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What to expect after Chemo

shelfish
Posts: 18
Joined: Sep 2011

My mother-in-law is taking her first round of chemo as I type this. They are giving her a booster(not sure what that's for?) then taxol/cisplatin. When will she start feeling sick? Do all chemo treatments make you sick? They said her hair will fall out. Is that usually over time? She is still in the hospital after just being diagnosed with stage IV. We will be taking her home tomorrow. Not sure what to expect. Should we stay the night with her when we bring her home? She is not married but lives less than a mile from us. She also had to have nephrostomy tubes put in her kidneys because the tumor has pushed her bladder up and stretched out her ureters so her kidneys were not able to flush out the urine. Her kidneys are working fine now but we have to deal with the darn urine bagsf or a while!

poopergirl14052's picture
poopergirl14052
Posts: 1161
Joined: Nov 2010

as she will probably be weak from the chemo. She will feel nausea but her Dr. should have ordred her to start Emend. Make sure she is well hydrated,gatorade or smart water, It is also imporatant her bowels move as taxol can cause constipation. A stool softener will be needed,or miralax will work too. She will prbably have bone and muscle pain 2-3 days after chemo. She will need all the rest she can get. Hope this helps...good luck ..prayers for you mom..val

wfisaac
Posts: 60
Joined: Mar 2010

I agree that it probably might be a good idea for someone to be with her the first night or so considering all she's been through. I had a different combination than what she is getting (Taxol/Carboplatin) but I really didn't have much nauseousness. I usually felt okay the first day but then by about the 2nd or 3rd is when the joint pain really kicked in. That usually lasted a few days but I started to work at keeping myself hydrated and ate things with potassium and it would help.

As far as the hair, they told me mine would probably start falling out about 12-14 days after my first round and sure enough, on the 12th day it started. I don't know if this is true for everyone but when it got to the point where it was starting to fall out it really hurt quite a bit for me. It's hard to explain but it's like your hair hurts. So, I had it shaved at that point and that did help with the pain I was feeling.

I will keep you and your mom in my prayers.

Tethys41's picture
Tethys41
Posts: 1057
Joined: Sep 2010

She may not feel up to making meals for herself. I know I sure didn't. Since keeping weight on is sometimes of concern, it would be good if you could have some prepared meals for her in the refrigerator or freezer. You will probably have to experiment, once the drugs affect her tastebuds, to see what appeals to her. It is not unusual for a patient to reduce their diet to just a few appealing foods.

carolyn45's picture
carolyn45
Posts: 100
Joined: Apr 2011

The first chemo is the scariest, so someone spending the night for the first week might be a lovely thing to do for your mother-in-law. If she is adamantly against it, that's another matter, but make sure she doesn't say no just to make YOUR life easier. The day of chemo and day after she'll probably feel pretty good, but by Day 3 she'll be in a nose dive. Food that she once loved may smell or taste horrid. At this time you need to worry about calories more than health food. It was much easier for me to drink than eat, so smoothies with protein powder and ice cream or sherbert worked well. I was very lucky to have a friend who raises prize-winning dairy goats. She kept me supplied with raw organic goat milk AND colostrum, which is full of stuff to support the immune system. Allopathic doctors will not approve of anything raw, but if you know the milk is being produced with great care re cleanliness, it is marvelous. Good goat milk tastes like the best cow milk you ever had. I disliked all milk until I tasted my friend's. It was my staple for many weeks, and I know it helped to keep my weight up. I credit it with helping me stay strong and well during those long months. Lots of prayers are coming your way.

AnneBehymer's picture
AnneBehymer
Posts: 739
Joined: Jul 2011

they sould give her so medication to keep her from throwing up I am on three because mine was really bad but one they gave me was for day 2.3.4 and then two others to take as is for when it seem to pop up which it dose some day worst then others. I would stay with her the first week just to see how she is going to handle it she is also going to be very week the first week. It seem early on the first week was the worst then I would level out. As I got forther into my treatment it got hearder I am lucky because of my wadges I had to move in with my mom and day he had his pay cute by 20,000.00 and I was only get 8.75 an hour (this was 12 years ago lol) but even now with the resetion it seem to get worst. His company closed down and the job he got even lower that what he had. So I have my mom with me alday. she will need someone with her at least the first week. My hair fell out with in a week and a half I to had to have it shaved for two reasons. I wanted to lose my hair on my terms not sit and cry as each clump fell out and two may hair did hurt as it touched it or try to bursh it so it was easier to just have it shaved off. I will be praying for all of you

