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Starting Chemo on Friday 10/5

trsmith0104
Posts: 35
Joined: Jul 2012

OK ladies, haul out your bus or light those flashlights......whatever it is that helps to work your magic...

I start chemo on Friday, I have purchased my wig. I need to buy a thermometer yet (I hear you need to check your temp all the time).

My shots have been called in to the pharmacy (I believe I will be trained on giving myself my own injections - can't wait for that one) (it's the Neulasta or whatever it is)

Food: not sure about this one. Afraid to even go there....

Do I have it all covered?

Tonia

Ctine70's picture
Ctine70
Posts: 150
Joined: Sep 2012

Want to wish you good luck on starting chemo on Friday.
Make sure you have a hot/cold pack they will help with the bone pain and stomach cramps.
As for food rice, broth, ices anything light will do go. Also make sure you drink as lot of fluids.
You will go great, how many rounds do you need? What is your chemo cocktail ?
It's great that they are letting you give yourself the injections, my doctors makes me go into the office what a pain.
If there is anything else I can help you with let me know, I just finished my second round on Thursday
Hugs Christine

missrenee's picture
missrenee
Posts: 2137
Joined: Apr 2010

Just walking in that door for the first time can be really scary. But, it was nowhere near as bad as I imagined. I had six rounds of TAC 3 weeks apart. The first few were a breeze, but 4th got a little harder then 5 and 6 were the toughest but doable. I went to the doc's for the Neulasta the day after--caused me a little bone pain a day or two after for which I used Ibuprophen.

For me, the worst thing was that most of my food tasted downright lousy. It was really trial and error as to what I could tolerate. Everyone is different and will tell you different things to eat. Do drink lots of fluids and if you have any of the side effects, most likely your onc. will have a good remedy--make sure to call.

Try to rest as much as possible and one piece of advice that I would definitely give you is to let people help you. Whether it's neighbors wanting to send meals, watch your kids, do your shopping, etc.--let them. Makes them feel like they're helping and it will help you so much too.

Take good care and check in often. There are so many of us who can help to answer questions, alleviate your fears or just be a good, non-judgemental ear to listen to you complain should you so desire.

Hugs, Renee

jnl's picture
jnl
Posts: 3873
Joined: May 2009

I'll be on that pink bus Friday!

Good luck Tonia,

Leeza

MAJW
Posts: 2515
Joined: May 2009

I know it's a scary time....but I've always said, the scariest part, for me was walking in the door for the first one....thought my husband was going to have to drag me in.....I'm back on chemo, again....it's kind of old hat for me now...do you have a port? If so wear something that makes it easy for the nurse to access it...button down or loose pull over...get a digital thermometer, takes the guess work out....I would take it if you have reason to believe to might have a fever but not all the time...report anything to your onco over 100.2.....as for the Neulasta injection....it has to be kept in the frig...do you live to far from your treatment center to go back and have them give it to you? Especially the first one, never know if you might have a reaction to it....and it has to be given slowly or it really burns..and given 24 hours after your infusion.....also many take Claratin ......NOT Clatitan D! the morning of the shot to ward off the bone pain that can come with it....check and make sure your doc okays it....

I always start my Zofran (anti nausea meds) the day before and take them for the next 3 days as prescribed....better to keep it at bay than get it under control if it starts......if you don't already have an Rx for them get it! .....they will give it to you in your IV before the chemo drugs,and probably Decadron and Benadryl also....the Decadron may cause sleep problems...it did me....

I ALWAYS eat before each infusion....if it's early, I eat oatmeal....something that sticks to your ribs..my cancer center also feeds us....if you want something... Also, have some extra strength Immodium and Miralax (stool softener) on hand....if you get diarrhea don't let it get out of control, sets you up for dehydration....drink plenty of water or what ever suits you after each infusion....what is your chemo cocktail? Remember we're all different and react differently to the same things..eat what ever you can....your taste buds will probably be way off for a week or so...

