Starting chemo

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catowner
catowner Member Posts: 50
I will be starting chemo on the 13th and was wondering if anyone could let me know how it went for them? I am gonna have 8 treatments, one every two weeks and was just wondering how hard a time people had with it. Thanks for any imput. Debbie
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  • bluwillo
    bluwillo Member Posts: 113
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    Sugestions
    STock up on plastic silverware. A lot of people say that eating with regular silverware makes food taste "metally".

    Find the recipe here for mouthrinse. It's salt and water and something else, I can't remember (thanks, chemo brain!) Rinse your mouth out everytime you go into the bathroom..I never had any mouth issues when I remembered to rinse.

    I hope you can get the Neulasta shots. They make it possible for you to be out in society, without becoming ill. It pumps up the production of white blood cells, so it really helps your immune system. Yes, a day or so later, your bones, especially the long ones, may hurt like heck. That's cos the marrow is working overtime to make good blood cells. Ask your dr. for pain meds if that's the case.

    Get a Kindle! Keep your sanity! Above all, don't be scared.
  • bluwillo
    bluwillo Member Posts: 113
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    Sugestions
    dupe
  • camul
    camul Member Posts: 2,537
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    As far as getting the chemo,
    As far as getting the chemo, I always made sure that I ate something an hour or 2 before, and had snacks and a drink handy while getting it. My infusion room was stocked with drinks and snacks, but I brought what I was hungry for, as well as a good book, and a sweatshirt just because one minute I was cold and the next hot. My office also provides heated blankets. My treatment is on Wednesdays and I usually felt okay until Friday.

    Main thing to remember is everyone is so different, and as you will find out, we can all be on the same regimen and each will have a different experience. It is not a piece of cake, but I was able to do it for so long this time by using imagery (which was I got from someone on this board). By imagining the chemo eating the tumors, it made it easier to keep going back for more, as well as developing a great fondness for my doctor, infusion nurse, and his office staff. A great group that I entrusted literally with my life!

    I have been on three different chemo's and felt different with each one. In fact, one week it would be really bad and the next one I would be so ready for a bad one, and the side effects would be so much easier than the one the week before... and that was the exact same chemo combo as the week that was really bad.

    I wish you the best. Chemo is doable, not easy, but doable, and I know that I was so afraid the first time, but it was not nearly as bad as I had envisioned.

    Hugs and prayers to you.
    Carol
  • Rague
    Rague Member Posts: 3,653 Member
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    We're all different!
    and no 2 have the same reactions to chemo.

    For me, A/C (4 every 2 weeks) wasn't bad at all. I was tired for 2 days starting 2 days after each infusion but a nap helped and it didn't slow me down at all. I lost all sense of taste and appetite (all together between 4 A/C, 12 Taxol and 25 rads I lost 45 lbs.) Water poured out of my eyes and nose. I did take all my anti-nausea meds but never had any nausea. The Neulasta shot wasn't bad at all - no pain at all from it but I had to head straight home after it as 2 hrs, almost to the minute, I would go to sleep for 2 hrs. For me the 12 weekly Taxol were much worse - I was completely and utterly exhausted the entire time. I lived on either the couch in from of the TV or in bed for the entire time. No nausea from it either and I actually quit taking the anti nausea meds about 1/2 way through and still no problem. I got a room for those infusions as I was always freezing and the rooms with bed had their own heater that could be turned up. Also needed a bed as as soon as they would start the IV Benadryl I'd go "Nighty-night" til about 1/2 hr before it was done.

    Susan
  • catowner
    catowner Member Posts: 50
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    bluwillo said:

    Sugestions
    STock up on plastic silverware. A lot of people say that eating with regular silverware makes food taste "metally".

    Find the recipe here for mouthrinse. It's salt and water and something else, I can't remember (thanks, chemo brain!) Rinse your mouth out everytime you go into the bathroom..I never had any mouth issues when I remembered to rinse.

