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Will I need help?

wiveliscombe
Posts: 50
Joined: Feb 2010

I have just read "Kicking Cancer in the Butt" very informative but it has got me wondering if I can go through this treatment on my own? I will be starting the chemo and radiation in a couple weeks. I am a recent widow and moved to this place while I was caregiving my husband to be closer to the hospital so I don't know a lot of people yet. My daughters don't live real close by and both work full time and have young children. I don't have any other family here. So from all of you that have been through this will I be able to take care of myself and drive to radiation appts? My sister has offered to come over from England for me.
Louise

AZANNIE's picture
AZANNIE
Posts: 396
Joined: Mar 2011

Everyone reacts differently to treatment. For me personally, I drove myself to radiation appts the first week or two and then my Mom took me. There may be days that you might feel miserable. My Mom was my caregiver and I was very thankful for her help! I think the cancer society helps with transportation, but not for sure. So sorry you have to go through this.
I read "Kicking Cancer in the Butt", too and found it to be very informative. Wish I had read it before treatment.

Ann

eihtak
Posts: 1012
Joined: Oct 2011

Hi, Like so many things everyone is different once again. I'm sure some people make it on their own but I had days where I was just plain too yuk feeling to drive back and forth. The radiation schedule will be everyday for 5 or 6 weeks and after a couple weeks of that with the chemo too, I suggest having help. There is a program through the American Cancer Society that helps arrange rides to and from appointments if needed. It is free, safe, and drivers have been screened by them. We had to use this service for a short time for my husband when we were both sick at the same time. It will take me a day or two to find the info but will look it up for you or anyone else that may be interested. Im sure there is a lot of planning for your sister to come here, but it would sure be helpful to have someone with you to help out at home also, though even on that there are some very good home health workers to assist if needed too. If you don't mind, what part of the country are you in, and how far is your drive to the hospital for treatment? Just think, somehow the details will work out and before you know it this will be behind you. I will be back with that driving info. As always, all in my prayers.

eihtak
Posts: 1012
Joined: Oct 2011

Hi again...silly me! The program is called Road to Recovery and you can get the number by clicking on Rides to Treatment on this site. Its listed just to the left under cancer.org. I will still look for another one I came across also. Good luck!

wiveliscombe
Posts: 50
Joined: Feb 2010

Thanks for your advice I will check it out. I live in Northern California and it will be about a 45 min. drive to the radiation facility.
Louise

mp327's picture
mp327
Posts: 3392
Joined: Jan 2010

I think you will find the first couple of weeks manageable on your own, but I would suggest preparing some meals ahead of time for the freezer that you can easily pop into the microwave. There may be times early on when you are not up to cooking for yourself, but nutrition is very important. Later on, it will be critical for you to keep eating, so be well-prepared in advance. About driving to treatment, I drove myself almost every day during my 6-week treatment time, with my husband taking me on Mondays since it was his day off. Towards the end, I wish I had had someone drive me, due to the fact that I was not taking enough pain medication to keep my pain at bay because the pain meds made me loopy and unable to drive. I would NOT recommend doing that, so please arrange for transportation, at least during the last half of treatment. As I recall, my husband did take me my last two days. Do check with the American Cancer Society (and look on this website). They have references to caregivers in your area who have been screened. You might want to use this service a couple of days a week for laundry and household chores, and perhaps meal preparation. Please do not try to do this all alone--it can be tough at the end.

mxperry220
Posts: 419
Joined: Mar 2011

I was able to drive myself to all my radiation appointments for 6 weeks. I had someone go with me for my first chemo treatment in case there was any reaction to the chemo but I was fine. I drove myself to my second round of chemo with no problems. I drank Ensure daily to keep up the vitamins and minerals. I also had chicken noodle soup and toasted cheese sandwichs. I also liked hamburger dill pickes for some reason. Also had immodium handy and advil for pain. The prescription pain meds did not work for me. Also, Aquaphor ointment was my best friend for my groin area and buttocks. I used other prescription ointment but they did not seem to work as well as Aquaphor which is sold over the counter at drugstores, Target, etc.

If you feel you need someone to go with you at first you might check with the hospital they may have volunteers that can help out. Most hospitals have a patient advocate staff member who can advise you. Also, if you are connected with a church they may have someone who can help out.

Hope some of this info helps.
Mike

danker's picture
danker
Posts: 866
Joined: Apr 2012

when i had 5 weeks of radiation coupled with a chemo pump I often drove myself to the hospital. As the weeks wore on i developed
diarrhea. this made the half hour drive a bit of a problem. With towels under me in the car provided secuyrity and easy clean up if an accident(bm) occured. Good luck. don't be afraid. it will all be over before long. Other than occasional diarrhea, I am now a two year surviver living a normal life.

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