Starting chemo on Tues. March 10th.

Any encouraging words would be appricatated:) This is the first time I have had to have chemo treatments. I'm suppose to get 4 rounds. Every 3 weeks. When I finish the chemo then internal radiation. I am going the talk more about all of this with the nurse on this Thursday.

I was thinking of getting my hair cut pixie style on Friday. I thought it would help when my long hair starts falling out.

How do most women prepare for this part?

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Comments

  • AWK
    AWK Member Posts: 364
    Hugs! You can do this.

    I don't remember any preparations except that we stayed busy, did things we enjoyed and tried not the think too far ahead.  I  started chemo within two weeks of my surgery so it is a blur.  I did cut my hair short and that was fun.  I also went out and bought my wig, we made a fun day out of it with my stepdaughters.  Laughed and cried and laughed some more.  

    Just remember with everything that happens with chemo - it is all temporary.  Each round has a cycle and they build on each other but I always felt great the week prior to my next one although tired.  i made sure to stay in a routine, stay hydrated and nibble all day.  Accept help from people and don't feel bad about asking them to do things.  People want to help and don't know how to.

    i had, and continue to have, amazing experiences because of my cancer.  The infusion lounge is a special place.  I view it as one of healing.  i go into my treatments with an open heart and calm feelings.  Wishing you healing and peace.  

  • It happened to Me
    It happened to Me Member Posts: 206 Member
    Preparations

    When I knew I needed chemo., I made the decision to get my hair shaved once I found it starting to fall out.  I also decided I wasn't wearing a wig.  Make sure you have lots of bland foods and gatorade (G2). Make sure you stay hydrated and away from nausea (I endd up in ER because I got dehydrated and couldn't stop the vomitting).   Eat small meals and drink lots of liquids.  Make sure you rest when you need.  If you go outside or in public, wear a mask to avoid being in contact with people so you don't get germs.    Make sure you tell the onc. what symptoms you are having that isn't normal. Especially if you get tingling in feet and hands (neuropathy).  Make sure to keep your bowels moving.  Try to walk around a little bit every day. 

    Chemo. affects everyone differently and it also depends on what kind of chemo. you are receiving.  Don't be afraid to call the on-call nurses with questions and concerns. 

    Just take each day as it comes.  Try to accept the fact that you will have good days and bad days.  I always tried to find something to be thankful for.   I agree with the suggestions of AWK as well.

    You WILL get through this. 

    Jeanette

  • nempark
    nempark Member Posts: 681
    Hi Annabella

    Just read your post.  Preparing for Chemo is not easy and the fear of the unknown is a killer, but please my love be assured that chemo is quite doable.  I was in a daze for a long time when I was dx and my most fear was for my loved ones.  I had six rounds of Carbo/platin every three weeks.  I was never sick, fortunately I was not working at the time.  Believe me, I never lost my appetite nor did I have to urge to over indulge.  Even when I lost my hair I wasn't really bothered because I was still alive.  

    Do not go crazy with wigs, I bought a lot of wigs and ended up wearing the cheapest one.  Dress up yourself, wear nice clothes and nice hats, nice jewelery.  My Doctors had a good time when they saw me I was always dressed nicely and fashionable.

    I think by your second session of chemo you will probably start losing your hair.  Try not to let it bother you, you still have life and your hair will grow back beautifully.

    Dear Annabella, I wish you great success and hope you continue to be positive and beat this aweful disease.  You have come a long way and have many more years ahead of you.  Medicine is good and the Doctors are very skilled.

    May our Great God Bless you and give you all the strength you need to endure and put all this behind you.  Just some more encouragement after my last chemo two days later I travelled from New York to Florida for a wedding. You can do this.  My best to you and your family.

