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Smells and nausea"

lisa42's picture
lisa42
Posts: 3661
Joined: Jul 2008

I just wanted to let everyone know that something suggested in a past posting worked for me, so it might work for others. I think it was Cheryl who made this suggestion...
I had been having great trouble of feeling very nauseated the moment the chemo nurse rubbed my port with alcohol. I actually think the nausea reaction to the smell (and other smells in the chemo office) was more a mental thing. Anyhow, the suggestion was to rub some scented lotion under the nose during that time. Well, all I could find in my cupboards was some tangerine scented lotion. I uncapped it and had it right under my nostrils while the nurse was prepping my port site and putting the needle into me. Voila! I didn't get nauseated this time!!!!
I love this site in how we can give each other ideas and pointers, where most doctors would never think to tell us of these things (or we'd never remember or think to ask the doctors about, sometimes!)

Take care everyone,
Lisa

msccolon's picture
msccolon
Posts: 1956
Joined: Oct 2004

I think it was from a comment I made about the smells and how my daughter gave me her tangerine scented lotion and it helped tremendously! Of course, afterwards I didn't want anything to do with citrus scented lotion, but it did it's job while it was needed! We can all hope to do such! Glad it's working for you! And I don't think it's in your head at all! I think it's more likely to do with the chemicals in our veins and the fact that they are so close to the surface in our nostrils. That's MY story and I'm sticking to it! :)
mary

lisa42's picture
lisa42
Posts: 3661
Joined: Jul 2008

Thanks, Mary!
I couldn't remember for sure who said it, but it was you!
As you said, I may get turned off by the lotion's smell after a while, but I supposed I could always try a lotion with a different scent. For now, I think the tangerine or anything citrusy would work for me with its fresh smell.

Thanks again!

lisa42's picture
lisa42
Posts: 3661
Joined: Jul 2008

By the way, Mary, I'm assuming your profile picture is of your new grandbaby (granddaughter? Can't remember for sure)- anyhow, he or she is absolutely beautiful!!

Lisa

msccolon's picture
msccolon
Posts: 1956
Joined: Oct 2004

That is my grand daughter Laci and her mother! She is beautiful for sure! :)
mary

drmrgirl47's picture
drmrgirl47
Posts: 129
Joined: Mar 2004

That is so funny about the smells. I go to see my oncologist every 6 months and as soon as I come off that elevator and walk towards to door of his office I feel sick; it smells so bad to me. Like onions and alcohol..just awful. Maybe I should try that trick also. Maybe try perfume or something under my nose....smile

jsabol's picture
jsabol
Posts: 1156
Joined: Dec 2003

My onc's building's elevator has a very unique smell, sort of a bit electrical/oily smell that makes me nervous every time I use the elevator. Now I usually take the stairs up the 3 flights! Judy

lisa42's picture
lisa42
Posts: 3661
Joined: Jul 2008

The smell of the air freshener in the oncology office's bathroom makes me feel sick. I wish I could avoid it, but I usually have to go several times while having my chemo (all that fluid they pump into me). I guess I could just dab a little of the tangerine lotion under my nose right before I go in & see if that helps me this next time. I only used the lotion for the alcohol prep and putting in my port/chemo needle last time. I don't think it would be fair for me to ask the office to change their bathroom air freshener (any scent in there might do it to me- and removing it might leave an even worse scent in there!)

CherylHutch's picture
CherylHutch
Posts: 1399
Joined: Apr 2007

Hey Lisa... by all means, I think you have every right to ask them to change their air freshener... not so much change it, but get rid of it. I'm really surprised they use a scented freshener in the washrooms when it is documented all over the place that cancer patients (and actually, anyone who is sick) can be, and usually are, very sensitive to smells. That is why they ask you not to wear perfume to hospitals when you go to visit. Some wards won't even allow flowers to be delivered because of the scent.

I know at the Cancer Agency where I would go to get my chemo... the whole building is a "Scent-Free" building. In the washrooms, they have the fans for ventilation, but no scented products. Likewise, if you go to visit anyone on the hospital ward, you can not bring flowers or scented products.

Most medical buildings are scent-free buildings here in Vancouver, as are hospitals... so I'm really surprised to hear that your oncology office actually uses scented products in their bathroom? It probably would be a good idea just to have a word with them... it might be that someone has put it in totally oblivious to how the patients react and if no one mentions anything, then it's not something they are thinking about.

Hugggggs,

Cheryl

msccolon's picture
msccolon
Posts: 1956
Joined: Oct 2004

And you will probably be doing your fellow survivors a favor by speaking up! You'd be surprised how many of the others can't stand that smell either but don't want to say anything! Speak up! They don't know it's a bother until someone says something! And those mint scented towels mentioned by someone else sound heavenly!
mary

rrob
Posts: 160
Joined: Nov 2007

I had chemo from January through June of 2007 and about half-way through, I would get nauseated the minute I got in the infusion room. One of my oncology nurses was certified in aromatherapy, so she would have a couple of paper towels ready. One was scented with mint and the other was mandarin orange. Then when I was nauseous, I would put one of the towels near my nose and inhale. It really helped, but I think my nurses' attitudes and caring were a big part of that, too! In my infusion area, they would try to put me in an area a little away from the other patients when I was sick so that the other smells didn't make it worse. I'm telling you, oncology nurses have halos and wings!

Rebecca

lizbiz's picture
lizbiz
Posts: 121
Joined: Aug 2008

I get terribly nauseated when the do my port flush afterward. It may just be a mental, association thing for me. I just HATE the smell of heparin. Ick!

Thanks for the tip. Next time I'll be sure to bring so Bath and Body Works lotion with me. That will stink up the whole place!

Hugs and Hope,
Elizabeth

msccolon's picture
msccolon
Posts: 1956
Joined: Oct 2004

I used to tell my nurse that tasted so icky! I didn't even realize it was the alcohol they used to clean the area before inserting that HUGE HOOK LIKE NEEDLE :) (the first time I actually looked at that thing before she stuck me i'm like WTH????!!!!!!)
mary

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