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Does it get better?

nursesheri's picture
nursesheri
Posts: 50
Joined: Jul 2010

Sorry if this has been asked before, but I'm still new to this. Do the side effects of chemo get better with time? I've only had 2 tx, and I'm ready to throw in the towel. I hate the nausea, vomiting and hot lava that comes out of my hind end following each tx. Since I'm a stage IV, is it really worth it?

Sheri

herdizziness's picture
herdizziness
Posts: 3642
Joined: Apr 2010

Hun, I can't answer for you on the chemo thing. For me? Yes, it got better. The first two times were the worst, then it just got better.
I almost threw in the towel, I was only supposed to get an extra couple months out of chemo, but now it looks like I got years out of it, when I think back to when I wanted to throw in the towel, I'm forever grateful I didn't.
What I'm trying to say is, give chemo a chance, don't toss that towel anywhere just yet.
And for that hind end? Get those baby wipes, and a baby wipe warmer (the warmer helps the "cold" sensation not to be there when you grab for one on those fingers.) and some plain ole' Vaseline, your hind end will thank you, you will thank you, it makes things more bearable.
I'm stage IV too.
Winter Marie

idlehunters's picture
idlehunters
Posts: 1792
Joined: Apr 2009

Is it worth it???? ANYTHING...and I mean ANYTHING.... I got to do to stay alive another day... is worth it to me. I am not a quitter.... I refuse to let this crap get over on me. No friggin way. Yes... puking... lava...so tired you can't hardly wipe that lava... major beotch... oh yeah.... then you start to see results.... THEN you will say..YES...it's worth it...and if you don't see results...change the game plan....always keep one on reserve in case yours ain't working for you...stay one step ahead of this nasty arse game that don't have any rules and you never asked to play. Sending good vibes your way.

Jennie

cmcl's picture
cmcl
Posts: 79
Joined: Jan 2004

I remember feeling the same way when I had chemo. I was also Stage IV. Shortly after I started I remember saying to my Dad I didn't think it would be this hard. You kind of have to work out the kinks in the beginning. There are a lot of different meds you can take to help with nausea. I had my chemo 7 years ago and I took Emend, it melts on your tongue and Atavan. They used to put the Atavan right in my port. I also had Atavan pills to take at home. My onc kept trying everything till something worked to at least ease the nausea. Nothing cured it completely. Different meds work for different ppl. Don't give up, your onc should be able to help you with your problems. I don't know how often you go for chemo, but I remember being so grateful for feeling well on my off week.
I've heard that if you have motion sickness you are more inclined to have nausea during chemo. I'm not sure of the correlation, but it does makes sense because I have/had both. I recently had surgery and they gave me a motion sickness patch to put behind my ear, it worked wonders. It's worth a shot, especially if it works!
It's just a temporary phase for lack of a better term. It will get better,and you will feel better.
Keep the faith. . .

Carolyn

cmcl's picture
cmcl
Posts: 79
Joined: Jan 2004

I remember feeling the same way when I had chemo. I was also Stage IV. Shortly after I started I remember saying to my Dad I didn't think it would be this hard. You kind of have to work out the kinks in the beginning. There are a lot of different meds you can take to help with nausea. I had my chemo 7 years ago and I took Emend, it melts on your tongue and Atavan. They used to put the Atavan right in my port. I also had Atavan pills to take at home. My onc kept trying everything till something worked to at least ease the nausea. Nothing cured it completely. Different meds work for different ppl. Don't give up, your onc should be able to help you with your problems. I don't know how often you go for chemo, but I remember being so grateful for feeling well on my off week.
I've heard that if you have motion sickness you are more inclined to have nausea during chemo. I'm not sure of the correlation, but it does makes sense because I have/had both. I recently had surgery and they gave me a motion sickness patch to put behind my ear, it worked wonders. It's worth a shot, especially if it works!
It's just a temporary phase for lack of a better term. It will get better,and you will feel better.
Keep the faith. . .

Carolyn

karguy's picture
karguy
Posts: 1024
Joined: Apr 2009

Yes,it is worth it.You have to do what ever you have to,to beat the cancer,even for one more day.It does get better,you will have good,and bad days,enjoy the good days.I had the nausea,vomiting,the whole works,I even had chunks of bloody flesh coming out of my butt,but I don't have to worry about that anymore.You will get better,and when you look back you will think it was all worth it.I'll pray it gets easier.What ever you do, don't ever give up.

