Will have my first chimo Tuesday, please need advised

Licha
Licha Member Posts: 21
edited May 2011 in Ovarian Cancer #1
What should I keep with me duting my first chimo next Tuesday, I had hystrectomy 4 weeks ago, dr. remove 95% of cancer but still there is a 5% that need chimo. I will have Paclitaxel and on Wednesday Platinol. I have app Monday to cut my hair, I am from Guatemala and they will be here Monday fro 2 months, also my sister is flying from Germany today. I know i am not alone, God is supporting me since day 1. Please advised,
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Comments

  • Cafewoman53
    Cafewoman53 Member Posts: 735 Member
    what to bring
    Bring a swaeter or a blanket sometimes the chemo makes you cold, and maybe something to eat if it is going to take a long time. I'm sure the other ladies here will have more ideas but this is all I can think of right now. You will be fine it's not as bad as you think, good luck
    Colleen
  • poopergirl14052
    poopergirl14052 Member Posts: 1,183 Member

    what to bring
    Bring a swaeter or a blanket sometimes the chemo makes you cold, and maybe something to eat if it is going to take a long time. I'm sure the other ladies here will have more ideas but this is all I can think of right now. You will be fine it's not as bad as you think, good luck
    Colleen

    bring
    I have what I call my chemo bag. I keep a blanket, something to read, a sandwich or crackers. Also bring your meds you have to take before chemo. Good luck with your chemo and welcome to the board....val
  • Hissy_Fitz
    Hissy_Fitz Member Posts: 1,834

    bring
    I have what I call my chemo bag. I keep a blanket, something to read, a sandwich or crackers. Also bring your meds you have to take before chemo. Good luck with your chemo and welcome to the board....val

    I had a chemo bag, too. I
    I had a chemo bag, too. I took my blanket (although most infusion centers have blankets), slipper-socks, and my iPad. Before I got the iPad I took my eReader. I think iPads should be issued to all new chemo patients. You can download books and read them on it. If there is WiFi at your center you can stream your Netflix, or surf the net, post on CSN, Facebook everyone, check your email, etc. Don't forget the earphones, though. Not everyone wants to listen to 6 hours of "Hoarders" reruns.

    My husband always went out and got lunch for us, but my Cancer Factory (thank you for that idiom, Sarah) has drinks and snacks.

    You will probably sleep thru most of it. They give you high doses of Benadryl before they start the bug juice. I always said I felt "wicked" because it made me feel as if I'd had a whole bottle of wine, at 10 in the morning.

    The steroids made me ravenous. I once ate 10 hot wings in one chemo infusion. Plus a side of veggie sticks. (The nurse saw the veggies, after the wings were long gone, and commended me on my "good diet choices." Little did she know!)


    If you have a reaction, IMMEDIATELY call for the nurse and ask them to slow down the infusion. I thought maybe I was supposed to feel like I was dying, then I passed out. That got everyone's attention. You are NOT supposed to feel anything "bad." Call for help if you need it, even if you have to shout to get someone's attention.

    Carlene
  • TeaLurker
    TeaLurker Member Posts: 15
    Glad your sister will be there
    Having someone with you for the first infusion session is really helpful.

    Everyone seems to experience chemo differently. It makes me so cold that I have to wear long underwear, even though the nurses drape me with 3 heated blankets (2 that drape from my shoulders down and 1 wrapped around my head and shoulders).

    The Benadryl didn't make me sleepy the first few weeks (perhaps my anxiety was too high), but since then, I have learned to welcome the nap, and now I have trouble waking up at the end. I never feel alert enough to drive afterward. I don't know if everyone in first-line treatment receives Benadryl as a pre-med.

    My hair was slow to fall out, so I'm glad I didn't cut it short right away.

    As Carlene said, you may need to shout if you need help (the chairs don't have call buttons), so don't be shy. Once I noticed my blankets getting wet (a tube not connected properly, just one time) and tried to get someone's attention discreetly and politely. That was a foolish and potentially dangerous mistake. Shout if you think you're in trouble.

    My small rolling bag (haven't been strong enough to carry much weight) always has my notebook with my lab-work, appointment and contact information, a paperback novel, a puzzle book with a pen that clips to it, a protein bar (which I rarely eat), and a spare bottle of water. My infusion center has snack bags and juice cans but I have never sampled them.