If you have any other questions, there's always one of us, ready with an answer and help....
Wishing you the best,
Hugs, Nancy

Kristin N's picture
Kristin N
Posts: 1969
Joined: Mar 2009

Good luck! Praying for no side effects for you and please update us how your 1st chemo treatment goes.

salls41's picture
salls41
Posts: 340
Joined: Apr 2012

Definitely drink fluids. I always brought a bottle of water for my ride home. Buy some plastic silverware for eating, it helped me sometimes with the funny taste. Keep in mind just because you like the way something tastes today, it may make you sick tomorrow. Your taste will change constantly. Be easy on yourself. You must give in and rest, don't fight fatigue but try to walk each day a little. Let friends and family help if they offer, they need too feel like they are helping.
Positive thoughts and prayers! Remember every chemo you get through puts you one step closer to the end!
Sandy

Ritzy's picture
Ritzy
Posts: 4384
Joined: Aug 2009

I've got flashlights, batteries, food, booze and bail money. That's right, bail money. Sorry to say a couple, no names mentioned, got a little too rowdy on the last pink bus and got arrested. So this time, I am prepared! hehe

Praying that you will have zero side effects with chemo!

Sue :)

rallendorfer
Posts: 245
Joined: May 2012

had not put that dollar down the handsome dancer's thongy thing and it turned out to be a sting.....

Megan M's picture
Megan M
Posts: 3001
Joined: Dec 2009

Between what you have already and what the sisters have told you about, you've got it covered!

Lots and lots of good luck and hugs,

Megan

Kylez's picture
Kylez
Posts: 3765
Joined: May 2009

I'm in! Always ready to support a pink sister! What should I bring for the bus ride?

Hugs, Kylez

VickiSam's picture
VickiSam
Posts: 8219
Joined: Aug 2009

for occasions such of this -- I am good to go! No need to take up a
collection for bail this bus ride...

Vicki Sam

Ritzy's picture
Ritzy
Posts: 4384
Joined: Aug 2009

I know! Can you try and I mean try really hard to keep Vicki Sam under control please? LOL

Sue :)

fight2survive's picture
fight2survive
Posts: 15
Joined: Jun 2012

You'll do great!!!

I had 6 rounds of TCH. My husband gave me my Neulasta shot 24 hours after my treatment -- well, it was closer to 18 hours, because he'd give it to me on the evening the day after my treatment. I have a huge fear of needles, so my oncologist kept me on the single higher dose rather than a series of mini ones to regulate my WBC.

If you haven't already, ask for a PORT -- it'll make it oh so much easier for those trips.

Ask for numbing cream, too. It gets old getting pricked.

Take a blanket with you, it gets cold in the chemo rooms.

Take a book and/or someone with you to keep you company.

Temperature: I took mine about once a day and whenever I felt like I was warm.

Food: I found that nothing hot worked for me - so I had lots of iced lattes, milkshakes, ice cold water. Soups worked well, too. I found the more I had to chew my food the worst it tasted. The only thing I could figure was that the chemo was expelled through the salvia and when that mixed with my food, it tasted bad and burned going down my throat. So soup worked in that there was no chewing involved. Wine - Red wine burned going down, so I went to white wine. I chuckled towards the end of my treatments . . . my iron levels got low, so they told me to eat more red meat and to drink wine to help my body absorb the iron.

Be prepared for hot flashes/night sweats. They come and go -- just uncomfortable for a short bit.

My hair started to come out exactly at the 14 day mark. I held on to it for about a week and half afterwards and then finally shaved it off. I was massively emotional about it -- even posted on here before hand. We made it a family event, each of our kids got to clip and shave it. Afterwards, when I looked in the mirror and saw myself with no hair, I was ok with it - no more tears. Also, I haven't worn the wigs I purchased once! I have preferred to wear scarves and hats --- I have nothing to hide.

Do your make-up EVERYDAY! This will help you feel better about yourself and help you keep your spirits up.

The only other advice I can give it to do your best to stay positive. BC is a horrible thing, but it does not have to change your daily routine . . .do what you can and forget the rest. Enlist people to help you out and LET THEM.

jnl's picture
jnl
Posts: 3873
Joined: May 2009

Fight2survive, that is fantastic advice! I've never had chemo, but, I am going to copy your post to have incase someone else might ask about what to do. Excellent tips!

Leeza

fight2survive's picture
fight2survive
Posts: 15
Joined: Jun 2012

post

DebbyM's picture
DebbyM
Posts: 3295
Joined: Oct 2009

Praying all goes well for you.

Hugs, Debby

debsweb18
Posts: 190
Joined: Jun 2012

So can't give you advice. But hope you get through it ok.

Deb

Noel's picture
Noel
Posts: 3101
Joined: Apr 2009

Looks like the pink sisters have given you exceptional advice as they always do. Just going to say good luck to you and post how you are doing when you can.