AnneCan
Posts: 3692
Joined: Oct 2009

It is worth it to me! I have had a lot of chemo, + find sometimes it is easier than others. I have had minimal nausea, + no vomitting so I guess I have been fortunate that way. I only have to think of my husband, kids, family, friends etc. to know it is SO worth it. I also tell myself that the fatigue, etc. will pass... + it does. Take good care!

PhillieG's picture
PhillieG
Posts: 4912
Joined: May 2005

I found that some side effects get easier while others may wear you out after a while. I've been on Erbitux for many years and the rash is not nearly what it was at first. Being at well over 6 years since my dx and still going off and on treatment I think it's been totally worth it. I would make the same treatment choices given the chance to do it all over again.

There are things to take for the nausea and all. Good old MaryJane worked best of all in my opinion. I had tried a bunch of others and they don't even come close. This has been used for thousands of years to treat many things.

It can be a roller coaster of a ride with many ups and downs and "new normals" to get used. And yeah, it really stinks at times. We all get what we get in life and we have to make the best choices we can to get through it all. I would imagine that the protocol they have you on can very well get you through this and be OK in the end.
-phil

BTW: I used Emmend for a while. It worked so-so. My insurance paid for it but at $175 or so a pill and they want you to take 3 pills ($525) I can not justify pharmaceutical companies making that much $$$ with something that isn't nearly 1/2 as good as MJ.

Crow71's picture
Crow71
Posts: 681
Joined: Jan 2010

It's worth it.
Managing the side effects gets easier with time. I read on your page that your on irinotecan. I was on Oxy, but I'll be starting tecan soon. Make sure you are talking to your doctors. Nausea, vomiting and crack lava are all side effects that can be alleviated - or at least eased. My doctor was a little upset with me for not letting him know that I was barfing after the first treatment. He said, "My patients do not throw up." He put me on emend and I haven't hurled since. (Apparently I threw up after surgery on the way to the ICU, but I can't blame that on chemo). Speaking of surgery, you had on one hell of giant one.
Hang in there Sheri.

chicoturner's picture
chicoturner
Posts: 285
Joined: Apr 2009

Sheri, it will get better! Stage 4 just means you gotta keep at it! Let your doc know about the side affects, there are lots of meds to help! don't be afraid to ask and just know that you will soon be so proud of yourself!! Best to you. Jean

khl8
Posts: 810
Joined: Nov 2009

Let you doc know about the nausea, they told me and as others have said, there are enough meds out there now that you should not have to suffer!!!
Kathy

zenmonk
Posts: 198
Joined: Nov 2009

It may take some time to get dialed in on the meds that are supposed to make you feel better. I really never realized how bad I felt until I was done. I had to try many different nausea meds before they found one that worked. I was also hospitilised numerous times during chemo when I just could not take the side effects anymore. I kept going and am clear today.

sasjourney
Posts: 395
Joined: Jul 2010

Sheri,

IT will get better, but tell your onc. how you are feeling. I am also a stage IV and have completed 9 treatments with only 3 more to go. I take Emend and it has helped me a lot. Many people are living a long time after this diagnosis and you can too, but you have to continue to fight and remain positive about beating this thing. I know it is very hard and I struggle with it with good days and bad, but every day is worth the effort to fight for my children, husband, family and friends. I know I will beat it and you can too. It is hard at the beginning because the thought of doing all the treatments is overwhelming, but you CAN DO IT! Look at all the survivors on the board!

HUgs,
Sara

nursesheri's picture
nursesheri
Posts: 50
Joined: Jul 2010

Guess I was just having a pity party, and I guess my worst day alive, would be better than my best day dead huh?!

PhillieG's picture
PhillieG
Posts: 4912
Joined: May 2005

That's a great quote. Sort of reminds me of the one that says "a bad day of fishing is better than a good day at work" or something like that.
Yes, I think one's worst day alive would beat their best day dead.
Everyone's entitled to a few parties, just try not to overstay them if you can.
-p

pepebcn's picture
pepebcn
Posts: 6352
Joined: Aug 2010

hang in there!

Kerry S's picture
Kerry S
Posts: 607
Joined: Dec 2009

Ok Sheri darlin the pity party is over. Now let’s get that fighting face back on.

You have the spunk to get through this crap. We all have the down days, the trick is to see them for what they are and get right back into the fight. Get your body’s warriors off their *** and killing cancer cells. To do that you need a good attitude.