  • Ann55
    Ann55 Member Posts: 48
    My sister and sister- in- law

    My sister and sister- in- law went wig and scarf shopping. I only used the wig twice but it was nice to know I had it.I really liked wearing a scarf better and watched videos on u-tube to learn to make rosettes and had fun with it. I didn't get my haircut until it started falling out then I went in and got a buzz cut.I did much better than my stylist she had always been so proud of the way my hair had held it's color and thickness.When it came back it didn't take long for it to thicken back up.I'm a nurse and my friends from work gave my a pre-chemo party so I had everything I needed and didn't have to buy anything.Things I found usefull were straws,eucerin skin calming body wash,cerave body lotion.Unless you will have company you may want to take a book or puzzles to chemo and a snack (usally they will offer you one) also some warm socks. Chemo made my nails yellow so you may want to stock on darker color nail polish and I also used some almond oil (GNC).Talk with the nurses about what vitamins they suggest to help prevent neuropathy.If you get a buzz cut you need to put on a thin cap before you put on your wig,hat or scarf because  those little short hairs will still come out and if they get in your wig,hats and scarves you cannot get them out and they will make you itch.Sorry this has been all over the place but I think of more as I go! Good luck it's not fun but you can get thru it.Put on your make-up and do your nails this too shall pass.  

  • DrienneB
    DrienneB Member Posts: 182
    Starting Chemo

    Cutting your hair is a great idea. It will make things easier. I bought a lot of hats in preparation, but wound up wearing a few beanies that I really liked. I bought an inexpensive wig, but only wore it for about 20 minutes one night. I had some scarves as well, but mostly stuck to the beanies as they're kind of stylish in an offbeat way. I enjoyed having the fragments of bangs that were just hanging on as the weeks progressed.

    The hair-loss issue is scarier from a distance, and not that bad when it happens. I was concerned, though, about how much hair I might have by the time I would have to go to an annual industry-wide work event where my role has been somewhat high-profile. So, watching the following YouTube video helped me gauge how quickly my own hair might regrow. It is very encouraging, I think:

    I had 6 rounds of Carboplatin/Taxol. And, I know you did not ask about this factor, but I have had severe nerve pain since finishing chemo, and I think this only happens to a small percentage of people. They don't know why. But one of the things that was discovered a few months after I finished, was that I had a dangerously low level of vitamin B12. Even though insurance might not cover it, you might ask if you can have that checked, and have it boosted if it's low to begin with before your chemo. The taxol/carboplatin really seems to knock that out of you. Since you have MS and MG, perhaps you already on top of some of these issues. There are also people who say that it's good to take glutamine as a supplement before and during the chemo regimen, to protect the nerves. I did not do this. You might also ask your doctor about this.

    Your experiences will be unique to you. I will be praying that God gives you peace and rest in the coming weeks, and that He uses all these means to rid your body of any remnants of the disease that may remain.

  • Lou Ann M
    Lou Ann M Member Posts: 996
    Starting chemo

    i have been battle endometrial cancer for 2 1/2 years .  I was really afraid at first but now it is a minor bump in the road.  I had very long red hair when this started, and I worried about the hair thing alot.  I was teaching school at ther time with a class of 1st and 2nd graders.  I also got my hair cut before, and thatndid help when it statred to fall ou at 2 weeks.  When it did statr to fall i had it shaved.  I ordered  a wig and bought hats.  I got some of the knit animal hats and let my class choose which one I should wear first.. I wore the wig once and children can be brutely honest ( the wig was not me) so have have developed quite a hat collection.  I learned that thee would be a few days after that I didn' feellike doing much , so I cleaned and did a little coking and froze a few meals including dessets.  Some how it makes me feel more incharge of my live.  Pray, pray and pray.  It helps so much

  • AWK
    AWK Member Posts: 364
    Lou Ann M said:

    Starting chemo

    i have been battle endometrial cancer for 2 1/2 years .  I was really afraid at first but now it is a minor bump in the road.  I had very long red hair when this started, and I worried about the hair thing alot.  I was teaching school at ther time with a class of 1st and 2nd graders.  I also got my hair cut before, and thatndid help when it statred to fall ou at 2 weeks.  When it did statr to fall i had it shaved.  I ordered  a wig and bought hats.  I got some of the knit animal hats and let my class choose which one I should wear first.. I wore the wig once and children can be brutely honest ( the wig was not me) so have have developed quite a hat collection.  I learned that thee would be a few days after that I didn' feellike doing much , so I cleaned and did a little coking and froze a few meals including dessets.  Some how it makes me feel more incharge of my live.  Pray, pray and pray.  It helps so much

    Hi Lou Ann

    I read your profile and we have much in common.  I have been in the fight, and treatment, for two years.  UPSC Stage IIIC or StageIV a depending on which opinion you read.  are you still working?  I am but I sure get tired.  Agree on the prayers.  Anne

  • Lou Ann M
    Lou Ann M Member Posts: 996
    AWK said:

    Hi Lou Ann

    I read your profile and we have much in common.  I have been in the fight, and treatment, for two years.  UPSC Stage IIIC or StageIV a depending on which opinion you read.  are you still working?  I am but I sure get tired.  Agree on the prayers.  Anne

    Hi, Anne

    I retired at the end of last yesr after 40 years of teaching.  I miss the kids and my friends at work a lot.  Sometimes I think working had many advantages.  I never had time to think about Cancer very often. Kids don't care if you have no hair, they just want your help.  We are trying Doxil, side effects seem a lot less than Taxal/carbo.(reaction to carbo on round 15, Taxal didn't work by itself.) I am hopeful it will help.  I pray for strenth and courage.  We do have a lot in common.  Lou Ann

  • Annabella Rose
    Annabella Rose Member Posts: 59
    Lou Ann M said:

    Starting chemo

    i have been battle endometrial cancer for 2 1/2 years .  I was really afraid at first but now it is a minor bump in the road.  I had very long red hair when this started, and I worried about the hair thing alot.  I was teaching school at ther time with a class of 1st and 2nd graders.  I also got my hair cut before, and thatndid help when it statred to fall ou at 2 weeks.  When it did statr to fall i had it shaved.  I ordered  a wig and bought hats.  I got some of the knit animal hats and let my class choose which one I should wear first.. I wore the wig once and children can be brutely honest ( the wig was not me) so have have developed quite a hat collection.  I learned that thee would be a few days after that I didn' feellike doing much , so I cleaned and did a little coking and froze a few meals including dessets.  Some how it makes me feel more incharge of my live.  Pray, pray and pray.  It helps so much

    Concerned about taking Decadron

    Thank you all for your encouragement and wisdom :)

    I am very concerned about taking Decadron (Dexamethasone) 4 on the day before then 4 on the day of my first chemo and the 4 on the next day. It's written 2 tablets on each morning and 2 each evening.

    My stomach and esophagus get very irratated easy. Years ago I tried taking predasone tablets and couldn't make it to the second pill because I was in so much pain.

    I take one Prevacid  a day but I still have to watch what I can eat and how much. Nothing acidity, spicy or even soda. When I drink any carbonated drink, it's like pouring acid down my throat and into my stomach.

    If anyone here has taken this before chemo please let me know if it's hard on the stomach and if it is, what to do to be able to tolerated it.

    It says to take with food but I did that when I was taking the predasone and still was in terrible pain.

    Thank you for any info!

  • Double Whammy
    Double Whammy Member Posts: 2,832

    Concerned about taking Decadron

    Thank you all for your encouragement and wisdom :)

    I am very concerned about taking Decadron (Dexamethasone) 4 on the day before then 4 on the day of my first chemo and the 4 on the next day. It's written 2 tablets on each morning and 2 each evening.

    My stomach and esophagus get very irratated easy. Years ago I tried taking predasone tablets and couldn't make it to the second pill because I was in so much pain.