    I hope you can get the Neulasta shots. They make it possible for you to be out in society, without becoming ill. It pumps up the production of white blood cells, so it really helps your immune system. Yes, a day or so later, your bones, especially the long ones, may hurt like heck. That's cos the marrow is working overtime to make good blood cells. Ask your dr. for pain meds if that's the case.

    Get a Kindle! Keep your sanity! Above all, don't be scared.

    chemo
    Thank-you so much for putting me at ease! I will be getting the Neulasta shot 24 hrs.after treatment and I do have a Kindle! Thanks for the advice on rinsing out my mouth...I already have my dixie cups and salt on the bathroom counter!
  • catowner
    catowner Member Posts: 50
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    Rague said:

    We're all different!
    and no 2 have the same reactions to chemo.

    For me, A/C (4 every 2 weeks) wasn't bad at all. I was tired for 2 days starting 2 days after each infusion but a nap helped and it didn't slow me down at all. I lost all sense of taste and appetite (all together between 4 A/C, 12 Taxol and 25 rads I lost 45 lbs.) Water poured out of my eyes and nose. I did take all my anti-nausea meds but never had any nausea. The Neulasta shot wasn't bad at all - no pain at all from it but I had to head straight home after it as 2 hrs, almost to the minute, I would go to sleep for 2 hrs. For me the 12 weekly Taxol were much worse - I was completely and utterly exhausted the entire time. I lived on either the couch in from of the TV or in bed for the entire time. No nausea from it either and I actually quit taking the anti nausea meds about 1/2 way through and still no problem. I got a room for those infusions as I was always freezing and the rooms with bed had their own heater that could be turned up. Also needed a bed as as soon as they would start the IV Benadryl I'd go "Nighty-night" til about 1/2 hr before it was done.

    Susan

    chemo
    Yes we are all different and I keep telling myself this yet it is helpful to hear what others have to say:) All the women on this site have been so wonderful that it puts me at ease a little to hear their stories. Where I will be getting my chemo they have heated recliners and also heated blankets with a t.v. in front of every chair so it should be very doable! I also will be getting A/C every two weeks for the first 4 treatments, and Taxol for the last 4. I'm sure I will get through it okay, especially with everyone on this site guiding me through it. Thanks a ton for the info. Debbie
  • catowner
    catowner Member Posts: 50
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    camul said:

    As far as getting the chemo,
    As far as getting the chemo, I always made sure that I ate something an hour or 2 before, and had snacks and a drink handy while getting it. My infusion room was stocked with drinks and snacks, but I brought what I was hungry for, as well as a good book, and a sweatshirt just because one minute I was cold and the next hot. My office also provides heated blankets. My treatment is on Wednesdays and I usually felt okay until Friday.

    Main thing to remember is everyone is so different, and as you will find out, we can all be on the same regimen and each will have a different experience. It is not a piece of cake, but I was able to do it for so long this time by using imagery (which was I got from someone on this board). By imagining the chemo eating the tumors, it made it easier to keep going back for more, as well as developing a great fondness for my doctor, infusion nurse, and his office staff. A great group that I entrusted literally with my life!

    I have been on three different chemo's and felt different with each one. In fact, one week it would be really bad and the next one I would be so ready for a bad one, and the side effects would be so much easier than the one the week before... and that was the exact same chemo combo as the week that was really bad.

    I wish you the best. Chemo is doable, not easy, but doable, and I know that I was so afraid the first time, but it was not nearly as bad as I had envisioned.

