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Can't seem to calm down after chemo teaching today

Chris Ptown's picture
Chris Ptown
Posts: 102
Joined: Oct 2011

I definitely am not a strong person clearly because I broke down crying in my sister's car after chemo teaching today. I have never been so scared in my life and even though I have my sister and family I feel so alone. I feel anxious and worried especially about the chemo and what it can do to my body inside. I get the port put in tomorrow. My mum who lives in Maine found out she has stage 4 lung cancer in August and so thats always on my mind too. She is the brave one who calls me to tell me I am going to be ok. She is 78 and the most wonderful woman in the world and I still cant believe she has stage 4 lung cancer. My sister Debbie has been working double time now by going up to Maine to go to doctor visits with my mum and then taking me to all my appts. I just cant seem to get it together and stop being so afraid. The women in my family are definitely the strong and brave and I seem to be the opposite.

z's picture
z
Posts: 1267
Joined: May 2009

The 1st time I cried after diagnosis was the day I asked my mom to come over for my 1st chemo day, thats when it hit that I would have to have chemo. You'll see that when you have chemo that the meds they give you to counteract the nausea makes it easier to get through. I only had to take the nausea pills 2 times, as I tolerated it well. Drink plenty of water to flush it out. The 96 hours will be over before you know it. My biggest issue was I would forget the pump was there and get up and have it pull on me. Fortunately, it didn't come out of the port. Please post while your going through it, you will also see people at the chemo place and you'll see that they are eating, drinking, reading, just like usual. When I was at the chemo place there was a young man about 18, and older patients in their 80s. I thought if they can do this so can I. You will be fine and there are so many on this site who have gone through the treatment and are cured. I'm sure you will be one of them. I wish you well. Lori

Chris Ptown's picture
Chris Ptown
Posts: 102
Joined: Oct 2011

thank you for taking the time to help me and give me information

mp327's picture
mp327
Posts: 3075
Joined: Jan 2010

I'm sorry your emotions overwhelmed you today, but when one has to sit down and talk to a nurse about the chemo they're going to be receiving, I guess reality kicks in. As Lori has said, there are SO many people going through chemo, but I'm sure they all felt exactly like you do, so please don't feel alone. We are all here for you and you have a great sister and mom who are in your corner. You will be well-cared for and you will get through this, as so many of us have. It really is going to be okay!

Chris Ptown's picture
Chris Ptown
Posts: 102
Joined: Oct 2011

thank you very much i really appreciate it

Lorikat's picture
Lorikat
Posts: 564
Joined: Jul 2011

We all have that point where it hits us. We have cancer and we are going to have chemotherapy and radiation. It is real. And all the warnings about all the scary side effects. And all the other horror stories. As I told you before I am 3 weeks out from chemotherapy and radiation and I feel so much better mentally as well as physically. I am sure that is not much help now, but maybe later it will be. I will not know how successful the treatment has been til the end of January. So now I am worried about THAT! (the three weeks after treatment weren't so great. Week four better every day)

I don't think anyone is stronger just handle things differently. And a MOM? You are her BABY! Moms lift cars off their babies! Just tell her you love her and you will feed her strength and peacefulness and that is a gift to a Mom.

My Mom is 79 and has kidney cancer. I was her caregiver until this diagnosis of anal cancer. (my brother has taken over). She gives ME pep talks, tells me I have so much to live for, stay home and rest, etc. And reminds me I am HER baby! Who's stronger? Who knows, who cares? We comfort each other.... Good luck and if you need to talk the people here are awesome. I have asked some strange question! Always got an answer. Bless you and yours....Lori

Memphis Mary 49's picture
Memphis Mary 49
Posts: 52
Joined: Aug 2011

I LOVE what you said in your middle paragraph! SO true and SO well-stated!! :)

Chris Ptown's picture
Chris Ptown
Posts: 102
Joined: Oct 2011

Your message to me is very comforting thank you. I just need to stop being so scared. One thing i dont understand which i should have asked today is why is the port put up near the collar bone and instead just put down near the pelvis/bowel or even stomach area? I wonder why the chemo has to travel from the top of the body to the bottom.