    I take one Prevacid  a day but I still have to watch what I can eat and how much. Nothing acidity, spicy or even soda. When I drink any carbonated drink, it's like pouring acid down my throat and into my stomach.

    If anyone here has taken this before chemo please let me know if it's hard on the stomach and if it is, what to do to be able to tolerated it.

    It says to take with food but I did that when I was taking the predasone and still was in terrible pain.

    Thank you for any info!

    I had no issues with decadron

    but I did not have other health issues like you do.  A word of encouragement tho - you don't know if it's going to bother you until you try it.  If it says take with food (I don't remember that) then make sure your stomach has something in it before you swallow it.  Even a soda cracker.  If you have a problem, let your doctor know.   I'm pretty sure I had decadron IV with my chemo and then oral meds at home after.   So I'm thinking if you can't tolerate it orally, it can be administered IV which would mean trips to the infusion center, but if  you do encounter a problem,  then ask about IV decadron instead of oral.  And if you have problems (remember you won't know until you swallow it), be sure to tell them.  There may be something else that will work.  I think those oncology folks expect to hear from us from time to time, so do not hesitate to call with any questions or issues.  Everyone reacts differently to medications.  I hope you sail through this.

    Will be thinking about you on the 10th.  Best wishes,

    Suzanne

  • DebiR
    DebiR Member Posts: 38 Member

    Concerned about taking Decadron

    Thank you all for your encouragement and wisdom :)

    I am very concerned about taking Decadron (Dexamethasone) 4 on the day before then 4 on the day of my first chemo and the 4 on the next day. It's written 2 tablets on each morning and 2 each evening.

    My stomach and esophagus get very irratated easy. Years ago I tried taking predasone tablets and couldn't make it to the second pill because I was in so much pain.

    I take one Prevacid  a day but I still have to watch what I can eat and how much. Nothing acidity, spicy or even soda. When I drink any carbonated drink, it's like pouring acid down my throat and into my stomach.

    If anyone here has taken this before chemo please let me know if it's hard on the stomach and if it is, what to do to be able to tolerated it.

    It says to take with food but I did that when I was taking the predasone and still was in terrible pain.

    Thank you for any info!

    I also had no issues with Decadron either

    I had to take it both before chemo, more in IV at chemo and then 2X a day for a three days after.  I had to take extra before chemo due to a sensitivity I had to Taxol.  I didn't worry about eating anything with it and never had a problem with it.  The only thing I noticed from it was it made my appetite huge....like I wanted to eat everything in the house and I had a hard time sleeping.  I just took some Tylenol PM or Benadryl to help me sleep and that seemed to work.  For my appetite I found I really liked cold foods after chemo so I stocked up on fruit and veggies and also some fruit bars/yogurt bars.

    I finished my 6 rounds of chemo at the end of October.  I am finally starting to get my energy levels back and my hair is growing back.  Its about an inch or so.  

    Debi

    UPSC 3A

  • Ro10
    Ro10 Member Posts: 1,561

    Concerned about taking Decadron

    Thank you all for your encouragement and wisdom :)

    I am very concerned about taking Decadron (Dexamethasone) 4 on the day before then 4 on the day of my first chemo and the 4 on the next day. It's written 2 tablets on each morning and 2 each evening.

    My stomach and esophagus get very irratated easy. Years ago I tried taking predasone tablets and couldn't make it to the second pill because I was in so much pain.

    I take one Prevacid  a day but I still have to watch what I can eat and how much. Nothing acidity, spicy or even soda. When I drink any carbonated drink, it's like pouring acid down my throat and into my stomach.

    If anyone here has taken this before chemo please let me know if it's hard on the stomach and if it is, what to do to be able to tolerated it.

    It says to take with food but I did that when I was taking the predasone and still was in terrible pain.

    Thank you for any info!

    Annabella Rose

    good luck with your chemo.  I had decadron before and days after chemo.  I did not have any problems with the decadron, but I did take it with food.  Usually I would eat some yogurt.  Decadron is supposed to make the chemo work better, and also reduce nausea. 