    Make sure you get any prescriptions filled (for anti-nausea or anti-anxiety, etc.), and ask the docs and nurses what they recommend for constipation and pain relief.
    Hope it goes well for you, with minimal side-effects.
  • LaundryQueen
    LaundryQueen Member Posts: 676

    I had a chemo bag, too. I
    I had a chemo bag, too. I took my blanket (although most infusion centers have blankets), slipper-socks, and my iPad. Before I got the iPad I took my eReader. I think iPads should be issued to all new chemo patients. You can download books and read them on it. If there is WiFi at your center you can stream your Netflix, or surf the net, post on CSN, Facebook everyone, check your email, etc. Don't forget the earphones, though. Not everyone wants to listen to 6 hours of "Hoarders" reruns.

    My husband always went out and got lunch for us, but my Cancer Factory (thank you for that idiom, Sarah) has drinks and snacks.

    You will probably sleep thru most of it. They give you high doses of Benadryl before they start the bug juice. I always said I felt "wicked" because it made me feel as if I'd had a whole bottle of wine, at 10 in the morning.

    The steroids made me ravenous. I once ate 10 hot wings in one chemo infusion. Plus a side of veggie sticks. (The nurse saw the veggies, after the wings were long gone, and commended me on my "good diet choices." Little did she know!)


    If you have a reaction, IMMEDIATELY call for the nurse and ask them to slow down the infusion. I thought maybe I was supposed to feel like I was dying, then I passed out. That got everyone's attention. You are NOT supposed to feel anything "bad." Call for help if you need it, even if you have to shout to get someone's attention.

    Carlene

    Chemo treatment
    Licha: Sorry to meet you here...too many women are getting cancer!

    Did you have an infusion port put in? It is a minor surgery to put in the port under the skin so that it is easier to take the intravenous treatment. If you have an infusion port, it will be in the upper chest area. You want to wear a shirt that you can unbutton so the nurse can put the needle into the infusion port. If no port, wear something with short sleeves so you can take the treatment in the arm vein.

    Chemo takes several hours. Wear something comfortable & easy to manage if you need to use the toilet before the treatment is finished.

    I brought a blanket & an eye mask so I could sleep thru the treatment. The pre-meds make you sleepy, too. If you think listening to music would help you, bring something with earphones.

    The last suggestion is to drink at least 1liter of water before your treatment & another liter of water after. The platinol chemo is tolerated better by your kidneys if you are well hydrated. I like the bottled water called Smart Water because it replaces magnesium & potassium--two electrolytes lost as a result of chemo treatment.

    Your hair will probably not fall out until 2-3 weeks after the first Taxol treatment.

    I usually felt OK on the day of chemo but then not so good on the 3rd day. Food did not taste good, I had constipation, felt like sleeping a lot & got weepy. I think crying is very common--not just because you have a good reason to cry but also because chemo removes the brain chemical (serotonin) that makes you feel happy.

    The chemo nurses are very nice & will take very good care of you.

    Please come back and tell us how you are doing on your journey to return to health.

    LQ
  • kayandok
    kayandok Member Posts: 1,202 Member
    Welcome Licha!
    So sorry you had to come to this board. Sounds like you got the complete list plus more for what you will need for the chemo room. Be sure and upack any anxiety and worry. It really is not scary, and side effects, if they come will not usually be in the chemo room. MOst of us just sleep!
    Wishing you the best in this journey,
    kathleen
  • kayandok
    kayandok Member Posts: 1,202 Member
    TeaLurker said:

    Glad your sister will be there
    Having someone with you for the first infusion session is really helpful.

    Everyone seems to experience chemo differently. It makes me so cold that I have to wear long underwear, even though the nurses drape me with 3 heated blankets (2 that drape from my shoulders down and 1 wrapped around my head and shoulders).

    The Benadryl didn't make me sleepy the first few weeks (perhaps my anxiety was too high), but since then, I have learned to welcome the nap, and now I have trouble waking up at the end. I never feel alert enough to drive afterward. I don't know if everyone in first-line treatment receives Benadryl as a pre-med.

    My hair was slow to fall out, so I'm glad I didn't cut it short right away.

    As Carlene said, you may need to shout if you need help (the chairs don't have call buttons), so don't be shy. Once I noticed my blankets getting wet (a tube not connected properly, just one time) and tried to get someone's attention discreetly and politely. That was a foolish and potentially dangerous mistake. Shout if you think you're in trouble.

