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Should I eat before chemo session?

MGNS's picture
MGNS
Posts: 197
Joined: Sep 2009

I'm having my first chemo treatment in one week and am wondering if I should eat before going in for the treatment? Any suggestions? I'm really nervous and my mind is spinning with questions and of course it's the weekend and can't call my oncologist. I'm open to suggestions.

Marcia527's picture
Marcia527
Posts: 2734
Joined: Jul 2006

It wouldn't hurt to eat. You don't know how you will react. They give you anti nausea meds while you are there. I got sick after I got home but lots of these women don't get sick at all. Some of them eat during treatment. Most handled chemo better than I did so I'll let them answer. I'm bumping this up so it doesn't get lost. Good luck.

MGNS's picture
MGNS
Posts: 197
Joined: Sep 2009

Thank you for responding to my question. I'm considering a light snack before I go in. But am nervous as to what goes in must come out! I do have the anti nausea meds to take at home too. Just am nervous about all of this.

Sher43009's picture
Sher43009
Posts: 601
Joined: Nov 2009

I ate lunch while getting my chemo. I felt better if I had something in my stomach. I ate a lot of frozen juice bars, rice, and chicken. All the high protein, high calorie foods in small portions. My first chemo was the worst then they got better. Just keep drinking. I know how nervous you are. A survivor buddy of mine gave me this visualization...she drank 64oz. of water while getting chemo and she kept thinking of a waterfall--chemo and water going in, and then being flushed out. I couldn't dring that much but usually managed a bottle of water. Keep taking your anti nausea meds even if you don't feel nausea.

Good luck and let us know how you're doing.
Sher

MGNS's picture
MGNS
Posts: 197
Joined: Sep 2009

I will add water to my list. I try to drink alot of water each day, but will be sure to take extra with me to my treatments. I appreciate your support!

carkris's picture
carkris
Posts: 4527
Joined: Aug 2009

A light meal is good, I actually ate during, and felt fine. I think something heavy might not be good until you know how you react, and drink a couple days prior to make sure you are a head on your fluids. I am not the most sucessful chemo person make sure you keep up on the antinausea meds. I have it the other way (results not usual) and always having crackers is good people usually do better with a little something in their stomach.

carkris's picture
carkris
Posts: 4527
Joined: Aug 2009

Sher stated it best posting at the same time. you will get through and the people here have great suggestions.!

MGNS's picture
MGNS
Posts: 197
Joined: Sep 2009

I'm adding crackers to my list. I felt like a light snack would be good prior to treatment so I will try it and see how it goes. Thank you for your support!

TraciInLA's picture
TraciInLA
Posts: 1858
Joined: Jul 2009

Of course it's understandable that you're feeling nervous about starting chemo, but try to remember that, for most people, the actual chemo infusion itself is really uneventful. Also, along with your chemo drugs, they'll pump you full of anti-nausea meds as well.

The oncology nurses at my center urged me to eat a little something before coming, and to bring snacks with me, so that the drugs weren't hitting me on an empty stomach. I usually had yogurt or toast, something light, before going in, and always brought a cooler with me with fruit, light sandwiches, cookies, and water. You can't drink enough water before, during, and after chemo, so definitely bring some with you.

One small thing I learned: Do you have a port? I didn't, so the IV was in my hand, making me kind of one-handed through the whole thing. So I always brought food to eat that didn't require utensils. If you have a port, so your hands will be free, you can also bring single-serving cups of yogurt, cottage cheese, pudding, Jell-o -- I lived on all of those for a couple of days after each chemo, as they were easy to just grab out of the fridge, easy on my stomach, and the yogurt and cottage cheese gave me some protein.

Hope that helps!

Traci

MGNS's picture
MGNS
Posts: 197
Joined: Sep 2009

I had a port put in last Thurs. so my hands will be free! I'm going to stock up on Jell-0 and crackers. I'm lactose intolerant so I have to substitute milk products with rice based products. I will plan on taking some rice cheese too since it is easy on the stomach. I'm feeling a little more at ease with all of the support and suggestions.
I will keep you posted on my progress.
God Bless!

LC815's picture
LC815
Posts: 155
Joined: Oct 2009

My infusion center had a little kitchen with snacks and sandwiches, so after getting my anti nausea meds, I would meander over there and have a turkey on wheat, a little ginger ale and some crackers. You could call the infusion center, those nurses know what's up and they're always there.

Call your onc office on Monday.

Peace,
Lina

TraciInLA's picture
TraciInLA
Posts: 1858
Joined: Jul 2009

Infusion centers vary widely in how they're set up and what they offer: Some cancer centers offer private chemo suites, your own television, snacks and drinks brought right to you, boxed lunches -- others are less swanky.

I had chemo in my doctor's office, and, while they did everything they could to make us all feel comfortable and taken care of, there were no amenities at all -- one communal room for everyone, no television or snacks. Each time I did chemo, I looked like I was going camping, as I showed up at my doctor's office with a cooler, blanket, duffel bag with my magazines and games, etc.

If you have time during the day, you might stop by the infusion center one day before your appointment and just ask to peek in, get the lay of the land -- what do you have to bring, what do they already have there for you? I got a little mini-tour before my first chemo, and it helped me feel more comfortable on my first day.

