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One Week Post 1st Chemo Adventure

Lori-S's picture
Posts: 1286
Joined: Sep 2010

Yes! I survived a whole week. Today, Monday, is not quite as good as yesterday but, that’s because I think I overdid it yesterday. I woke this morning with a terrible headache that doesn’t seem to want to go away. Plus I actually ate “real” food yesterday so I’m dealing with my hernia not being as happy with solid food as it is with semi-solid/liquid. But, the tip of my tongue seems to be coming back, I can now drink room temperature drinks, the pins and needles in my toes are way less and my nausea is almost totally gone. Clapping wildly!! (I think)

Sunday, pushed myself to get out of the house (first since being unplugged on Weds.) and went to the grocery store to get tomatoes, avocado and cilantro. About half way through the trip I thought to myself “What the heck am I doing? I wanna go home. waaaaah” But, I persevered and made it to the check out. I usually just go through the self checkout but, because I had produce and chemo brain, I didn’t want to take a chance on doing it myself. As I shuffled ( I don’t remember taping pillows to my feet! damn oxy feet … felt like I was walking on marshmallows or pillows) and had just pulled into the checkout line, a woman in a motorized cart zipped in front of me and cut in line. I wanted to cry, yell ‘Hey I have cancer!” or worse … God forgive me … push her out of her cart and call her a very bad name, grrrrrrrr. Good thing I didn’t have the strength to do it. I hardly had the strength to think it. I really didn’t realize how weak and fatigued I was until I got to the store and pushed the cart around for a minute. I should have known as I was having trouble just getting the sliding glass door open to let the dog out. Luckily, a checker dressed as a pirate in honor of Halloween came to my rescue and pulled my cart over to the next lane and checked me out. Woo Hoo!

The scariest part of the whole day???? Now I had to use a knife!!! I got this!!! (pictures of myself as the carnival knife thrower in my head)

Yes, I made it home and now there were vegetables that had to be cut. What the heck was I thinking? Hhhhmmmm (Homer Simpson style) I was thinking of a taco salad. I had braved the freezer by pulling my sweatshirt sleeves down over my hands like a pre-teen/teen girl (aah, reliving my youth)and pulled out some shredded beef I had made in advance. I know, I know, I was warned to get gloves or mittens but, I always used my sleeves as a kid so figured I just do it again. All I needed was to chop up the makings of Pico de Gallo and smash up some avocado. It was a good thing I was actually thinking of eating real food instead of the warmed up protein drinks I was having all week. I was a bit worried about actually using a knife as my fingers seem to only be there intermittently. I washed the veggies in warm water and proceeded to chop … very carefully … whoa. All done and no injuries and all my fingers are still attached!! Ok, Ok so I might have lost the tip of a fingernail but hey I've done that before chemo so not bad. But, there are more vegetables on the floor and counter than on the chopping board. And, I have stuff all over my shirt. I’m a bit of a klutz but, really! Seems I’ve lost some of my manual dexterity but, I sort of expected that as my fingers haven’t been cooperating with typing on the keyboard either.

All in all I’m glad it’s getting better and better. I'm coming outta the fog. I was going to do laundry, Saturday, then Sunday, then today … but hey, tomorrow!

pepebcn's picture
Posts: 6352
Joined: Aug 2010

understand your long long long post ,next time can it be shorter?.Hahahahahahaha,just a joke.I understand it perfectly ,and I'm glad you feel better despite the problems with the salad , next time start with some boiled potatoes! hahahaha.
Get fun dear!

Lori-S's picture
Posts: 1286
Joined: Sep 2010

Don't go blaming not being able to read on being Spanish LOL

Hey it took me all day to get that post with my silly fingers!

Crow71's picture
Posts: 681
Joined: Jan 2010

You are doing so great Lori. I love reading your posts. Keep on rockin.

Lori-S's picture
Posts: 1286
Joined: Sep 2010

Thanks for the support

braelee2's picture
Posts: 130
Joined: Sep 2010

I alway take advantage of my off weeks and run around like a wild woman doing everything.Lol, But I must say with everything we go through with this stupid chemo it is so nice to be babied when we are down..

idlehunters's picture
Posts: 1792
Joined: Apr 2009

I'm with Roger.... I love yor posts..... Got me laughing.... keep up with that great attitude and you will kick butt... Take care.