Anne

Mwee's picture
Mwee
Posts: 1316
Joined: Nov 2009

She must be sure to drink lots of water ( this is a tough one for me). Don't be alarmed if days 3-5, she is extremely fatiqued and sleeps on and off and needs help getting to the bathroom or just walking around. She shouldn't try to shower unless someone is there. My worst chemo side effects are constipation, a metal taste in my mouth, night sweats, extreme fatique and some bone pain. Most ONC offices have chemo nurses (these glorious nurses have a direct path to heaven!) who are available to answer any and all questions or concerns. I've had LOTS of chemo and can tell you that it is very doable and we'll also be here every step of the way.
(((HUGS))) Maria

jbeans888's picture
jbeans888
Posts: 313
Joined: Mar 2011

The worst side effect I had was constipation too so either a stool softner or milk of magnesia works. Make sure she is take on of those because constipation can cause intestinal blockages, which she doesn't want. Before my hair fell out I buzzed it really short but for me it didn't fall out until my second chemo which was three weeks after the first one, everyone is different. My eyebrows hung in there for awhile and so did my eyelashes. I would say they fell out right before my third chemo. Definitely stay with her for awhile. She could you the support physically and mentally.

dreamer007's picture
dreamer007
Posts: 61
Joined: Jul 2011

im going very soon for my second trip to chemo land, and expecting most of the
same side effects... my first chemo was the darkest place i have ever been, and it
lingered for a week, then i ended up back in the hospital, with dehydration, nausea,
and fatigue
wondering if the first of my recurrence chemo will be kind of terrible, but not as bad
as the first... this has me nervous, even though i know my onc doc, and his RN will
be telling me what they have seen others experience

the remission lasted almost a year, which i am grateful for... was hoping it would last
longer, but i have to deal with this reality... the last few days were "anger phase"
and now will be trying to take it one day at a time... thats a cliche, but a good one
that works very well under these circumstances

dreamer

AnneBehymer's picture
AnneBehymer
Posts: 739
Joined: Jul 2011

My prayers are with you I am glad your remission lasted a year I have read some who only last a few months. I have just entered into remission. I really do not know what to expect but my mom says we will take it one day at a time so I guess that is my new verbage for now I will take this one day at a time. But I have to say I am scared I do not want this beast to come back and yet I have a feeling it might. We teal sisters just need to keep lefting each onther up and support each other the best we can go luck with remission and I will be praying for you every day as we walk the walk of remission.

Anne

shelfish
Posts: 18
Joined: Sep 2011

Well we are at day 3 after chemo. My mother-in-law is doing well. She is eating, we are feeding her!! She is very tired. First time she has ever taken a nap in the 24 years I have know her. She is a little nauseaus but says she feels okay. We have stayed with her. We kinda of expected the worst and it hasn't been that bad. Although i don't think she would admit to us if she felt really bad. Thanks so much for all the info.

Mwee's picture
Mwee
Posts: 1316
Joined: Nov 2009

that she is past chemo #1. Chemo tends to be cumlative and she may experience more and more fatique as they go on. I've never been a napper and can be found fading in and out all day on days 3-5.
(((HUGS to you both))) Maria

cfont11
Posts: 115
Joined: Mar 2011

I was on taxol/carbo, 6 treatments last year and 2 this year. I am now on Gemzar for recurrence after being in remission for 2 months. The taxol makes your hair fall out, I lost mine after the 2nd. and 3rd. treatments. It also causes neuropathy in hands and feet (I still have in my feet) can can make you nauseous. I also had bone and joint pain from the carboplatin. I was prescribed decadron and lorazepam for nausea and steroids for the joint pain and they all helped a great deal. I take neurotin and alpha lipoic acid, a supplement for neuropathy as well as vitamin b6.

I hope the doctor gave your mother in law medication to help with the side effects. I wish her all the best with her treatments. Keep in mind that the effects are cumulative and she may get more tired as time goes on. Tell her to nap as much as she needs to.

Prayers and hugs,

Chris

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