Memphis Mary 49's picture
Memphis Mary 49
Posts: 52
Joined: Aug 2011

I am so sorry that you are feeling like this. I think we all understand the initial, overwhelming waves of fear and disbelief that you are experiencing. It is horrible and so lonely. Because I have worked in a pediatric oncology hospital for 15+ years, I have seen thousands of children (even infants) get chemo. Yes, they feel bad and get sick; but, the side effects are treated with a fair amount of success. Eventually they are happy and well again. The chemo we receive is fairly light duty compared to chemo for other cancers.

Take heart – you can get through this! I completed treatment July 26 of this year. I was scared, sad, lonely (even with a great family around me), horribly fatigued and depressed. I feel very good now and was back to work in late August. I would encourage you to concentrate on your blessings, and all the positives in your life - such as your wonderful, caring sister and loving mom. I have never leaned so much on my faith in God as I did throughout treatment. I prayed ALL the time, thought about how bad Job had it (and his restoration), and Psalm 23. You can and WILL get through this. You will get well. You will get back to a new normal – AND – you will have better perspective, more compassion, increased appreciation for each day and greatly increased faith. Its funny how God can make something beautiful out of something so ugly. – Love M.

Chris Ptown's picture
Chris Ptown
Posts: 102
Joined: Oct 2011

Thank you so much for your post to me. I know everything you say is true and I am praying a lot! I just need to stop being so weak and be strong like my sister and mum.

Memphis Mary 49's picture
Memphis Mary 49
Posts: 52
Joined: Aug 2011

Chris, the port is kind of like a little well with a covering on it - so to speak. It has a hollow tube (catheter) coming out of the side of it that is threaded through your blood vessel to your large vein that feeds into your heart. The chemotherapy is given through this port and goes into your blood stream. The medicine itself is very specific in targeting how the cancer cells grow - or more importantly - how the cancer cells die. Does this help answer your question? I've been a nurse for a long time. I don't have all the answers on everything, but do have a general understanding of many things. - Mary

Chris Ptown's picture
Chris Ptown
Posts: 102
Joined: Oct 2011

Mary so the chemo doesn't go to your heart but it goes everywhere else? I should have asked more questions today but I didn't. My sister wrote so much down as usual. I am so lucky to have her. The chemo teacher/doctor wrote a prescription for Avitan (think how it is spelled) and my sister thinks i should go to the drugstore with her and get it so it might help my anxiety. Not sure if it will. Reading yours and everyone else's post is certainly comforting to me. Can't thank you and everybody else enough.

Memphis Mary 49's picture
Memphis Mary 49
Posts: 52
Joined: Aug 2011

The clear liquid chemotherapy does go into your heart. All of the blood in your body circulates through your heart. The heart pumps the blood throughout your body, as it does, it carries the medicine with it and it goes to all the tissues in your body - including the tumor.

I agree with your sister that you should get the ativan. It will help you relax. It should not make you sleepy, but will help you be calm.

Keep asking questions. Chances are good that this group has the answer to almost all of them. - Mary

Ann_i_
Posts: 47
Joined: Oct 2011

I did a search (online) for information: The below sounds 'about right' though I can't say it is accurate, but it sounds good.(?)

Quoted(copy and pasted from online source)

They are used for a number of reasons. Primarily, a lot of the meds (chemo but also a lot of the other iv meds that she wil get) can damage the veins. The catheter protects the veins. The med will enter the catheter, the catherer threads through the vein and ends at the tip of the heart where the iv meds are immediatly mixed with the huge amount of blood at the heart, and no longer at such a concentration that would damage the veins as bad.

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Don't stress over being scared, just one day at a time. (Everything is scary when you are on the side of 'haven't been there yet' and not so scary when you get to the 'been there and done that' side.)

Angela_K
Posts: 374
Joined: Jan 2011

Chris ~ I think tears are a part of the emotional journey in healing . . .and for you at this point, you're still coming to terms with your diagnosis. Don't be so hard on yourself.