Posts: 3692
Joined: Oct 2009


Just like Roger said, you are doing great! I can sympathize with the exhaustion; I have been really tired after my last round of chemo. Even making meals can be too much; kudos to you for grocery shopping + making dinner! Today I was proud of myself; I usually find at meal prep time I am really tired so someone else usually does it. This morning, I put food in the crockpot while I still had (limited) energy. It was short ribs with veggies; delicious! The house smelled good all day. You are doing incredibly well, + you keep us laughing on top of it all.

tootsie1's picture
Posts: 5065
Joined: Feb 2008

Oh, dear.

I tell you what, that lady was RUDE!! I don't care if she is in a motorized cart. That doesn't make her the queen of the world. I'm glad you made it home safely, but next time maybe you should take someone with you?


Lori-S's picture
Posts: 1286
Joined: Sep 2010

Take someone with me?? You mean like Cousin Guido?? Yes, he could handle those motorized cart people for me. Good idea. ;)

Annabelle41415's picture
Posts: 6722
Joined: Feb 2009

Glad that you are feeling better and that your tongue is coming back. Remember having those awful "cold" sensations and hated it. Hope you got to enjoy eating those vegetables. You will get through this. It seems tough at the time and something that NO one wants to be in a position to be in, especially when you forget about it and you drop something because you forgot. Remembering the time that a whole jar of pickles were dropped on the floor because of forgetting about that side effect - oh my goodness - what a mess. Glad you are getting out too - that helps you feel more normal. Once again, glad you are feeling better.


Posts: 965
Joined: Nov 2008

I am glad that you are recovering from your chemo treatment. I wouldn't have blamed you for yelling at that lady but I am glad that you didn't. We were in the Dollar Store and my daughter was singing (not overly loud....) a song and we passed an older woman who told me that my little girl had quite a "grating voice." I was taken aback but kept on walking. I was so mad, however, that I remarked to my sister about it in a loud-enough voice for that woman to hear me. Later on I discovered that she had advanced breast cancer and I felt like a complete heel. I found out she attends my brother's church and found a way to apologize to her. Some people can really irritate me (especially at Costco...) but I just try and be more patient now. It's hard!!!

jararno's picture
Posts: 189
Joined: May 2010

Glad you were feeling well enough to get out! I have had many of those maybe I'll get out tomorrow days! Too bad you had to deal with some crazy b**** in a wheelchair! I've also had a few people cut me off in a store and I seem to feel a little more brazen about telling them off since the cancer diagnosis! ( An Uzi would work well also! )

Wow! You are brave....actually fixing a meal...I might have cooked only two or three times during my treatment ( well I actually didn't cook much prior to the cancer either )

Glad you got the veges cut without injury to yourself! I usually avoid sharp objects as much as possible!

I did find myself trying to get things done on my off weeks, but after awhile my feel better times seemed to be much shorter. Fatigue sneaks up big time!

Keep up the good spirits...Humor helps!

I never brought gloves to the grocery...I would grab the frozen food and hurl it into the cart ( just make sure your friend doesn't move the cart like mine did....I was a bit unhappy when I tried to hurl food into my missing cart! )

Hope you have a great "off" week!


chicoturner's picture
Posts: 285
Joined: Apr 2009

Hi Lori, be careful cutting those veggies! I was cutting an onion while doing treatment and ended up in the ER getting stitches in my finger tip! The onion just slipped! When I got to the ER who was working on call.....my GP! She was asking me what could I have been thinking!! Anyway, be careful. I described myself as feeling "fragile" during treatment. Take care and the best to you. Jean

Posts: 372
Joined: Aug 2006

I too have ventured out to do extreme things like shop for food or buy gas for the car. The first time I went to the market I sat in my car about 20 mins building energy to walk from my car into the store and find a cart. Ego prevents me from jumping on a motorized cart (guy thing) why don't you take one? From what I've seen of many people who use those carts it isn't a medical problem, it is more a problem of mass. It would be good for someone to use the carts for who they were intended. It looks like you are adjusting to our chemical world. I wish I had your sense of humor. The number 12 seems so far away when you are approaching treatment number 3. Almost seems like a game show in that we don't know what side effect we add to our winnings this treatment. Worst at least in my case with a reoccurrence there is the possibility I'm just buying time or the clock is ticking and the chemo is more a punishment than a cure. It is the uncertainity of all this that makes me question the wisdom of it. After all chemo failed to make a difference last time for me. Sorry Lori its been a bad couple of days and tomorrow is another hopefully better day. You certainly have endured more than I. I'll try to keep ahead of you on the folfox chemo track and help if I can. My fingers are hurting too but not my feet. hugs Lou