    I too have a sensitive stomach.  I recently had large doses of prednisone for cough.  It did not other my stomach while I was taking it,but after I finished my 15 days of it my stomach did hurt and had nausea.

    I hope you do well with the chemo and it does not aggravate your other health issues.  In peace and caring.

  • Annabella Rose
    Annabella Rose Member Posts: 59
    Ro10 said:

    Annabella Rose

    good luck with your chemo.  I had decadron before and days after chemo.  I did not have any problems with the decadron, but I did take it with food.  Usually I would eat some yogurt.  Decadron is supposed to make the chemo work better, and also reduce nausea. 

    I too have a sensitive stomach.  I recently had large doses of prednisone for cough.  It did not other my stomach while I was taking it,but after I finished my 15 days of it my stomach did hurt and had nausea.

    I hope you do well with the chemo and it does not aggravate your other health issues.  In peace and caring.

    Thank you for your replies

    Thank you for your replies :)

    I picked up my meds today. The Decadron are 4 mg each. Is that a normal amount? It says to take 2 at 8 am and then 2 at 8 pm.

    I am so tired of being afraid of the things I am needing to do.

    I know with each step I am growing but here I am again afraid of the effects of even the premeds :) I will do what I am told by the doctors each step of the way..even if I feel afraid.

    Cancer sure takes you out of your comfort zone. 

  • AWK
    AWK Member Posts: 364

    Thank you for your replies

    Thank you for your replies :)

    I picked up my meds today. The Decadron are 4 mg each. Is that a normal amount? It says to take 2 at 8 am and then 2 at 8 pm.

    I am so tired of being afraid of the things I am needing to do.

    I know with each step I am growing but here I am again afraid of the effects of even the premeds :) I will do what I am told by the doctors each step of the way..even if I feel afraid.

    Cancer sure takes you out of your comfort zone. 

    Hugs

    You are so right about that.  I never thought about it that way until I read your post.  I will be thinking of you Tuesday and sending you prayers for strong and healing drips.  Anne

  • JackieZ
    JackieZ Member Posts: 20
    Hi- I too have or had long

    Hi- I too have or had long blonde hair-it starting going away 2 weeks  after the 1st Chemo-I am new to this too-so it was very emotinal for me-But I thought hair grows back but if anything that can kill this cancer and knowing only my hair is the only thing that goes that s just fine. I had my radition first for 3 months-5 days a week and radiation thined it out some-and I was sick everyday from radiation-so now after 1 chemo tretment done-2 days of 5 hour days and then waited 2 wekks then went back for another med for an hour-wasn't as bad as I thought- I was terrified to start it too. You can do it and and I'll be your friend to talk too-I need one too. I pray alot and it really helps and I know god does answer. The radiation took care of the main uterius cell and the cell that spread to my limp nods. They are dead now but the right hip and small ones 2 of them in the liver and lung is now being killed by the chemo. I have to go through 6 like that. Please be strong and know other people care about you and they are going through the same thing- As I found out you can't prepare for this part- Just have to go with it attitude.

  • ConnieSW
    ConnieSW Member Posts: 1,604 Member
    JackieZ said:

    Hi- I too have or had long

    Hi- I too have or had long blonde hair-it starting going away 2 weeks  after the 1st Chemo-I am new to this too-so it was very emotinal for me-But I thought hair grows back but if anything that can kill this cancer and knowing only my hair is the only thing that goes that s just fine. I had my radition first for 3 months-5 days a week and radiation thined it out some-and I was sick everyday from radiation-so now after 1 chemo tretment done-2 days of 5 hour days and then waited 2 wekks then went back for another med for an hour-wasn't as bad as I thought- I was terrified to start it too. You can do it and and I'll be your friend to talk too-I need one too. I pray alot and it really helps and I know god does answer. The radiation took care of the main uterius cell and the cell that spread to my limp nods. They are dead now but the right hip and small ones 2 of them in the liver and lung is now being killed by the chemo. I have to go through 6 like that. Please be strong and know other people care about you and they are going through the same thing- As I found out you can't prepare for this part- Just have to go with it attitude.