Hugs, Noel

lynn1950's picture
lynn1950
Posts: 2566
Joined: Jun 2008

Noone warned me about the steroids that are given along with the chemo - I was very up and wakeful following chemo. Immediately after chemo I always felt fine. I usually allowed myself some retail therapy, since where I live is rural, but where I received treatment is not. The evening of chemo I had a hard time getting to sleep and sleeping. So if you are sensitive, you may want some medication to help you to sleep that first night. At least, you may want to ask about it.

Also, do you have a port? If you do, EMLA cream, applied an hour before port access makes the whole shebang painless. If they haven't offered you EMLA, you may want to request that.

You will do fine... I just know it. xoxoxox Lynn

MAJW
Posts: 2515
Joined: May 2009

The reason food doesn't taste the same or bad is because chemo attacks rapidly dividing cells, and your taste buds are just that....the same with our hair.... My first go round with chemo, my taste buds disappeared for about 6-7 days and then I was fine with food....I have been told no alcohol while on chemo....chemo can also cause Thrush....if your tongue starts to look whitish or you develop little white blisters contact your doc....

Hugs, Nancy

jnl's picture
jnl
Posts: 3873
Joined: May 2009

You deserve retail therapy like Lynn used to do! I hope you feel like it!

trsmith0104
Posts: 35
Joined: Jul 2012

My chemo cocktail is probably Sunday School compared to what you ladies are probably used to. Since my nodes were clean but my oncotype score fell in the middle, we were just gambling on doing chemo so we can ward off the evil cell dividing monkeys that may be lurking. I don't have the names in front of me - only the "medical names" of the drugs. The brand names are not coming to my mind off hand: "Doxorubicin" and "Cyclophosphamide" every 2 weeks (4 doses), then 12 weeks once a week of "paclitaxel".

Steroids: I have had them before but when my asthma got bad. If it is the same steroids everyone around me is in trouble. That stuff makes me bend metal in half.

Port: I do have one - we are good to go. I got it last week - my chest is bruised to hell.

Immodium AD, Miralax, Claritin: CHECK

Thermometer: Digital - CHECK

Plastic Silverware: - FORGOT - will be sending Tim (my hubbie) out to shop along with any food. I get the feeling it's going to change all the time anyway.

Thank you all for helping me with my list. I am scared to death. Not only am I just scared, I am afraid because I worked so hard to lose weight on Weight Watchers. I lost 20 lbs. and I understand that a lot of times people gain weight while going through this.

I'm sure it'll be fine, lol - "what could possibly go wrong?"

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

I never had to do chemo, and, I know you must be scared, but, all of us will be with you in spirit, cheering you on and holding your hand.

See you Friday,

Diane

VickiSam's picture
VickiSam
Posts: 8219
Joined: Aug 2009

Please don't allow the anxiety to get the best of you. Remember to alert your Onco RN of any unusual feelings etc .. a list of possible side efforts, which should be presented to
you before your first chemo infusion

It is so important to remain and continue hydration, water - water, and more
water. Splash in a little lemonade, cranberry juice -- or prepackaged crystal
light, or Lipton Tea. Herbal Tea's also work for a change of pace.

If you are getting the neulasta shot -- Please ask your Oncologist about taking
a benadryl -- or claritin -- which many of us === swear by -- as they help alleviate that
'just run over by a truck' aches and pains - some of us experience from the
neulasta shot, which is given 24 hours after chemo infusion.

Ask for prescriptions for nausea and vomiting -- as well as diarrhea.

Plastic silverware is a must ---
biotin toothpaste and mouthwash is a daily essential, and biotin
mouth wash is helpful in preventing mount sores
(both are available at most Target's or Walmart)
Tom's natural toothpaste also works

Food is subjective -- depending on your personal needs and taste buds .. What
taste good or was tolerable 1 week -- changed for me, the very next. I could not
tolerate any foods with sugar, i.e. ketchup, or cola's.

To help prevent mouth sores -- suck on ice chips during all chemo treatments.

Johnson's baby shampoo, or Neutrogena T-Gel are 2 good sources of shampoo --
gentle on our new hairless scalps.

Don't be surprised if your face, neck and back break out in acme. My acme reminded
me of a '15 year old' school girl. Yikes!

Rest when you can, as some chemo queens have bouts of insomnia ---

Take goodies to entertain yourself during your infusions -- games, books,
friend, a snack, IPOD, laptop ...

Strength, Courage and Hope.