Lori-S's picture
Posts: 1286
Joined: Sep 2010

Hang in there. I know this is your 2nd time around and that it weighs on you. Even though I was bumped from a IIc to a IIIc, I can't pretend to know how it feels to have a recurrence. You have my support and if you need to PM and talk about it, I'm here. I know it's tough sometimes but, try to keep your attitude on the good side as much as possible. Believe me, I really did want to cry once I was in the store because I thought I had bitten off more than I could chew and would have to admit defeat and call a friend to come and take me home. I know it's not fun and games for you either. Lou, were you NED before this? If so, then that might be what you can focus on when you wonder what this round of chemo treatments will do for you.

Ya know I just am so darn stubborn about not letting cancer take anymore away from me that I wouldn't even think of riding one of those carts. I'd have to be for all intents and purposes legless ... and don't think I haven't thought that these side effects could do that sometimes. Extreme Grocery Shopping! Hey I really like that concept. I haven't even considered pumping gas yet but, it's coming soon. You are a brave man!

Hang in there Lou, we are doing this together ... We are this round of the FOLFOX club.

Nana b's picture
Nana b
Posts: 3045
Joined: May 2009

I was one of the lucky ones, worked full time, commuted two hours everyday drove another 30 to chemotherapy then drove myself home! Made diner and then got in bed, then number 10 came and kicked my butt! You can do it!

Wasn't the salad cold for you? I made lots of quesidilas and soup. I will be sending you good vibes and prayers that you may have an easier time!

Lori-S's picture
Posts: 1286
Joined: Sep 2010

But, I am so happy that you did so well for so long though. I even prepared ahead by changing out supplements and upping my cal/mag and B6 hoping to make it a little easier. Oh well. I made the salad with the meat hot and cheese melted with the veggies room temp and it worked. I wouldn't have dared to try it cold. But, the shards of glass in the throat seem to be gone enough that I can do room temperatures now.

Thanks for the good vibes and prayers. You can never have enough of those.

LeesburgKate's picture
Posts: 10
Joined: Oct 2010

I can't believe how anxious I am now to check these boards and see how everyone is doing. Lori, a trip to the store alone is still scary to me with this fuzzy brain. Kudos to you for successfully completing it! On Sunday night I broke down and called the onc who insists we should call him with any concern, 24/7. I whined about being on the couch all weekend, my headache, bleeding gums, tongue sores, etc.. Yesterday was my first "build me back up again shot" so we sat down and talked then. He thinks part of my problem is anxiety about taking this treatment (is anyone NOT anxious about taking it??????)and prescribed anxiety meds for me. Can't believe the little drug cache I am building up as I waited hours to even take an aspirin in the past! Have not tried one yet but.............thinking about it. It is supposed to make me calm and happy.............I'd love to see that :>)

Meals are tough but I am determined not to lose any more weight. I eat what appeals to me whenever. Also find Gatorade helps though I don't like the taste.

Hang in there Club members, there seems to be several of us who started this about the same time. Next week will be treatment 2 for me and am wondering already what that will bring!Looking forward to new posts.

Lori-S's picture
Posts: 1286
Joined: Sep 2010

Yep, looks like you're one of the members too. My 2nd is next Monday, the 8th and Lou's 3rd is the same day. Woo Hoo (snicker)

About that pharmacy you're starting. I swear all I ever had in my medicine cabinet was supplements until this. Now I just shake my head and think wow, it looks like my grandmother's cabinet looked to me when I was a kid.

Hang in there Kate, we can do this together!

Posts: 67
Joined: Oct 2010

I can't beleive how much this board has meant to me! I have learned so much, I don't know what I'd do without it. Just reading the posts I feel like I know all of you.

I'm going to ask my doctor for the anxiety meds. I go in tomorrow for my port and I can tell you I'm not looking to this whole thing. If it weren't for my daughter and my two little grandsons I probably wouldn't take chemo.

Kate, what types of chemo are you taking?

Lori-S's picture
Posts: 1286
Joined: Sep 2010

Welcome to the board!

Having the port in will make things so much better. You really forget you have it once it settles in. And, it's so much better than getting stuck in the arm each time for infusion. Make sure that they use the topical numbing application before they access your port for chemo as that really makes a big difference.

