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Preparing for Chemo

candu
Posts: 30
Joined: Jun 2005

I will start my chemo treatment on March 8th. Taxotere and Cytoxan every 21 days for 6 times.
I have read some of the messages about treatments and side effects to expect and I thank you ahead of time in preparing me for this chemo adventure.
I do have some questions.......work or not to work during chemo......I own a business and I would like to work during chemo.....but do you think I can totally?
How about driving to an from the clinic? Do I need help?
Side effects that I can prepare for?
Thanks for you insight.
Candu

disneyfan2008
Posts: 5514
Joined: Oct 2010

I have not gone through chemo..just want to send good thoughts your side effects will not be bad...

Denise

canoegirl's picture
canoegirl
Posts: 169
Joined: Dec 2009

Candu,

I worked part time thru chemo. Took the chemo day off (because it was a long drive to and from), worked the day after, then had a couple of "down" days, but they usually happened over the weekend. I had chemo every 2 weeks for 8 cycles and chemo affects everybody differently even if they are on the same regiment. I found that working took my mind off my problems and I had a lot of support from my coworkers which I wouldn't have gotten sitting at home alone. I did have someone drive me every time I went to chemo and for the taxol, they could run out and get me some lunch. I had the ACT+hercptin. The AC made me nausious, but I had a friend who was fine with it. The taxol/herceptin gave me severe joint pain a few days post chemo. If you have that make sure you take the pain meds before it's too bad....if you wait they don't seem to work.

Good luck with whatever you decide to do. There is no wrong choice. Just remember, everybody is different, but usually you can expect your reaction to chemo to be similar for each treatment so after the first one you can judge how you'll feel.

Hugs!
Marcy

survivorbc09
Posts: 4378
Joined: Jun 2009

I didn't take chemo Candu, but, wanted to wish you good luck with chemo.

Hugs, Jan

joannstar
Posts: 354
Joined: Nov 2010

and I worked full time through all of it. I had to take the day off for treatment (Friday). I would feel ok Saturday and then got a neulasta shot on Sunday and slept most of the day. I needed to take Monday or Tuesday off from the bone aches (and I took oxycodone--being a bookkeeper, there was no way that I was working while drugged). The aches lessened as the week went on. So I did miss 2 full days each 3 week cycle, but that was all.
I never drove myself home, because of the pre-meds of benedryl and atavin, I would sleep through most of the treatment and then didn't trust myself to drive. We would stop for lunch on the way home (my reward for making it through). The first 4 treatments each took about 3.5 hours. For the last 2, I was switched from Taxotere to Taxol because my ankles swelled and those infusions took about 6 hours.
It is totally do-able, not that I want to ever have to do it again, but I would if necessary. The fear is the worst part--know knowing what to expect.
Call your center and find out what you need to bring, such as snacks (some provide them, mine didn't), blankets, water, something to read or write or maybe a laptop. I was advised to have a light breakfast before coming.
Good luck to you.
Hugs,
JoAnn

Boppy_of_6's picture
Boppy_of_6
Posts: 1140
Joined: Apr 2010

I had the taxotere and cytoxan too. I did not have to have the nuelasta shot. My treatment days were on Fridays. I always drove myself to and from treatments. I did not ever get benadryl just steroids, and generally meds never make me sleepy. I would have nasty hot flashes the afternoon of treatments from the steroids. I would set in front of a fan and drink ice water! I did work all through my treatments. I am self employed so I kinda had too! I did ok though just tired feeling usually Mon.&Tues but I did ok. Please drink lots of water for a day or 2 before, day of and a few days after. It helps flush the chemo out and keeps you hydrated. This is just my experience and it did get better after that first treatment because you know what to expect. Prayers for you. God Bless
(((hugs))) Janice

dyaneb123's picture
dyaneb123
Posts: 951
Joined: May 2009

I drove myself to my chemo appts. no problem. I had mine during the summer and I teach so I only had to do the last one while working,but I just took off a couple of days.I had the chemo on Thurs. and took off Fri. and Mon. to give me a long weekend. Lots of our ladies work through chemo, but since you don't know yet how if will affect you, you might want to plan for a couple of days at least for the first one.

tgf's picture
tgf
Posts: 955
Joined: Mar 2009

I also worked full time throughout my chemo (Taxol/herceptin)... but it looks like a lot of us had the same idea of having our chemo on Fridays. I'd make my appointments for late on Friday afternoons ... a friend would pick me up at work and drive me to chemo ... then pick me up after it was completed. They did give me benadryl and steriods ... so I slept through most of my chemo ... and even though I never got sick ... I thought I was too drowzy to drive anyplace ... :-)

You'll figure out what works best for you ... and you'll do just fine.

Take care ... and good luck.