You are right that chemo beats the hell out of you. It does stop short of killing you.
Hang in there. I am a stage 4 with only one little damn spot left to kill. It will be dead by next week. Did you know I have a real thing for nurses!!!!!

Kerry

AnneCan
Posts: 3692
Joined: Oct 2009

Kerry, is your wife a nurse by any chance?

Kerry S's picture
Kerry S
Posts: 607
Joined: Dec 2009

Wish she was!! Dated a few back when I was young an single.

tesslee's picture
tesslee
Posts: 97
Joined: Apr 2010

i hate chemo, yesterday was an infusion day and i was so hoping my platelets were not rejuvenated, as they were 84 the previous monday. and then i would not be given chemo, but NO they were high enough and i got the dang chemo. but good news was i had my first pet/ct last friday since starting chemo, yesterday was #8, and it came back no evidence of disease. my main side effects with chemo are fatigue and diaherra (spell ?). so he lowered my dosage of 5fu and oxy. hopefully this will help, if not i want to go back to the full dosage.

i guess what i am saying is don't give up. another thing is i was sick for 2 months after surgery and into chemo. everyone kept saying you shouldn't be sick but i was. i started taking about a half cup of concentrated lemon juice and mixed that with water and made sure to drink a lot, like a gallon a day. it became a dreaded job but it worked. i was no longer throwing up. my problem had been i was dehydrated. don't let yourself get dehydrated, i learned that from this board. it can make you real sick.

just hang in there, please, it sucks, i know. tess

tesslee's picture
tesslee
Posts: 97
Joined: Apr 2010

i asked my nutritionist about the lemon water and she told me this. that if your stomach is not producing enough acid it will not be able to break down the food. by adding the lemon juice it gives the stomach more acid to do it's job. and i added that half cup to a quart of water. just wanted to clear that up. and i also used zofran and while it was the best anti nausea med for me, it didn't nearly work like the lemon juice.

tesslee's picture
tesslee
Posts: 97
Joined: Apr 2010

i just went to your page and only got as far as gallbladder removal and and said ah ha, mine was removed also and it may be a link to acid unbalance in our stomachs. something to think about.

i believe my stomach is getting in balance cause my primary care doc has me on nexium for at least a month and 1/2 and since saturday i've drank plain water with no upset stomach. just something to think about.
'

ktlcs's picture
ktlcs
Posts: 360
Joined: Jan 2010

I lost my husband to this awful beast on 7/17 and just want to say fight as hard as you can. I hate to see this evil monster take anyone else. While I cannot say I know what you are going through from personal experience, as a caregiver I know how tough it can be on the patient. But hang in there you have a beautiful family to fight for!

Kathy

pepebcn's picture
pepebcn
Posts: 6352
Joined: Aug 2010

sheri

nursesheri's picture
nursesheri
Posts: 50
Joined: Jul 2010

Thanks again to everyone. It took me a week to bounce back this time. I guess 1/2 a month of feeling crummy is better than the whole month right?

Buzzard's picture
Buzzard
Posts: 3073
Joined: Aug 2008

to see a smile like that starin' back at ya ......heck yeah it is....

ljacobiss
Posts: 2
Joined: Aug 2010

Sheri,
my mom is also stageIV and after a year of agressive chemo is wondering the same thing....would your quality of life be better without it....Only you can answer that question. My thoughts and prayers are with you..I cant imagine what you or my mother are going through but what i do know is that you are both loved very much!!!!

nursesheri's picture
nursesheri
Posts: 50
Joined: Jul 2010

I love you guys!)

ljacobiss
Posts: 2
Joined: Aug 2010

Sherri
thanks for having the courage to be on here and share your story...If only I could get my mom to be on here and to see that she is not alone...You are actually on everything that my mom is taking to fight the battle...I shared your story with her and for the 1st time I think she felt like she was not alone.... As a caregiver I just want to fix things but am slowly understanding that I cant...Sometimes as the caregiver we must just be present without words....Your story has truly touched me and just maybe has helped my mom.

nursesheri's picture
nursesheri
Posts: 50
Joined: Jul 2010

Yes, please remind your mom she is not alone. There are a lot of us out here. This form has helped me so very much. Here you will meet some of the most compassionate people around. Please give her my e-mail. If she wants someone to listen, I'm here. Since I'm pretty new to this too, maybe we can share some good stories. imnursesheri4@yahoo.com I'm always looking for a good friend or two.

Sheri

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