Good luck with your port placement, I slept through mine but, I was just out of surgery 1 day from my resection so I was pretty tired already.

Posts: 67
Joined: Oct 2010

Thanks Lori for the imformation, I do appreciate it.
I pray for all the people out there with cancer. What a nightmare!
I really enjoy your posts, they brings smiles to my face.
You can bet I won't forget to ask for the topical numbing application when it's time for chemo.

Thanks again,

geotina's picture
Posts: 2123
Joined: Oct 2009

I well remember George going thru lots of stuff you describe. I would not let him near a knife, those damn fingers still do not work right. And the cold, it bothered him big time but his biggest enemy was fatigue so just give into the fatigue and let your body rest.

I remember coming home from the onc with a tote bag with a coverlet and gloves to hang on the frige in it from the oxi manufacturer. I thought how wierd, why hang gloves on the frige, but soon learned George couldn't touch cold stuff. After a while I threw those gloves in the closet, didn't need the name of the manufacturer staring me in the face every time I went in the kitchen.

Take care - Tina

Lori-S's picture
Posts: 1286
Joined: Sep 2010

I really appreciate each and everyone's support. I could only hope to be able to return the support. Thanks!

tesslee's picture
Posts: 97
Joined: Apr 2010

glad you have your sense of humor. i read your post and can so relate. i have finished my 12 rounds of folfox and if i can do it, you can too. the fatigue was the worse but now that it's done, the nureopathy has kicked in big time. i cannot spell anymore either. trying to zip my jacket or pick up a pill or walk on my darn feet, wow you have a nice way of putting it. maybe you are a writer?? or maybe you should be?? anyway sorry you're having these side effects but know you can do it. i found the way i got thru it was counting down my treatments instead of up. like i have 10 more to go, instead of i have done 2. also a huge help was my oncology nurses. they are my angels and the blood nurses also. not even going to try to spell blood nurses' profession, lol. also coming here, the beginning of treatments i was scared to death and the folks here helped me thru. getting thru the last 2 was also very hard.

just remember folks are here for you. i have noticed what a great support you are to others, let others support you too. love to you.

Posts: 272
Joined: Aug 2010

You are extremely funny :) Thank you for the laughs. If you have a food processor, there is an attachment on the top, (I believe), that will chop things for you. I know it shreds cheese which is nice.
Best wishes and prayers for you.

Buzzard's picture
Posts: 3073
Joined: Aug 2008

Spicy overcame my nausea...chili was great and a staple for me while on Folfox...Ocean Spray Crangrape was good then Sunkist Orange all at ambient temps...Country style ribs bar b Qued...yeah I know, the healthy stuff but hey somebodies gotta eat it...I suffered through the first week and ate everything that moved the second week...and actually gained weight...and it actually went by very quick when looking back..on your good days spend some time making frozen meals for when you aren't feeling good. then just pop in microwave...if, you can stand to smell them....Love and Wit to you , Buzz

Lori-S's picture
Posts: 1286
Joined: Sep 2010

Yep, the main problem is that food just smells so baaaaaaaaaaad. It's much better now than last week but, that first week just smelling food made me want to hurl. But, just like you I have found that spicy is way better than anything else. I think I may be stuck with warmed up protein drinks & ensure during the infusion week and then go straight for the spicy foods as soon as I can handle the smell. Thanks!

Lori-S's picture
Posts: 1286
Joined: Sep 2010

You're kidding me right? Where is the fun in that? I'm so homebound now that chopping veggies is the equivalent to skydiving for me. hahahaha Hey, maybe if it loses it's appeal I'll give that food processor thingie a try. Thanks for the suggestion :)

Posts: 395
Joined: Jul 2010

You are doing such an amazing job of dealing with chemo and have such a wonderful attitude. I was in a fog and very grumpy during my treatment. I didn't mean to be, but I just wanted to get it over with. You are an inspiration and I wish you all the best. Stay positive and you will do great! I love your posts.

Big hugs,

Kenny H.'s picture
Kenny H.
Posts: 503
Joined: Aug 2010

Guess I lucked out also. My side effects were only nausea and vomiting 2nd & 3rd day after treatment. The cold drink sting in throat only lasted about 2 days also.
Learned alot and what to expect, have 2nd treatmen coming up also but mines next tues.
Feel great this week, been doing some old home fix-up projects. Dreading next week though.

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