Chemotherapy treatment

KathyinVA Member Posts: 6
edited March 2014 in Breast Cancer #1
I will be starting chemotherapy in a few weeks. The hospital where I will receive treatment is a little over an hour away. Any advice on how to make that trip bearable on the way home? I assume I will be very nauseated. Do you normally begin feeling sick right after treatment or a few hours later?

Appreciate any help.



  • DeeNY711
    DeeNY711 Member Posts: 476 Member
    The anticipation is far worse than anything you will experience. Talk with your doctor for clarification of what to expect. I drive myself to and from all chemotherapy and have never felt ill during or immediately after. You will get through this. I promise. Plus, if you do have nausea, there are medications for it. I get medication at chemotherapy to prevent nausea and inflammatory response prior to treatment, and have a prescription to use at home just in case. You'll do fine. Love, Denise
  • ktinkey
    ktinkey Member Posts: 170
    Dear Kathy,

    I can't give you any advice, since I have never taken chemo, but I would like to welcome you to the site and find out where in Virginia do you live? I live in Mineral, Virginia which is north of Richmond and east of Charlottesville. I also have to travel an hour to see my doctors, etc. I would love to talk with you. Except for chemo, I can probably relate. I was first diagnosed in 1990 and had a modified radical mastectomy at the age of 35 with reconstruction using a silicone implant and had a recurrence in 1999, Stage IV and now a "relapse of disease" as they call it this past December. Please feel free to e-mail on this site.

    God Bless,
  • 8yrsurvivor
    8yrsurvivor Member Posts: 2
    Hello Kathy....I am now 8 years out of treatments but I remember well the worry about how I would feel during and immediately after I got my chemo. I never felt any nausea during treatment because like Denise said in her message to you they will give you medicine to combat the nausea before the chemo drugs and stuff to take at home. I didn't feel sick until the night of the treatment day and once and a while the day doctor said the drugs are only in your system 24 hours after receiving them and that is why it is so very important to drink a lot of water to wash them out of your system...they have done their job!!! Don't worry about the is not nearly as bad as you might think. Where in VA are you? I live in the Northern VA area about 30 miles outside of DC... take care and
    God Bless you,
    your friend and fellow survivor,
  • marianneollie
    marianneollie Member Posts: 6
    My son can normally be home a few hours after treatment before getting sick. You'll be given an anti-nausea drug in the IV before treatment, also take a compazine or whatever your oncologist gives you for nausea right before leaving for home, you should be fine.
  • BBK
    BBK Member Posts: 53
    Since you didn't say what kind of chemo you'll be having, it's a little hard to say how you might respond. Plus, everybody is different, so your case could be totally different. But, I had treatment #3 of 4 treatments just this past Monday. I'm taking Adriamycin and Cytoxan. When I go for treatment, they give me Zofran and Ativan in my IV. The ativan makes me very tired right off, so that's why they recommend that someone come to drive you to and from treatments. I also get Decadron in the IV (a steroid). At home, I have prescriptions for Zofran (which I take first for 5 doses -- 1 every 12 hours), Compazine, and Ativan. I always take an Ativan the first night, to help me sleep (and usually every night for the first 3-5 nights following treatment). I have NOT had any trouble with vomiting, but LOTS of nausea. BUT, mine doesn't start intensely until about 24 hours AFTER treatment. Then, on Wednesday and Thursday, I have the worst days (following Monday treatments). It tapers a bit on Friday and Saturday, and is pretty much gone by Sunday. So, the trip back and forth shouldn't be so much of a problem, I wouldn't think... For me, the first week of the 3-week rotation is the nausea. The second week, I'm tired. And, the third week, I really notice how dry my body is (lips, mouth, throat, eyes -- BIG time with the eyes, nearly drives me insane!, and vaginal tissue). You'll also notice big changes in taste...most things taste like metal or cardboard, and you'll have a weird aftertaste in your mouth throughout the treatments! So, that's my typical reaction. I'm just glad I only have one more treatment. I'm still mildly nauseated from this last one, and it's now 5 days later...

    As others have said...the anticipation is worse than the actual experience. And, I don't think I have much to complain about. I've heard all the horror stories, and as long as I'm not vomiting, I'm pretty much happy! The other side effects are annoying, but bearable! Keep your chin up! You CAN (And WILL!) get through this!

    PS. I started losing my hair in ernest at the beginning of the third week following my first treatment...but, now, after 3 treatments, I still have eyebrows and all that...I pretty much just lost all hair on my head, and thinning on the rest of my body...not as bad as it could have been, I guess.
  • minnie112256
    minnie112256 Member Posts: 49
    Hi! I just got over Chemo a few weeks ago. From my experience you feel ok the day of the chemo. I did not feel bad until the third day. My doctor gave me anti-nauseas medicine with my chemo and I felt fine afterwards. Just a little tired. Good luck with your treatments. Just hang in there.
    God Bless.
  • isaiah4031
    isaiah4031 Member Posts: 240
    Hi Kathy,
    My chemo days were not difficult regarding nausea. However, you may be taking some meds during the treatment that might adversely affect your driving. It is advisable to have someone drive if possible..but you should be able to handle the trip home. For me, the hard days were 3-5 days after chemo. Hope this helps.
    Love, Jayne
  • veggies4u
    veggies4u Member Posts: 2
    Kathy, I have a friend who recently started her chemotheraphy this week also and she was told by another cancer patient to take JUICPLUS+ to aid with the nausea. Go to and get additional information from that site. Only a sugestion, good luck!
  • livin
    livin Member Posts: 318 Member
    Everyone reaction to Chemo is different. I was given meds to prevent nausea at time of chemo. I never became sick, Ate everything just didn't like Pepsi Cola Soda anymore. I believed I owned Pepsi, as much as I use to drink it. But the Chemo made me dislike it. Only could drink water and Gatoraide(sp). Hade chemo 2001-2002 Never went back to pepsi to this date.
  • inkblot
    inkblot Member Posts: 698 Member
    Hi Kathy:

    I would be surprised if your trip home from treatment finds you nauseated. Don't even be thinking like that!

    Like the other ladies have said, we all respond a little differently and after that first treatment, you'll pretty much know what to expect for future ones. The "not knowing" and the anxiety it causes is worse than anything you're likely to experience.

    I recall my first treatment...I too was concerned
    how my body would react, etc.. My husband went with me and kept me company. I honestly didn't feel anything much during the infusion. Just the needle stick, etc.. Afterwards I still felt just fine. On the way home I was fine and even fine after I got home. I even went for a walk later that afternoon. I figured, well, since nothing's happening, I may as well keep myself busy and try not to anticipate bad things happening. It was funny, actually. A good friend went along on the walk and she kept asking if I felt ok. I think she expected me to keel over any minute or something. She kept saying that I just didn't look like someone who'd just had chemo! Ha. Everyone laughed at me wanting to take a walk. Next morining, it was another story though but not a bad one. I felt strangely and my feet were a bit puffy. (I drank gallons of water and the doc said that I had overdone it just a little on the fluids). My eyes were watery for about half an hour after I got up. Otherwise, nothing really happened. I didn't have as much energy as the day wore on and I sort of just laid around, taking it easy. Day 3 and I noticed a strange taste in my mouth. I began using baking soda rinses and it took care of that and kept my mouth moisturized. By day 4 I was back to normal but still not up to any marathons!

    I too had the Decadron (steroid) prior to my chemo infusions. I also had Benadryl through the IV as every time I had the red devil, my arm would get red and itchy. I had an antinausea pill (Anzamet) prior to infusion and had to take one each morning for the first 3 days following treatments. I never had any vomiting, so it worked beautifully. Food and drink began to taste stranger and stranger to me though. By my fourth and final treatment, I could only tolerate lemonade. Plain water was just the worst and not tolerable.

    My hair fell out all over my body. I don't think I had a single hair anyplace by the time I was finished. I didn't lose any brows or lashes until after the 3rd treatment but the hair on my head began to fall, two weeks after the first treatment. My friend buzzed it for me and that was that.

    I also experienced some mild constipation, mid treatment but nothing major. My doctor recommended Senokot and it worked well. Aside from a tummy virus while on treatment, I tolerated it all quite well.

    I think you'll be pleasantly surprised. It's not the monster that we so often hear it to be. Keep your attitude positive and
  • inkblot
    inkblot Member Posts: 698 Member
    So sorry, Kathy. I hit the wrong button by mistake!

    Anyway, here's the rest of my post: you're going to do just fine. Take along a good book to read while on the way back home. I seriously doubt that you're going to be feeling nauseated at all!

    Keep us posted and big hugs your way!

    Love, light and laughter,
  • KathyinVA
    KathyinVA Member Posts: 6
    Thank you all for responding. I feel like I have a much better idea what to expect now. It doesn't sound like the trip home will be a problem. I am also in Northern Virginia, Beth. Not too far from you in Mineral, Kathy. Please email anytime!

    Thanks again to everyone. Appreciate the support and encouragement!
  • rizzo15
    rizzo15 Member Posts: 153 Member
    I agree with all the previous posts. On my first chemo, the doctor mentioned that sometimes patients have someone accompany them for moral support (so to speak)...but that all his patients drive themselves to and from chemo themselves with no problem. As was mentioned in many previous posts, you will get anti-nausea ingredients in your chemo infusion and pills for afterwards. Even though my doctor was 200% sure I wouldn't need it, he also prescribed a fast-acting suppository for unexpected severe pain. I never needed it. It was just one of those many things he did to reassure me and make me feel like there was nothing to be afraid of.
  • geral
    geral Member Posts: 130
    livin said:

    Everyone reaction to Chemo is different. I was given meds to prevent nausea at time of chemo. I never became sick, Ate everything just didn't like Pepsi Cola Soda anymore. I believed I owned Pepsi, as much as I use to drink it. But the Chemo made me dislike it. Only could drink water and Gatoraide(sp). Hade chemo 2001-2002 Never went back to pepsi to this date.

    Drank alot of H2O and one Caffeine Free Diet Coke a day prior to chemo in year 2000. Had thought the Coke mite help w/nausea, but I couldn't tolerate it. Friends not knowing this brought me 2 ctns. Coke while I was undergoing chemo. Made my nausea worse just looking at them! I, like you, never went back to drinking Coke. I drink a gallon of H2O daily. Glad I do.