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Hello again!

Posts: 119
Joined: Jan 2007

Hi to all, it's been awhile since I posted but like most, I read the postings almost daily.

Well, I managed to get in with the best onc around, which was questionable at one time. I just got out of the hospital a few hours ago. He likes to hospitalize the first go around to watch an reactions.

While there I didn't have nausea or vomiting. I did develop the tingly fingers and feet and throat immediately. Hard to remember not to pick up anything cold. As soon as they took out the IV I started getting nauseous. I have already lost my appetite which is so hard for me, I don't know what to eat. I drank some Ensure when I got home, tried to stop and get a bite on the way home but we had to leave due to me wanting to throw up.

Has anyone experienced anticipatory nausea? I read about it and was wondering if this sounds right? There is something about being hospitalized, I have associated a "smell" now everytime I'm in there. Everything smells like that smell, even my clothes when I came home. My food even began to smell like it when I got home. Am I nuts or is this all possible? My main concern is how to make myself eat when absolutely nothing sounds or looks or smells good. I did this after my colon surgery while I was in the hospital.

Any ideas or suggestions and thanks.


shmurciakova's picture
Posts: 910
Joined: Dec 2002

Hi Char,
It's been quite a while since I was on chemo but I totally know what you mean about that SMELL! Seriously...that is normal. As for eating, maybe you could just try toast or something like that the day of your chemo. I would not really drink Ensure, it is just loaded with sugar, but anyway. Just eat real bland things. I know I ate Chinese food a couple of times after chemo and then I could not eat it for the LONGEST time....I still kindof think of chemo when I eat sushi too...
One thing that really helped me a lot was Ativan. Do you have a prescription for it? I would take it during and after chemo and I only puked the 1st time and never did again after that. It really made me sleepy and I would just sleep all through chemo and for the rest of the day afterwards.
Good luck,

Posts: 1048
Joined: Jan 2007

Welcome home Char. Glad you got to see the onc you wanted to. My husband usually eats toast or english muffin before going to treatment, then something lite, like soup and possibly a grilled cheese sandwich on treatment "nite". He says the first bite or two are weird, but then he gets past it. His treatment was wed. He's back to colder foods now, but still tingles when he goes outside if it's cool. Did they give you any meds for nausea? Fortunately, my husband has not had any nausea with his treatment so far, but they did give us meds and told us if he did start to feel sick, to take them before he actually became sick. He is on oral xelox and I think that helps, but he made up his mind before his first treatment that he was not going to get sick to his stomach, so thankfully, it seems to be working so far. I wouldn't push yourself to eat much on your first treatment day if you don't feel like it, but make sure you are drinking lots of water to flush your system. If your feeling better later , then I'd try what Sue suggested, toast or something light and see how it goes. Good luck. Hope you are feeling better soon. God Bless.

Posts: 8
Joined: Mar 2007

I will recive my first treatment tomorrow and I am pretty nervous about it . sorry to hear that your so sick, I guess its just the price we have to pay to get rid of this monster. I dont have any advice for you but please know your not in this alone we have a great support group here on this site a bunch of great people whos concerns are genuinely heart felt. hang in there and we will take strength from each other. hope you get feeling better soon.


Posts: 1961
Joined: Aug 2003

I get anticipatory nausea. My doc suggested taking Benadryl before going to hospital. It has anti-nausea effects. Plus it makes me a little drowsy, which isn't a bad thing. I eat what I can while in hospital/on tx. Sometimes I feel like salty crackers, or biscotti. Sometimes I manage a bagel or a banana. Whatever I can stomach. Sometimes I don't feel like eating and feel nauseous when I look at or smell food but if I 'force' myself to start eating, I can manage to. Herbal teas help me some. I loose a couple of pounds around tx -- but then have fun putting it back on!

Monicaemilia's picture
Posts: 455
Joined: Nov 2006

Hi Char: I find that as long as I stay away from warm, smelly foods, I'm okay. I take a cold cut sandwich (I know we are not supposed to eat processed foods, but it's the only thing I can stomach that one day). Of course, I stay away from anything smelly and that really helps. Monica

KathiM's picture
Posts: 8077
Joined: Aug 2005

PLEASE don't laugh....ok, just not too hard....

Peanut butter sandwiches. On white bread. And don't forget the water....day before, day of, day after...I drank 2 quarts each day. I was peeing like a well, you know....but it REALLY HELPED....

Hugs, Kathi

P.S. Isn't it GRAND to have wonderful medical help?????

jams67's picture
Posts: 927
Joined: May 2006

I really just ate because I knew it was necessary. The first bite or two can be a surprise sometimes if you forget to go slow. I took tiny taste tests or just put my tongue on the food to get past that.
I remember my husband having to encourage me to get out of the car sometimes when I went in for my chemo. You are not alone in dreading it.
Now that I'm a year past chemo, everything tastes so wonderful that it is hard to stay at my optimal weight.
Your year will pass too and you can get back to your real life again.
Hang in there (not over the toilet)!
Jo Ann

vinny3's picture
Posts: 933
Joined: Jun 2006

I never threw up but had that naueated feeling and lack of appetite. I did find that bananas went down pretty well. I agree with Kathy about the peanut butter. Of course, that has been a mainstay of my diet since childhood. Eating frequent small amounts can help. I found soup can help, although not what they made at the hospital. I usually brought my own food. Make sure they are giving you enough premedication before starting the actual chemo too. I got the steroid and also Benedryl.


JADot's picture
Posts: 720
Joined: Jan 2006


You're not nuts. Anticipatory nausea is horrible. I had it big time.

It got so bad for me that I went to my infusion days with a surgical mask and put a few drops of fresh lemon juice on it. I also asked to sit in a different room, with few others. I had hyper-sensitive smelling. Had to get rid of all the scented hand soap around the house, also hand lotions with the faintest of smells. What helped me is fresh air and walks. A friend of mine just takes sleeping pills once the infusion starts, that way she doesn't have to deal with it all. Of course she needed someone to drive her home afterwards.

I also had the association thing. Anything that I took to chemo I could not face for many months after - the clothes I wore, the bag I took, the snacks I eat, even my iPod. Anything that reminded me of chemo made me sick.

My oncologist said she had patients who would take one look at her and start to retch. So, like I said, you're not alone in this.

Food - let's see, all I could eat consistently is a all vegetariam burrito from Whole Foods. On days when I didn't feel like eating anything else, it was a burrito to the rescue.

About Ensure - does that have a ton of sugar in it?


Posts: 708
Joined: May 2004

Hi Char, the anticipatory nausea is NORMAL. One of my friends is an onc at MD Anderson. She told me they have studies and research on it. No worries there (you are normal).

I hear exactly what you are saying about the smell. I come home and take my clothes off immediately.

FOr the nausea, you just have to see what works for you. Right after chemo infusion, I crave salty or sweet foods. Usually my hubbies picks up chinese or indian. Just depends on what works.

Good luck. jana

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