Traci

MGNS's picture
MGNS
Posts: 197
Joined: Sep 2009

I'm already making my list of foods, books, etc. to pack and take with me. Great suggestions and I don't care if it looks like I'm moving in when I go for my treatments! I've got to get through this whatever it takes!

tasha_111's picture
tasha_111
Posts: 2049
Joined: Oct 2008

Ohhhhhhhhhh No!... I has a Huge Kelching of Fish and Chips with tartar sauce whilst I was having chemo, actually in the 'Big Chair'... It made everyone else hungry so I had to share.....Sucks.!

Hugs Jxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

MGNS's picture
MGNS
Posts: 197
Joined: Sep 2009

I will definately call Mon. to see what they have at their center. I guess I'm so worried about all of this I hadn't even thought of the easiest solution which is to call!
God Bless!

mlmjt1
Posts: 540
Joined: Jul 2009

I always had my chemo in the morning and had a full breakfast before going in for chemo. I also had lunch while I was there. The actual infusion never bothered me at all. I had adriamycin/cytoxan and I always felt like I had morning sickness 2 days later and my appetite was off for about a wk, then it came back week 2. I know how nervous you are, but the staff is really kind to you and they treat you like family.

Hang in there and ask any questions you need to...someone always seems to have the answers.

Hugs
Linda t

carkris's picture
carkris
Posts: 4527
Joined: Aug 2009

I bring in my bag, with my little pillow, a change if clothes, my Ipod etc... I dont take over but I need things to be comfortable. you can bring whatever you want. zofran can make you constipated, so keep an eye on the rice. they give out lunch at my hospital but I dont eat it, my husband does though.

Rague
Posts: 3367
Joined: Aug 2009

The CCI that I go to tries to stuff you with food (LOL). They have all sorts of foods/goodies and drinks and seem 'hurt' if you don't eat/drink their stuff - so I do.

Forgot to add - they have lots of nice WARMED blankies to stay warm with - I get cold easy - always have.

Lynda53's picture
Lynda53
Posts: 210
Joined: Oct 2009

Light food. Drink your fluids before and after. The 64 oz should not be all water. Water makes the infusion easier, Gator aid is really a good hydrator. Not too much caffeine.
My place has all the amenities, I bring only me!
I do suggest,to try to bring someone with you, at least for the 1st one.
Best of luck, you'll do fine!

lafera12
Posts: 63
Joined: May 2009

When I was going for chemo-the second part-Taxol/Herceptin there where time my appointment was last in the morning and I would order lunch there...I would always have a bottle of water with me and usually had a cup of tea with lunch..
Good luck with the chemo

Jadie's picture
Jadie
Posts: 727
Joined: Mar 2004

Speaking from my own experience I would advise you to eat a very light meal before your treatment and a very light meal after. After my first treatment I was feeling good and thought I would be fine so I ate a big lunch. I was very sick by the time I got home. I think I could have avoided most of it if I had eaten lighter.

Good luck with your treatments. Try to relax you will do fine. We are here for you and to try to answer any questions.

Hugs
Jadie<3

Kat11's picture
Kat11
Posts: 1931
Joined: May 2009

I was told to eat before chemo, then take my nausea drugs. I just finished chemo last week. I did 4 rounds of AC and 12 of Taxol with herceptin.
I never got sick. You can bring food to chemo. I have seen people bring in subway, I always had my diet coke. Don't be scared, its doable.

Katz77
Posts: 598
Joined: Sep 2009

Little lite lunch and bulk up on the fluids a couple days bf chemo helped me. I also cut back or stopped caffiene. Chemo is dehydrating,so you don't need fluids that contain caffiene which is also dehydrating. Good luck and good health to you.

VickiSam's picture
VickiSam
Posts: 8423
Joined: Aug 2009

lite .. go in for your first chemo treatment, get the lay of the land - what is offered by your oncologist center, food - drinks - entertainment, etc, and take it from there.

Also, this is your first treatment, so maybe a heavy meal will be out of the question. My only suggestion after 12 weeks of continuous chemo treatments is to hydrate, hydrate and hydrate some more.

God Bless and Good Luck!!

VickiSam

pinkflutterby's picture
pinkflutterby
Posts: 615
Joined: Jun 2009

I was told to eat prior to coming in. I also have a snack from the center, they provide a nice assortment to pick from and I have a Dr Pepper :) The one time I didnt eat before I was very very sick that night, and its the only time I was ever sick -- knock on wood, doc just ordered 3 more rounds for me :)

MGNS's picture
MGNS
Posts: 197
Joined: Sep 2009

Everyone has been so helpful. I am now planning on a light breakfast before my first treatment. I've stocked up on bottled water, crackers, jello cups, and cheese for protein. I feel like I'm ready to go and just am anxious to get this started and over with. I will have 4 treatments 2 of which will be completed by Christmas. All the support and prayers are greatly appreciated!!!
In this phase of my life I am so happy to have made so many new supportive friends!
Hugs to all!
MGNS

mollyhannah's picture
mollyhannah
Posts: 10
Joined: Nov 2009

Hi there,
I am new at this chemo business too! Your question was a great question to ask, and one that i asked when i found my treatment center. I will be starting my chemo on December 1st. Good luck on your chemo treatments. May god give you strength. Have a great Thanksgiving Holiday. I hope that you get to enjoy that before your treatment!!

MGNS's picture
MGNS
Posts: 197
Joined: Sep 2009

Hi Mollyhannah!
I'm having my first chemo Nov. 30 the day before yours. I will be thinking of you and praying for you too. I'm planning on enjoying Thanksgiving to the fullest and not think about Mon. Good luck on your treatments and remain strong and positive on this journey so that you can beat the beast! God Bless and Happy Thanksgiving!

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