First Chemo This Thursday (May 1)...Any Advice

Jeff148 Member Posts: 184

I have my first chemo treatment of ABVD-R this Thursday. Any tips for the 8 hours I have to sit there. Should I bring snacks? Should I take constipation or nausea medication this week? Should I fatten up this week with lots of ice cream (while still eating healthy)? Should I take the nice sunny days off? I want to hear what you guys recommend and what to expect. I ran and swam today. I'm planning on doing that as much as possible. I want to try my best to not lose too much weight and keep exercising. I'd like to take my daughter fishing on Friday (our annual Lake Washington fishing day). Am I dreaming, or can it be done? Be truthful. 



  • jimwins
    jimwins Member Posts: 2,107
    Hi Jeff

    I wasn't on ABVD-R (R-EPOCH) so I can't speak directly to that.  Also, people have somewhat individual reactions to chemo.  One thing I'm sure Sue would say ss "listen to your body".  If you are not on anti-anxiey medication, ask for it - believe me it will help.  Once you get through a couple to 3 cycles, you'll be more comfortable as it will become more routine and you'll know what to expect.  I actually gained weight during my chemo (prednisone probably) and ate well.  It will probably not be as bad as you expect - it's not a picnic but it is very doable.  

    Unless your medical team advises against it, eat all the ice cream you want :).   If you feel like it, go on the fishing trip.  Just be mindful of germs, etc.  Keep sanitizing lotion/gel handy.  You'll probably receive high dosages of a steroid (like predisone) and will probably be bouncing off the ceiling until it wears off.  The steroids made me feel like I was on a roller coaster with intense emotions and it pretty much removed the filter on my mouth.  Fortunately my family was understanding when I was "roiding" ;).

    Exercise should be good but don't push yourself - again listen to your body.  You will learn what works for you and will tweak some things on your own like when to take meds for constipation, etc.  For me, I started taking consitipation meds the day before my cycle started.  The only time I vomitted was during my first or second cycle but I hadn't had a bowel movement in 3-4 days so I attribute it to that.  I became keenly aware of early warning signs of nausea - for me it was excess salivation.  As long as I took nausea meds at that point, I did okay.  

    Be good to yourself.  You will see this gets psychologically easier after you get started and get some experience under your belt.  You are already doing a good thing by coming here to share and ask questions.  I think you're gonna do fine.  Good luck as you start this week.  Maybe you should get together with Sue and her husband - they love to fish :).

    Hugs and positive thoughts to you and your family,


  • Rocquie
    Rocquie Member Posts: 862 Member
    First Chemo

    Hello Jeff,

    I am a little late in welcoming you to the site. Welcome to the group. 

    I had a Rituxan maintenance infusion today which brought back memories of the beginning of my journey. As for tips to pass the time, you should have seen the bag I packed today. As I was going to the car I realized it looked like I was moving in for a weekend. I have also noticed other people with multiple bags of "stuff" they take with them. I pack my Kindle (fully charged) and a charger just in case and a mobile hotspot just in case. I take my fluffy slippers because I get very cold. Also a sweater and scarf. And they have warm blankets available.  Snacks of course, but the infusion center passes around snacks and also have juice, water, and sodas available. They also have TVs there if you like. Sometimes I use ear buds and listen to audio books or music. And napping is always a popular activity. 

    I was very symptomatic and sick when I began my chemo (R-CHOP) but if you feel like going fishing the next day, by all means, GO. I never had problems with nausea but I did lose my appetite and significant weight. Egg sandwiches, oatmeal, and Boost kept me going. I had trouble with infections so had to take a lot of antibiotics. One of my chemo drugs caused constipation and the antibiotics caused diarrhea. So. . .I had the milk of magnesia and kaopectate side by side and learned which days to take which one. Ugh. 

    I have been in remission for over a year now. I feel good again. The unpleasant parts of chemo were worth it so please do try to keep that in mind. You will experience nurses and medical staff of humbling and inspiring compassion and grace. 

    Your positive outlook on life will take you far and I wish you all the best. . .



  • Chrisjag
    Chrisjag Member Posts: 18

    My husband just finished 6 rounds of ABVD. After his first treatment he didn't feel well, but it wasn't too horrible. He didn't take any of his medication until he felt a little naseous. He was told not to eat any greasy foods, if they tell you that, you should listen! After the first couple of treatments he was feeling pretty good. As for the long wait, our office had wifi :) and there were many people in there who always wanted to chat. I hope you have an easy time with it!

  • Jeff148
    Jeff148 Member Posts: 184
    Thanks everyone!!

    I really appreciate all the great comments!!


  • illead
    illead Member Posts: 884 Member
    Jeff148 said:

    Thanks everyone!!

    I really appreciate all the great comments!!


    Wishing you the best

    Like the others have said, even though it may seem pretty ominous, it isn't as bad as it seems.  The nurses are very kind and will make it a no brainer for you.  They are very kind and caring and know that you are full of anxiety, especially for your first time.  You will probably be given benadryl which will help you nap most of the time.  We also had wifi so Bill took his laptop and did some work on it but mostly just slept.  We actually looked forward to it, we got to see the nurses and catch up and just have a day to do nothing.  I know it sounds weird but Bill had no side effects at all with his type of chemo, so we had it pretty easy.  Let us know how it goes and know that we will be thinking of you.

    Bill & Becky