    My small rolling bag (haven't been strong enough to carry much weight) always has my notebook with my lab-work, appointment and contact information, a paperback novel, a puzzle book with a pen that clips to it, a protein bar (which I rarely eat), and a spare bottle of water. My infusion center has snack bags and juice cans but I have never sampled them.

    Make sure you get any prescriptions filled (for anti-nausea or anti-anxiety, etc.), and ask the docs and nurses what they recommend for constipation and pain relief.
    Hope it goes well for you, with minimal side-effects.

    TeaLurker,
    welcome! I'm sorry you have recurred and have had to come here. Love your profile name!
    kathleen
  • TeaLurker
    TeaLurker Member Posts: 15
    kayandok said:

    TeaLurker,
    welcome! I'm sorry you have recurred and have had to come here. Love your profile name!
    kathleen

    kayandok
    Thanks, kayandok. Actually, I haven't exactly recurred, it's that I haven't gone into remission (yet). Guess I should make a profile but I'm not accustomed to putting much personal info on the web.

    Short version: ER trip mid-November 2010 ("hot abdomen"); emergency surgery; girl parts + appendix removed; many tumors/much juice (8 liters); Stage IIIC clear cell; clinical trial with 18 consecutive weeks of Chemo Cocktails (via IV port and IP port) from December through April 2011; PET-CT showed two lymph nodes in chest with uptake (& some in abdomen which may be inflammation from IP). Boom: back to Chemo last week, with a new regimen.

    The mets may make me Stage IV now; didn't think to ask.

    Sorry that I don't seem to have the hang of the proper way to thread here. I'm an OVCA novice, but not an internet newbie! Been reading here since January, but just "lurking and leaching". I have little to offer (for now).

    Very grateful to all the posters on this board, who have taught me much and made me feel less alone. Wish I were that comfortable sharing, too. Maybe down the road.
  • kikz
    kikz Member Posts: 1,345 Member
    kayandok said:

    Welcome Licha!
    So sorry you had to come to this board. Sounds like you got the complete list plus more for what you will need for the chemo room. Be sure and upack any anxiety and worry. It really is not scary, and side effects, if they come will not usually be in the chemo room. MOst of us just sleep!
    Wishing you the best in this journey,
    kathleen

    Licha the beauty of this board
    is that sometimes you can offer support, knowledge, compassion, etc and sometimes you need to be the receiver of these gifts. I wish I could meet all these ladies because they seem like the kind of girls I would love to have as friends. Maybe someday we could hold a convention. I bet we would rock the house!

    Karen
  • poopergirl14052
    poopergirl14052 Member Posts: 1,183 Member
    kikz said:

    Licha the beauty of this board
    is that sometimes you can offer support, knowledge, compassion, etc and sometimes you need to be the receiver of these gifts. I wish I could meet all these ladies because they seem like the kind of girls I would love to have as friends. Maybe someday we could hold a convention. I bet we would rock the house!

    Karen

    did anyone explain the side effects??
    You will lose your hair as you already know,also will have beone and joint pain and extreme fatigue . You may also feel nausea so make sure your md gives you a drug called Emend. Also make sure you moving your bowels as these drugs can cause a back-up. and drink lots of fluids before and after chemo. Good luck...val
  • kayandok
    kayandok Member Posts: 1,202 Member
    TeaLurker said:

    kayandok
    Thanks, kayandok. Actually, I haven't exactly recurred, it's that I haven't gone into remission (yet). Guess I should make a profile but I'm not accustomed to putting much personal info on the web.

    Short version: ER trip mid-November 2010 ("hot abdomen"); emergency surgery; girl parts + appendix removed; many tumors/much juice (8 liters); Stage IIIC clear cell; clinical trial with 18 consecutive weeks of Chemo Cocktails (via IV port and IP port) from December through April 2011; PET-CT showed two lymph nodes in chest with uptake (& some in abdomen which may be inflammation from IP). Boom: back to Chemo last week, with a new regimen.

    The mets may make me Stage IV now; didn't think to ask.

    Sorry that I don't seem to have the hang of the proper way to thread here. I'm an OVCA novice, but not an internet newbie! Been reading here since January, but just "lurking and leaching". I have little to offer (for now).

