again..." - even said it to his oncologist. She was very reassuring that they will do everything possible to help him tolerate it well.

My husband was hungry when we came home Monday night after his first chemo too. That surprised me. They gave him Zofran through the port also, and sent us home with scripts for more zofran, compazine and ativan to use whenever he needed, or if he thought he needed. Sounds like his chemo session was the same as your husband's, if Flouracil is 5FU. My husband had 2-1/2 - 3 hours of drip - first big dose of zofran, then luecovorin & oxaliplatin, then 5fu push and then came home with a 48 hour pump of 5fu. We have to go back today to get him unhooked and they are going to show me how to do it so he won't have to drive back each week to get unhooked (we are an hour away from Fox Chase Cancer Center). Next time - every two weeks also - they are going to add the avastin and said he will be there for 4 hours each time.

So far so good - a little bit of side effects (tingling toes and fingers, cold sensitivity in his throat) from the Oxy, but so far no nausea. We'll see as time goes on I guess.

Hugs to you both and take good care of yourselves too.

Donna

seanslove's picture
seanslove
Posts: 71
Joined: Jul 2009

So glad to hear all is going well. We have a home service called Angles Home Health Care due to come in tomorrow and DC Sean's line. Last night was rough as the chemo really started working on him. Spent most of the night up with him not feeling well,but not vomitting or direhia(sp)so I guess we are still on top of the game. He got curious this monring about 7:30 am as to how much had driped into him since 12:30 yesterday afternoon. Well,not sure what the CAD Pump is set on,but out of 19 hours he had already dripped 250 cc of 500cc. If this rate stays the same he will be done dripping by 2 or 3 am in the morning and the service is set to come at noon. I already told him there is no way he's going to spen 9 or 10 hours with the needle in for no good reason and if that bad boy finishes up at 2 or 3 in the morning,I will call their 24 hour service to come during the night and DC. Should they say they can not come until later in the morning,I also told him screw that and I'll just flush his line and take it out myself. Heck they sent us home with instruction on flushing after chemo and two syringes of Heprin and Saline,so why not? What would you do?

donnare
Posts: 266
Joined: Jun 2009

I would do the same - I want him to be comfortable. I actually asked them if I could disconnect him. It seemed silly to me for him/us to have to drive an hour up there, wait for them to disconnect, then drive an hour back home. They said someone might be able to come to the house, but then he'd have to wait around, etc., so if I can, I'm going to do it. He wants to return to work at some point, so it will save him a day of having to go back up there. It can't be that big of a deal to disconnect - they're going to show me today, and then they have to watch me do it to make sure I'm doing it right, and then we're good to go. I'll let you know how it goes.

Nice to meet you - hard for people not going through it, no matter how much they care (and we are surrounded by caring, loving, supportive family and friends), to know exactly what this caregiver role feels like. Good to have others to talk to that KNOW first hand how it feels.

The "semi colons" threads/discussions were a real life saver for me - I was scared to death. The people are so wonderful and generous, even with all they are going through. They calmed me and gave me soooo much information. I am new to message boards - lurked around there for a couple days in shock immediately after his dx, and then got the courage to start talking. They gave me my hope back, and I promised myself (and them) I'd pay it forward if I had the chance.

This is my first time on the caregiver thread. Lots of good stuff here too.

Be well,
Donna

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