Hugs.
Teena

candu
Posts: 30
Joined: Jun 2005

Janice, thanks for all your info.....I only hope that my treatment go's as smoothly as yours.
How about nutrition?
Do you do anything different in your diet and what you eat?
I appreciate your thoughts and thanks again.
Candu

DianeBC's picture
DianeBC
Posts: 3888
Joined: Jun 2009

Just wishing you the best of luck with your chemo treatments. Looks like the pink sisters have given you some great tips already.

Hugs, Diane

Marsha Mulvey
Posts: 597
Joined: May 2010

Well wishes to you and remember your name, you "CANDU' this.
Marsha

candu
Posts: 30
Joined: Jun 2005

Thanks Marsha!
Candu

Alexis F's picture
Alexis F
Posts: 3604
Joined: May 2009

Candu, sending you good luck and positive thoughts for your chemo treatments!

Lex

candu
Posts: 30
Joined: Jun 2005

Thanks JoAnn for your thoughts.
How about nutrition?
Do you eat differently during chemo?
Regards,
Candu

joannstar
Posts: 354
Joined: Nov 2010

and to eat what I wanted (telling that to a compulsive overeater is NOT a good thing!!). I was advised to not eat anything raw (like salads or sushi) when I was out. I finally asked if I could make my own salads and was told yes, at home, but to triple wash the veggies. I tried to maintain the same weight (although I need to lose 60+ pounds) because the chemo drugs are calculated on your weight. The steroids that I took helped me gain maybe 8 pounds during the 18 weeks I was in treatment...(now in rads they still want me to stay the same weight--nuts!!).
Although I felt a bit queasy, I was never really nauseous--the emmend that I was given worked very well. I found that I wanted starches--crackers, pasta, rice. I found that some nights all I wanted was pasta with some butter and garlic.
I admit that I ate too many sweets (which I rarely allow myself) and was very self-indulgent, after all, I was battling chemo and feeling quite sorry for myself. I have always turned to food for solace (not a good thing, but hey--whatever it takes).
My onc didn't caution me about soy, however some tell you not to eat it. I was also told no stir-fried foods which I understood to mean, eat fully cooked foods which is what I did.
Healthy eating is always preferable and I'm back to a more sane eating pattern now that I'm through chemo (and can't justify all the self pity).
Good luck...you'll do great.
JoAnn

pinkkari09's picture
pinkkari09
Posts: 878
Joined: Sep 2009

Hi Candu, sorry you have to go through this and please know you have a lot of people pulling for you on here and we will all help in any way we can. I didn't have the chemo cocktail you are getting, mine was 4 A/C and 11 Taxol. But here is my experience.
Work: Took a leave of absence because I could, however; if I needed to, I would have been able to work some but not full time. My boss was amazing and she not only gave me the leave, she started support groups and helped carry me through. I also owned and operated a concrete construction business so I had many people step up to that as well. In the winter months I operate a plow truck and move snow for a living, I was able to do this during chemo treatments but it's pretty easy and actually relaxing for me. It kept my mind off of my illness and I really needed that. Now I'm divorced and on my own for this round, but I think I'll be ok.
Treatments: My amazing daughter brought me, sat with me, and took me home, she's 21 and a Registered Nurse. They had plenty of snacks and drinks at the infusion place so that was nice, also they had warm blankets, I love warm blankets :) You might want to see if they have these amenities so you know what you may want to bring. During Taxol I slept the whole time, the pre-meds knocked me out every time.
Afterwards: I was exhausted the day of, and of course the neulasta shot kicked my butt the next day, but the pain meds really helped. It took me a couple days to "regain" and get back to normal functioning.
Remember we all react differently and my experience could be nothing like yours or someone else. I'm praying chemo goes well for you and you sail through like many other woman on here have done. All in all, it wasn't near as bad as I thought it would be and I made it through ok.
Miles of Love,
~Kari

MyTurnNow's picture
MyTurnNow
Posts: 2694
Joined: Aug 2009

Candu, I had the same cocktail. I scheduled my infusions on Thursday's and took off Thursday and Friday on the week of tx. I had a Nuelasta shot on Friday. I worked throughout chemo and rads, as well. I did experience some joint pain from the Nuelasta but managed to control it with Extra Strength Tylenol. I lost my hair on day 14 or so. I did notice that my skin became very dry while on chemo. Other than that, I really did not have any "bad" side effects. My onc did not want her patients driving to chemo, so I had either my daughter or sister with me. I believe that I could have driven if I had to. As far as appetite, I ate what tasted good. I tried to eat healthy but if ice cream is what sounded good, I ate it. Hey, ice cream is healthy, right? I would recommend that you drink lots of water in order to flush the chemo out of your system. I think I did drink too much water after the first treatment because I actually had a stomach ache from it. Everything in moderation. I want to wish you well during your tx and know that we are here to answer questions, give support and encouragement and just be there for YOU. Good luck.

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