    Very grateful to all the posters on this board, who have taught me much and made me feel less alone. Wish I were that comfortable sharing, too. Maybe down the road.

    TeaLurker,
    you have been through a lot! When you are comfortable sharing, we would be interested to know what clinical trial and chemo cocktail you had and what you are on now. Hearing the facts of your journey is always helpful, when you are up for it. No hurry, though.
    Hugs,
    kathleen
  • mopar
    mopar Member Posts: 1,972 Member
    WELCOME, LICHA
    So sorry to hear you're going through this. But I echo all the wonderful advice from the great ladies on this board.

    My nausea was kept under control by pre-meds, meds during chemo, and post meds. My treatments were in 2000 and 2006, so there's probably some new meds out there now, too. I had a 'chemo bag' too, with my personal favorites - Altoids, water, snacks, etc. Did some words puzzles from time to time, read my bible, but because of the Benadryl they would give me and the long sessions (8 hours), my eyes couldn't handle much. So listening to music on headphones or watching a little TV was a good way to pass some time. My mom or my husband was sometimes with me, and they provided lots of comfort. The chemo room had some things to offer also, like beverages and blankies.

    I always had to stay on top of the constipation - I think that was the most problematic for me. Lots of liquids, Senna-S days before the treatment, during and after. Hi-fiber foods when I could eat helped as well. I can offer more tips, but lets see how you're doing as you go along and we'll be here for you to help.

    So glad to hear you will have your sisters with you - that support is great appreciated.

    Sending hugs and prayers, Licha.

    Monika
  • Radioactive34
    Radioactive34 Member Posts: 391 Member
    Thank you for asking the
    Thank you for asking the question. I start chemo the week after and my brain is still spinning with the idea of having to get chemo. I am initially going to be on my own for the first session. Being prepared really helps with the anxiety.

    My husband and I took care of my mother in law during terminal cancer. Even though I was front and center, I am having trouble applying those lessons to myself. I will get a list ready. In this next week, I will get a bag ready. The fisr drip is going to be a long one.
  • LaundryQueen
    LaundryQueen Member Posts: 676

    Thank you for asking the
    Thank you for asking the question. I start chemo the week after and my brain is still spinning with the idea of having to get chemo. I am initially going to be on my own for the first session. Being prepared really helps with the anxiety.

    My husband and I took care of my mother in law during terminal cancer. Even though I was front and center, I am having trouble applying those lessons to myself. I will get a list ready. In this next week, I will get a bag ready. The fisr drip is going to be a long one.

    Nobody should go to chemo alone!
    R34: I am sorry to hear that you have to go to chemo alone for the first time. It will be fine I'm sure and you'll probably sleep thru it. I was so lucky to have a lot of family members available to be with me because I was so scared for the first treatment. I had to get IV sedation--it was kind of funny. I can laugh about it now because I was really goofy under sedation. Hahahahaha!

    The hospital where I got chemo, had an art therapist who would come & sit with me for a couple of hours during the chemo & bring a craft project to pass the time. Maybe there is such a person available for you.

    (((HUGS)))

    LQ
  • pstur1
    pstur1 Member Posts: 37

    Thank you for asking the
    Thank you for asking the question. I start chemo the week after and my brain is still spinning with the idea of having to get chemo. I am initially going to be on my own for the first session. Being prepared really helps with the anxiety.

    My husband and I took care of my mother in law during terminal cancer. Even though I was front and center, I am having trouble applying those lessons to myself. I will get a list ready. In this next week, I will get a bag ready. The fisr drip is going to be a long one.

    welcome Radio
    Yeah, like everyone has already said, I nice bag of goodies and things to do is a good idea. It really depends on your "poison palace" as I call it....LOL. As many have already said, most centers have all kinds of things like warm blankets, snacks, drinks and so on. Mine even has several big screen TVs though I prefer not to watch Jerry Springer with chemo...hahaha. I take my laptop because there is wifi but to be honest, no matter what I start I end up falling asleep and taking a good nap through it all.

    One more thing I wanted to share with people. I started recently doing reflexology with my chemo. The idea behind it is that it supposedly helps to circulate that chemo to hard to reach areas...don't know about the science behind, I suppose it simply requires faith and hope in the process but it sure feels good!!! It is a nice added treatment to the process. You can contact your center and see if they have anyone on staff...my place just has a lot of volunteers and people that come in for such a thing. Check into it, foot massage during chemo and added to that Hissy's hot wings, and you have the making of the perfect picnic at the poison palace....hahaha.