Vicki Sam

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

Hoping everything goes well for you and I will be watching for an update.

Hugs, Lex

Kristin N's picture
Kristin N
Posts: 1969
Joined: Mar 2009

Be sure and let us know how today goes for you Tonia. Positive thoughts and prayers!

Wendy Joy
Posts: 51
Joined: Jan 2012

Oh yes, the steroids, lol, I almost forgot. I was so hyped up after my first chemo and wanted to go shopping. I couldn't believe how good I felt. My friend said my face was RED from the steroids. I over did it! Just b/c you have energy, you should still rest. The steroids may play tricks on you. REST whey you can. Chemo really takes a toll on our bodies!

survivorbc09
Posts: 4378
Joined: Jun 2009

Sorry I missed going with you today Tonia, but, you are in my thoughts and prayers.

Hugs, Jan

Megan M's picture
Megan M
Posts: 3001
Joined: Dec 2009

How are you doing?

Hugs, Megan

Kylez's picture
Kylez
Posts: 3765
Joined: May 2009

Tonia, how did Friday go? Praying for you!

Kylez

survivorbc09
Posts: 4378
Joined: Jun 2009

Hoping to see an update from you.

Hugs, Jan

mamolady's picture
mamolady
Posts: 795
Joined: May 2011

Tonia,
You have already gotten wonderful advise. I will only add that once you are through this first one, you will get your groove. You will know what foods you can stomach, what days you can get stuff done and what days you should just be a couch potato. If they are giving you the injections, pick up a sharps container at the pharmacy to so you can dispose of the needles safely. I had to do mine as my husband has issues with needles!
Like everyone says, drinks lots of fluids. I added an extra serving of protein and that seemed to help. The steroids really helped me eat.
This will be over before you know it.
Cindy

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

Tonia, anxious like the others in knowing how your chemo went. Drink lots of water. You need to stay hydrated.

Gentle hugs,

Diane

mamolady's picture
mamolady
Posts: 795
Joined: May 2011

Tonia,
You have already gotten wonderful advise. I will only add that once you are through this first one, you will get your groove. You will know what foods you can stomach, what days you can get stuff done and what days you should just be a couch potato. If they are giving you the injections, pick up a sharps container at the pharmacy to so you can dispose of the needles safely. I had to do mine as my husband has issues with needles!
Like everyone says, drinks lots of fluids. I added an extra serving of protein and that seemed to help. The steroids really helped me eat.
This will be over before you know it.
Cindy

Angie2U's picture
Angie2U
Posts: 2993
Joined: Sep 2009

I couldn't be there on the pink bus with you today, but, you were in my thoughts! Praying all went well.

Hugs, Angie

Ctine70's picture
Ctine70
Posts: 150
Joined: Sep 2012

Wanted to see how you are after your first chemo
Thinking of you
Hugs Christine

Wendy Joy
Posts: 51
Joined: Jan 2012

The Claritin the night before the Nuelast shot and a few days after helped with any body aches. I don't know why, but it works! Also, I had heard if you chew on ice during your chemo injection you will not get mouth sores. I don't know if it worked, but every injection I got an ice tea from McDonalds and kept having the nurses fill it up with ice. it was so cold in the room, but I did not stop having ice in my mouth the entire time and no mouth sores. Again, maybe a myth but either way worked for me. Also you will figure out what food you can eat and what you can't. I though all I would want was ice cream and then found out I wanted chicken broth and nothing milk based. 4 or 5 days after the injection I would start doing the BRAT diet (bananas, rice, applesauce, toast) and it would keep me from getting diarrhea. Keep benadryl on hand. I broke out in a rash on my chest and had to take it. You will learn so much after your first round and by the time it is over (yah) you will be an expert on how it is going to effect your body. We are all different. Just stay calm, rest and let people help you. Good luck!!!!!

Double Whammy's picture
Double Whammy
Posts: 2259
Joined: Jun 2010

Round 1 is over (well, sort of). Hope the infusion went without a glitch and you have few or no side effects.

Suzanne

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

Hoping that your first chemo had no side effects for you Tonia.

Hugs, Lex

Angie2U's picture
Angie2U
Posts: 2993
Joined: Sep 2009

Worrying Tonia. You ok?

Hugs,

Angie

Kylez's picture
Kylez
Posts: 3765
Joined: May 2009

How did chemo go and how are you Tonia?

jnl's picture
jnl
Posts: 3873
Joined: May 2009

How was your first chemo Tonia?