    Hugs and prayers to you.
    Carol

    I also think of it as a good
    I also think of it as a good thing since it is killing the bad cells, which helps me as the day draws near. I am glad to hear that it is not as bad as I myself envision. Thanks Carol, and hugs to you too! Debbie
  • kjhbrteam
    kjhbrteam Member Posts: 10
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    catowner said:

    chemo
    Yes we are all different and I keep telling myself this yet it is helpful to hear what others have to say:) All the women on this site have been so wonderful that it puts me at ease a little to hear their stories. Where I will be getting my chemo they have heated recliners and also heated blankets with a t.v. in front of every chair so it should be very doable! I also will be getting A/C every two weeks for the first 4 treatments, and Taxol for the last 4. I'm sure I will get through it okay, especially with everyone on this site guiding me through it. Thanks a ton for the info. Debbie

    good stuff here
    Hi there!
    I finished my last chemo in April and the best advice I received and will share with you is this. Drink TONS of water! You want to flush all that stuff out of your body as quickly as possible. If you have a port get the lidocan cream and use it about 2 hrs before your infusion (it hurts to get poked). You'll do great and it will be over before you know it!!! Hugs! KJ
  • catowner
    catowner Member Posts: 50
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    kjhbrteam said:

    good stuff here
    Hi there!
    I finished my last chemo in April and the best advice I received and will share with you is this. Drink TONS of water! You want to flush all that stuff out of your body as quickly as possible. If you have a port get the lidocan cream and use it about 2 hrs before your infusion (it hurts to get poked). You'll do great and it will be over before you know it!!! Hugs! KJ

    chemo
    Good advice, I also bought some Boost and Ensure and Gatorade because I heard those were good things to drink also. I have trouble drinking water if I am not thirsty so I am making sure I have plenty of different things to drink. They say the first 48 hrs. after are the most important time to drink a-lot. I do not have a port so I will have to be poked, but I am pretty used to that by now. Thank-you for the positive feedback, Debbie
  • Rague
    Rague Member Posts: 3,653 Member
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    kjhbrteam said:

    good stuff here
    Hi there!
    I finished my last chemo in April and the best advice I received and will share with you is this. Drink TONS of water! You want to flush all that stuff out of your body as quickly as possible. If you have a port get the lidocan cream and use it about 2 hrs before your infusion (it hurts to get poked). You'll do great and it will be over before you know it!!! Hugs! KJ

    For me - 2 hrs after putting
    For me - 2 hrs after putting the EMLA (numbing cream) on it would not still be doing much if anything. For me, 1/2 hr before works the best. I had one port poke that was doine without numbing and it HURT a lot worse than hitting a hand vein.
  • Tom Cunningham
    Tom Cunningham Member Posts: 5
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    Chemo
    Recommend you start hydration the day before chemo and continue for a couple of days afterward. The nuelasta shot can be a doozy with bone and joint pain. Get some Claratin (not Claratin D) and start taking the day before the shot (chemo day), Claratin took about 75% of the pain away and the rest can be managed through aleve, ibuprofin or percocet. Numbing cream works good, spreadt it over some plastic wrap then tape the plastic wrap over the port site so when they stick you, lets say I have had skeeter bites that were worst.
  • fighting4five
    fighting4five Member Posts: 71
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    Hi Debbie...I have finished
    Hi Debbie...I have finished 11 taxol treatments for me they were not bad. I would get my treatment on Tuesday and Thursday would get a little tired after a few treatments I had mild bone pain and muscle pain. Pain meds made it managable. I was able to cook,clean and care for my children the whole time.My advice is drink lots of water,gator aide and orange juice. eggs are my best friend. If I skip eating eggs my energy level is down and i just dont feel good. Also apples and peanut butter help a lot.Nutrition is so very important. My blood counts were always perfect.
    I will start f/a/c tomorrow, a little nervous not knowing what to expect. I will keep you updated if you would like. I wish you all the best,and will keep you in my prayers.