I could be in a room full of my best friends and family about this time last year (right before treatment started) and feel overwhelmingly alone . . .but for me, now in hindsight, I see that was God's way of preparing me for rebuilding my relationship with Him/Her. And that's the best of the many gifts having this disease brought me.

Learning calming/healing breathing and postures may be of help to you as you start your treatment. I found reflexology and massage therapy helped me tremendously.

You don't have to be strong, Chris. It's not expected of you! Lean on your friends and your faith.

With love,

Angela

Chris Ptown's picture
Chris Ptown
Posts: 102
Joined: Oct 2011

Thank you Angela. You and everybody else on here are helping me more than I can say. You guys are all so awesome.

xo

Phoebesnow
Posts: 451
Joined: Apr 2011

I have found this a wonderful tool. I take one before my tests and it makes it easier on me mentally.

I am so glad that you are so expressive Chris. I didn't express any feelings until months after my treatment was completed. I treasure this site and the people here, who allow us to express ourselves so freely. Once you start treatment it's almost a relief, because tx is not as bad as we build it up to be in our minds. You can do this and we will be with you the whole way. By allowing us to be there for you, you are helping us feel valuable,and then you will be here to support the next person.

Try to do something fun each day now, u will have fresh memories of good times to help you thru the hard ones.

How is Johnny?

Chris Ptown's picture
Chris Ptown
Posts: 102
Joined: Oct 2011

Johnny is doing OK thanks. He is staying here with my sister and brother in law's two big Airedales so he is definitely the little guy. Thanks for your message and support its so important to me. I am very lucky to have all of you and wish I could give each one of you a big hug.

mp327's picture
mp327
Posts: 3075
Joined: Jan 2010

I would definitely recommend filling the prescription for the Ativan. It helped me relax, which was a tremendous help to me in getting through treatment. Everyone has given you great advice and we do it because we care. You WILL get through this!

RoseC's picture
RoseC
Posts: 510
Joined: Jun 2011

Just want to second (or third) the recommendation to start taking the Ativan. I never took anything like it before, but upon diagnosis really needed it. Actually it was my mom who kind of pushed it. And she was right. It just takes the edge off things and gives you a little bit of relief from the stress and worry.

LOVE the comments about moms and dads in this thread - so true, we are their babies whether we're 2 or 62. My mom was so very supportive, and continues to be, despite her own battle with severe arthritis.

Take care Chris - don't worry about not feeling brave - you ARE even if you don't feel that way right now.

Chris Ptown's picture
Chris Ptown
Posts: 102
Joined: Oct 2011

thank you so much! i think today when the chemo lady was talking to me and my sister and she talked about the purple chemo that is given on the first day and the first day of the last week it just made me really nervous...when she went through side effects she went through rare ones like heart attack and causing other cancer and it just scared me so much...my PET scan showed i have borderline enlarged heart so today was very scary for me...i just want the chemo to work right I guess is what i am saying

thanks again Rose

hugs

RoseC's picture
RoseC
Posts: 510
Joined: Jun 2011

Yeah, the purple stuff - Mitomycin C - actually the color is really pretty. But you're right to have concerns about chemo no matter how pretty the color (haha) - it's powerful stuff.

I was afraid of the chemo too, much more than I was of the radiation. It's such toxic stuff. But I made it through - not without difficulties, but I made it through. You will too.

Make sure you report any side effects to your doctors. They'll monitor your blood counts (which will go in the dumper, but that's expected). Watch for unusual swelling, specially in your ankles. Some swelling can be normal, but report it anyway and keep on them about it. If you see brown colored urine, report it right away to the doctor (real brown, not dark yellow).

Try to keep your sister informed about any unusual things you see or feel. She can talk to the doctors and help keep on them, as you might be feeling kinda weary for a while.

And the secondary cancer thing - it's a possibility but certainly not a given and you really have no choice but to fight today's battle today - getting rid of the cancer. Try to let tomorrow worry about itself.

You'll get through this Chris. You HAVE to - we need you!

Big hugs to you too Chris - we're so glad to meet you!

Chris Ptown's picture
Chris Ptown
Posts: 102
Joined: Oct 2011

thank you hugs

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