Leeza

Pink_Swagga
Posts: 2
Joined: Oct 2012

Seems that all our sisters have given you all you will need to prepare. I must say that everyone is differet so don't dwell on expecting the worse. Keep a positive attitude, take one day at a time and give yourself a break.

Remember that we made a decision to fight this so, bring your body, mind and spirit!

Any questions please feel free to contact me. I finished my chemo 2 months ago and I am currently on Tamoxifen. Memory is my current frustration. ugh

God Bless you
Hope yesterday went well for you and that you keep an attitude of gratitude.

Pink_Swagga
Posts: 2
Joined: Oct 2012

Seems that all our sisters have given you all you will need to prepare. I must say that everyone is differet so don't dwell on expecting the worse. Keep a positive attitude, take one day at a time and give yourself a break.

Remember that we made a decision to fight this so, bring your body, mind and spirit!

Any questions please feel free to contact me. I finished my chemo 2 months ago and I am currently on Tamoxifen. Memory is my current frustration. ugh

God Bless you
Hope yesterday went well for you and that you keep an attitude of gratitude.

mom62
Posts: 600
Joined: Mar 2004

Hi,

I'd be happy to be on the bus when you go to chemo. I hope you have a symptom free treatment. We will be here if you have any questions. Good job getting the wig early. I found shaving my head when my hair started to fall out empowering. This was just my experience. It was like the only think I had control of. I'll be here you for you if you need me.

Terry

Megan M's picture
Megan M
Posts: 3001
Joined: Dec 2009

I am getting scared too since we've heard nothing. Tonia, please update us.

Praying, Megan

desertgirl947's picture
desertgirl947
Posts: 401
Joined: Oct 2012

I finished chemo July 16. I did four rounds of adriamycin/cytoxan every other week and that was followed by four rounds of taxol every other week. My nurses told me that what they had in the preliminary drip was enough to offset nausea from Monday through Wednesday. (I did not know at first, and so I started taking my anti-puke pills (2) the day after an infusion.) I did my three days of steroids Tuesday-Thursday. I had to take two. The nurses told me that a smart thing to do was take the second pill mid-afternoon rather than 12 hours or so after my first dose. They said I had a better chance of sleeping if I did that. I did. I slept fine.

I never had issues with vomiting. The oncology people told me that there was no reason that I should. If my meds were not working, I was to call them and they would prescribe something else. I did have days of queasiness and would make myself eat some, as I knew I should. I drank tons of water. I wanted the crud washed out of my system quickly. I tried to take in 2-3 qts. of water.

Food did not appeal to me, although I did better when someone else prepared it. When I was doing Taxol, my infusions took longer than they did with the other stuff, and so I was at the office into mid-afternoon. Packing a lunch from home did not work for me; I did better having my driver-of-the-day go out to get us something from a local fast-food restaurant. I really had to play mind games some time.

AC: only time I felt queasy (usually from about Thursday through Saturday, after chemo Monday)
T: never felt queasy; did have a reaction to the drug twice -- the last two infusions -- that twice stopped the infusion temporarily; had issues with coughing and taking deep breaths for parts of the last four weeks of taxol, but an allergy pill like Clariton helped a lot.

When I knew my hair was starting to flee, I had a friend of mine come over and give me a buzz cut. I thought bristles were not likely to clog drains and be less of a nuisance, especially because that particular weekend my husband and I were going to visit family (over 400 miles from us)for a brief reunion.

Neulasta -- I had to go get the shot. It only really began to bother my legs, etc. the final month I took it. My numbers were always good, and so I did not have to get a shot after my final chemo.

It is good if you can have a driver, whether or not he/she opts to stay with you and be company for you. Not sure what you set up is. My church set up a list for volunteers to sign up to be my drivers. I had people for all 8 infusions plus I had people offer to drive me for my shots and blood draws. I live about a half hour from where I had to go for all of this.

I have observed that how one reacts/handles chemo may not be the same as someone else. However, what any of us here share helps give you an idea of what you could expect. Just don't be surprised if you are rather individual.

Angie2U's picture
Angie2U
Posts: 2993
Joined: Sep 2009

Worrying about you Tonia since you haven't updated us. Hoping you are doing ok.

Hugs, Angie

Noel's picture
Noel
Posts: 3101
Joined: Apr 2009

Tonia, how are you? I am worried too..

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