    Mary
  • Rague
    Rague Member Posts: 3,653 Member
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    catowner said:

    chemo
    Good advice, I also bought some Boost and Ensure and Gatorade because I heard those were good things to drink also. I have trouble drinking water if I am not thirsty so I am making sure I have plenty of different things to drink. They say the first 48 hrs. after are the most important time to drink a-lot. I do not have a port so I will have to be poked, but I am pretty used to that by now. Thank-you for the positive feedback, Debbie

    Numbing spray or cream
    The Center I went to to had numbing spray they used and all you felt was a slight prick. The last day of Taxol the Rads Dr decided he wanted as new CT done before I started rads the next week so I got sent up to get one done. When they found out I had a port, all the RN's wanted to use it but didn't have any numbing spray so they accessed it without any numbing - it HURT! In the 1 3/4 yrs since the end of chemo I've been using the cream for flushes - it's great and for me it needs to be on at least 20 minutes but no more than about an hour to work good. Another tip for using the cream - after you put it on put a square of "Saran" wrap over it. It'll stick to it, keeps it from getting on your clothes and helps it work a bit quicker (at least that's what the nurse that told me to do it said, I've always used it so don't know if it helps or not but it does keep clothes clean.

    OOPS - just re-read and saw you don't have a port. Have you asked about why not getting one? Chemo is really nasty on veins. There is no wasy that I would have done my chemo without one. For one thing (as far as I'm concerned) I have great veins but after surgery you only have one arm left to use for blood draws/BP etc. so there was no way that I was going to take a chance of messing that up. Just how I feel about it.

    Susan
  • catowner
    catowner Member Posts: 50
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    Chemo
    Recommend you start hydration the day before chemo and continue for a couple of days afterward. The nuelasta shot can be a doozy with bone and joint pain. Get some Claratin (not Claratin D) and start taking the day before the shot (chemo day), Claratin took about 75% of the pain away and the rest can be managed through aleve, ibuprofin or percocet. Numbing cream works good, spreadt it over some plastic wrap then tape the plastic wrap over the port site so when they stick you, lets say I have had skeeter bites that were worst.

    I do not have a port. I will
    I do not have a port. I will keep the Claratin in mind. Thanks, Deb
  • catowner
    catowner Member Posts: 50
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    Hi Debbie...I have finished
    Hi Debbie...I have finished 11 taxol treatments for me they were not bad. I would get my treatment on Tuesday and Thursday would get a little tired after a few treatments I had mild bone pain and muscle pain. Pain meds made it managable. I was able to cook,clean and care for my children the whole time.My advice is drink lots of water,gator aide and orange juice. eggs are my best friend. If I skip eating eggs my energy level is down and i just dont feel good. Also apples and peanut butter help a lot.Nutrition is so very important. My blood counts were always perfect.
    I will start f/a/c tomorrow, a little nervous not knowing what to expect. I will keep you updated if you would like. I wish you all the best,and will keep you in my prayers.

    Mary

    I also wish you the best and
    I also wish you the best and will keep you in my prayers. The nutrition advice is very helpful, I like peanut butter and eggs also so I will keep that in mind. I give you a lot of credit being able to take care of children and everything else while going through that. I am fortunate that my kids are grown up and I have a wonderful husband who takes very good care of me:) Good luck with your next treatments and would love to hear how you are doing!
    Thanks, Debbie
  • Tom Cunningham
    Tom Cunningham Member Posts: 5
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    catowner said:

    I also wish you the best and
    I also wish you the best and will keep you in my prayers. The nutrition advice is very helpful, I like peanut butter and eggs also so I will keep that in mind. I give you a lot of credit being able to take care of children and everything else while going through that. I am fortunate that my kids are grown up and I have a wonderful husband who takes very good care of me:) Good luck with your next treatments and would love to hear how you are doing!
    Thanks, Debbie

    eggs
    After chemo eggs do taste something like food but not much else.
  • DebbyM
    DebbyM Member Posts: 3,289 Member
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    catowner said:

    chemo
    Thank-you so much for putting me at ease! I will be getting the Neulasta shot 24 hrs.after treatment and I do have a Kindle! Thanks for the advice on rinsing out my mouth...I already have my dixie cups and salt on the bathroom counter!