    We also play cards while there at times, more like a party at my place to be honest, kind of nice.

    Hugs,
    Kelley
  • Hissy_Fitz
    Hissy_Fitz Member Posts: 1,834

    Nobody should go to chemo alone!
    R34: I am sorry to hear that you have to go to chemo alone for the first time. It will be fine I'm sure and you'll probably sleep thru it. I was so lucky to have a lot of family members available to be with me because I was so scared for the first treatment. I had to get IV sedation--it was kind of funny. I can laugh about it now because I was really goofy under sedation. Hahahahaha!

    The hospital where I got chemo, had an art therapist who would come & sit with me for a couple of hours during the chemo & bring a craft project to pass the time. Maybe there is such a person available for you.

    (((HUGS)))

    LQ

    I agree with LQ....you
    I agree with LQ....you really need to draft a family member or friend to go with you, especially for the first infusion.

    I had such a bad reaction the first time, I had to leave the facility in a wheelchair. There is no way I could have driven myself home.

    Another suggeston, if you haven't gotten a script yet for the numbing cream, ask your doctor. I use it for blood draws, too. One of the nurses said, "You are going to run out of that little tube of cream if you keep using it for labs," to which I replied, "Then I will just ask for another script."

    Carlene
  • LaundryQueen
    LaundryQueen Member Posts: 676

    I agree with LQ....you
    I agree with LQ....you really need to draft a family member or friend to go with you, especially for the first infusion.

    I had such a bad reaction the first time, I had to leave the facility in a wheelchair. There is no way I could have driven myself home.

    Another suggeston, if you haven't gotten a script yet for the numbing cream, ask your doctor. I use it for blood draws, too. One of the nurses said, "You are going to run out of that little tube of cream if you keep using it for labs," to which I replied, "Then I will just ask for another script."

    Carlene

    Emla cream
    In the US, the brand name of the numbing cream is Emla cream (it is available in generic form, too). The cream must be applied an hour before you get stuck (jabbed) & needs to be covered with a bandaid. If you don't have a port site to put it on, you have to decide which vein is gonna be volunteered. I think I heard about it first in Nancy591's post.

    LQ
  • Hissy_Fitz
    Hissy_Fitz Member Posts: 1,834

    Emla cream
    In the US, the brand name of the numbing cream is Emla cream (it is available in generic form, too). The cream must be applied an hour before you get stuck (jabbed) & needs to be covered with a bandaid. If you don't have a port site to put it on, you have to decide which vein is gonna be volunteered. I think I heard about it first in Nancy591's post.

    LQ

    I don't know if this is a
    I don't know if this is a generic or a different brand name. Mine says "Fougera Lidocaine and Prilocaine Cream, 2.5%/2.5%".

    I put a big blob on my port and then cover it with a square of Saran Wrap. It stays put all by itself. When I put it on my arm veins (inside of the elbow), I cover it with a bandaid.

    Carlene
  • Tethys41
    Tethys41 Member Posts: 1,376 Member
    Avoiding neuropathy and mouth sores
    When I had chemo, I followed the advice to put ice on my toes and fingers during my taxol infusion. I also sucked on ice chips during the infusion of this drug. I don't know if that is what did it, but I never sufferred from mouth sores or neuropathy. My body did not deal with that drug well, so I tend to believe I dodged those bullets by following the ice advice.
  • rose_marie
    rose_marie Member Posts: 75

    I don't know if this is a
    I don't know if this is a generic or a different brand name. Mine says "Fougera Lidocaine and Prilocaine Cream, 2.5%/2.5%".

    I put a big blob on my port and then cover it with a square of Saran Wrap. It stays put all by itself. When I put it on my arm veins (inside of the elbow), I cover it with a bandaid.

    Carlene

    Numbing Cream
    Hi Carlene, I have never heard of this cream. My doctor never mentioned it either. I do not have a port and the chemo is put into a vein in my hand. I have such small veins that it really hurts. Sometimes the vein on my left had will "roll" and then the nurse gives up after about 5 minutes and tries another vein.
    I just have 4 more to go so I really don't want the port.
    One more question, can cream be purchased over the counter or is it a prescription?
    Rosemarie