    Annabella

    Will be thinking about you tomorrow.  Emotionally it's tough but hopefully you will find it physically a lot easier than you expect.  Have you been given any idea what to expect with your MS or is that a complete unknown?  

  • Annabella Rose
    Annabella Rose Member Posts: 59
    ConnieSW said:

    Annabella

    Will be thinking about you tomorrow.  Emotionally it's tough but hopefully you will find it physically a lot easier than you expect.  Have you been given any idea what to expect with your MS or is that a complete unknown?  

    Took the Decadron yesterday.

    I took the big scary tiny green steroids yesterday and was pleasantly surprised that they were nothing to be sacred over. Thank you all for your support in this step by step journey.

    I took the pills with food plus puddling to make sure stomach was coated. I had a slight burn but nothing bad to get on with the day.

    The last pills were at 8:00 pm. I fell a sleep at 12:30pm and woke up at 3:30am. Wasen't able to fall back to sleep so I listened to Joyce Meyer teachings on my iPod! She's such a Blessing.

    Its about time for me to get up and start the day. I know I'll feel more relaxed about the chemo when I know my body excepts it with no complications during the first infusion.

    Hi ConnieSW, the M.S. and M.G. is always a concern. The diseases are both so unpredictable. I made it thru 2 big surgeries where both surgeons were afraid of the anasteric and me having to wake up with a breathing tube for a while but that Thank God that didn't happen. They were very careful in choosing the right meds.

    So I guess the answer is yes about the M.S. still being an unknown but I find comfort in knowing I made it through those surgeries and I'm hoping for a good outcome with the chemo too. Tying to keep it one day at a time and knowing Father God has my back :) 

  • Kaleena
    Kaleena Member Posts: 2,064 Member
    Thinking of you.   Hoping all

    Thinking of you.   Hoping all went well.   Are the steroids keeping you up?   You should have a lot of energy today

    hugs!!!

    kathy

  • nempark
    nempark Member Posts: 681

    Took the Decadron yesterday.

    I took the big scary tiny green steroids yesterday and was pleasantly surprised that they were nothing to be sacred over. Thank you all for your support in this step by step journey.

    I took the pills with food plus puddling to make sure stomach was coated. I had a slight burn but nothing bad to get on with the day.

    The last pills were at 8:00 pm. I fell a sleep at 12:30pm and woke up at 3:30am. Wasen't able to fall back to sleep so I listened to Joyce Meyer teachings on my iPod! She's such a Blessing.

    Its about time for me to get up and start the day. I know I'll feel more relaxed about the chemo when I know my body excepts it with no complications during the first infusion.

    Hi ConnieSW, the M.S. and M.G. is always a concern. The diseases are both so unpredictable. I made it thru 2 big surgeries where both surgeons were afraid of the anasteric and me having to wake up with a breathing tube for a while but that Thank God that didn't happen. They were very careful in choosing the right meds.

    So I guess the answer is yes about the M.S. still being an unknown but I find comfort in knowing I made it through those surgeries and I'm hoping for a good outcome with the chemo too. Tying to keep it one day at a time and knowing Father God has my back :) 

    Thinking of you!!!

    Are you surprised?  Not so bad afterall.  Hope you are doing really well.  This will all be over before you know it. Big hugs my darling.

  • ConnieSW
    ConnieSW Member Posts: 1,604 Member
    Kaleena said:

    Thinking of you.   Hoping all

    Thinking of you.   Hoping all went well.   Are the steroids keeping you up?   You should have a lot of energy today

    hugs!!!

    kathy

    I felt so good

    After the first  treatment, my daughter and I went furniture shopping.  That was my first experience with steroids.