    Hi Debbie! I didn't have
    Hi Debbie! I didn't have chemo, but, I wanted to wish you the best of luck!


    Hugs, Debby
  • mamolady
    mamolady Member Posts: 796 Member
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    comfort foods
    Debbie,
    If you have trouble eating, find your comfort food. It may be something you normally don't eat. Listen to your body! I didn't have trouble with nausea but I never did during pregnancy either. (I don't know if that is related or not)
    I would recommend keeping hand sanitizer every where. With cold and flu season starting, the last thing you want is to get sick on top of having chemo!
    Rest when you need to, get out when you can. This will be over before you know it.

    Cindy

    PS- I never had a port. I didn't have a problem except that the nurses didn't like having to start an IV.
  • DEbeachgirl
    DEbeachgirl Member Posts: 1
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    first chemo
    I had a hard time with chemo and it is going to be hard but you can do it. I had ACT every 21 days for 6 rounds. They provided lunch where I went for my infuston too but I found that anything I ate while getting chemo I couldn't stand to eat again. I sipped a drink most of the time. If you have contact lenses do not wear them. Your eyes dry out and you can scratch your cornea. They give you a large dose of benadryl IV so you will sleep a lot of your infusion. Definitely bring somthing to read or an ipod. Some places have wifi and tv's. Wear comfy clothes. Pajama pants are not frowned upon.

    I can't tell from your picture how old you are but if you aren't in menopause yet chemo is going to put you into it. With my first treatment I started having hot flashes. My oncologist unfortunately failed to mention this was going to happen. Dress in layers.

    The nuelasta shot gave me restless leg syndrome so be aware that can happen. It also can cause achiness. Make sure you track your temp after. I had slight nausea but the meds they give you help so take them! I felt like eating or drinking only cool stuff and what I liked or looked nasty changed each time I had another round. My hair started falling out right before the second treatment so you have some time to get ready for that.

    Please don't hesitate to ask me anything. I was diagnosed at 34 and am going through treatment again. Hang in there, you can do it! We got your back.
  • LoveBabyJesus
    LoveBabyJesus Member Posts: 1,679 Member
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    Good Luck and You'll do Well.
    My boyfriend bought me a great book that includes what foods to eat during each side effect from chemo - http://www.amazon.com/Cancer-Fighting-Kitchen-Nourishing-Big-Flavor-Treatment/dp/1587613441. It helped a lot. They even describe what ingredients to add to foods to lift up their flavor, in case you get that metallic taste, which some people don't get. They recommend you add these to foods, accordingly: lemon, olive oil, sea salt, maple syrup (and I forgot #5 :( I recommend it.

    Also this book: http://www.amazon.com/Big-Book-Juices-Natural-Vitality/dp/1844839737/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1318347559&sr=1-1 It suggests drinks according to categories: immunity, energy, red blood count, etc...There are hundreds of suggestions on juicing to boost up your everything!

    Now, very important, you must drink a lot. Drink, drink drink! I had about 7-8 bottles of water daily.

    I had a serious issue during chemo - couldn't go for 12 days!!! So, you must eat a lot of fiber, take stool softener everyday (especially 2 days prior to treatment) - or you can wait until you see how you react to treatment first. Some experience the opposite, but I know most people can't go (based on those I do know). So have a balance diet, lots of fiber. Also, eat smaller portion throughout the day. It will help with nausea too.

    I didn't take the nausea pills, because they also didn't help with the bathroom situation. But I had ativan (anxiety pill). It helped me so much during treatments. And only took it when I felt anxious or felt stomach issues. I recommend it.

    If you feel any side effect from your chemo, call your Dr. Always call, don't feel like it's "normal" - it probably will be normal, but good to double check with doctors.

    You will do great! Normal to feel very nervous at first, but it isn't as bad as you think.

    Oh! I chew on ice the entire time I was getting the AC infusion, and never got one mouth sore. I recommend it too!

    Good luck sister! :)