Starting Chemo Tomorrow!

Shayenne
Shayenne Member Posts: 2,342
edited March 2014 in Colorectal Cancer #1
I woke up not feeling very good today, some pain in my right side, but it's better now, with a couple motrin, but it upset my husband enough to call the doctor and see why I have to wait till Monday to start chemo (My dr. appt was almost 2 weeks ago) he hated the thought of me waiting so long to even start chemo, even though I was just diagnosed a few weeks, so they have an appt for me tomorrow morning, I register in for my first day of chemo at 8:15 a.m. a 2 hour drive, but I'm sure I'll sleep most of the way.

I am very scared, yet just wanting to get this battle on already! any advice on how what to do or take the first time around? it's going to a long 5 hour infusion.. I wonder if they'll let me at least sleep or read or something.. I have never even seen the infusion floor before.

Well, here I go, and thanks everyone I just love reading all your wonderful posts. I had a bad crying day today because of my nerves again, but I will be ok! hope to talk to you all soon, and will let you know how it goes when I get back tomorrow night :)

Hugsss!
~Donna
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Comments

  • drmrgirl47
    drmrgirl47 Member Posts: 129
    Starting Chemo Tomorrow
    Hi Donna,
    I just wanted to share with you how terrified I was going to my first chemo appt. I remember crying hysterically. So much so that the nurses had to take me in another room and just calm me down and explain everything to me. That made me feel a whole lot better. I guess we are always nervous about the unknown. Your nurses and doctor will make you feel a whole lot better. Try to not be soooo scared. I know, easier said than done. But take it from a ninny like me...you will be ok. You will probably be allowed to read, maybe watch tv, sleep if you want and maybe even converse with others who are getting their treatments. Nothing was as bad as I had imagined it. If you do get anxious, I am sure there are meds available if you so choose. I was offered Ativan. I took it maybe once or twice and then didn't need it. You seem strong though. But hey, whatever makes you feel good. Remember that. Please let us know how you made out. That 2 hour drive; will you be doing that for all your treatments? I will be thinking of you and wishing you peace. Annette
  • neon356
    neon356 Member Posts: 137
    Hey Donna,
    Break

    Hey Donna,
    Break a leg, as they say. I'm sure you'll do fine tomorrow. Sure, bring a book, sleep, do crosswords, listen to music, whatever you want. Five hours is a long time, that for me was the hardest part. And just keep thinking about all that chemo drug going thru your system and kicking the s**t out of all those cancer cells. Good luck, be sure to let us know how it went, ....Carl
  • rrob
    rrob Member Posts: 158
    1st Chemo
    Donna,

    Good luck tomorrow! Everyone is different, so I hope tomorrow is smooth sailing. I always took a book and my ipod. The other thing I took later in my treatments was my sunglasses. I know that sounds weird, but the lights would give me a headache by the end of treatment. Other people I know took the little portable DVD players with movies to watch. I also always took a few bottles of water. They had water, crackers, etc., at my infusion center, but I could only do the room temperature water so I always took some with me. If you have a favorite blanket or pillow, you might want that. Be sure to wear something comfortable--I'm sure you already thought of that! Good luck and I'll say prayers for you tonight. You're on your way--the chemo countdown has started and the sooner you start, the sooner you'll finish! Oh, by the way, I'm a stage iv, too. I finished my chemo in June 2008, and my last scan Dec 30th showed I'm still NED. I'll be praying that NED comes to see you soon!

    Rebecca
  • confused1
    confused1 Member Posts: 50
    It will be Okay
    I Sarted chemo last Aril 2008 . And it is really no big deal. It wasn't for me any way.I don't make to make it sound so litely but All they do is put it on your port. In our Climic I get my own room T.V control it is really nice. I usually sleep the whole time. Once they put the benedrill in the lights are out for me. I drive myself there and everything. And it is an hour 1 way. Now The only time I get scared is when I amm waiting for what ever test results to come back. You will be just fine. It is just the first visit is scarey because u don't no what to expect. I am thinking of and my prayer's are with u.Take Care Love Colleen
  • msccolon
    msccolon Member Posts: 1,917
    one day at a time
    like everyone else said, tomorrow will be WAY easier than you are imagining! I got a portable DVD player and brought 2 movies with me. I usually fell asleep during the second one, but it was nice to have the distraction! They have a tv in the room as well, but usually SOMEBODY is watching soaps! I would bring snacks as well and some water. They have all kinds of snacks there as well, all you have to do is ask! Some people even had their loved ones bring in fast food while they were there! I always ate a good meal a few hours before I went in then had something to be fixed a bit after I got home; snacks between (usually a sandwich went down nice!). If you are a talker, usually somebody is up for some conversation and you can tell pretty easily which ones are and which ones aren't! I remember one man who just stuck his blanket over his head and everything and snoozed the whole time he was there! You'll be fine. Did your doc give you a prescription for Ativan? If so, take one before you head out and you will be nicely relaxed! Sleep well and I will be praying for you, waiting for you to come back on and tell us how it went!
    mary
  • lisa42
    lisa42 Member Posts: 3,625
    your feelings are normal
    Hi Donna,

    Your feelings are very normal- I was quite scared when I started too. Depending upon what they give you for premeds (antinausea, etc.), you may actually get quite sleepy and sleep through much of the infusion time. If so, consider it a blessing because it helps pass the time easier and more quickly! If not, bring something to read and maybe an ipod/MP3 player w/ calming music to listen to. Sometimes, I enjoy talking to some of the other people around me. Other times, the others aren't up to talking, or sometimes I'm not feeling very socialable- I'm sure this will be different each time for you.

    I'm keeping you in prayer and will be thinking about you- for a restful sleep tonight so you don't worry all night and for everything to go smoothly for you tomorrow.

    Take care!!!
    Lisa
  • Kathleen808
    Kathleen808 Member Posts: 2,342
    dearest donna
    Dearest Donna,
    I will be praying for you tomorrow. You will be in so many people's thoughts and prayers. You are a strong woman with a beautiful spirit.
    Take care.
    Aloha,
    Kathleen
  • Buzzard
    Buzzard Member Posts: 3,043 Member

    dearest donna
    Dearest Donna,
    I will be praying for you tomorrow. You will be in so many people's thoughts and prayers. You are a strong woman with a beautiful spirit.
    Take care.
    Aloha,
    Kathleen

    It will be fine....
    I usually lay back and sleep. It makes the time go by fast...It will be over before you know it and #1 will be done......God Bless ya hun......
  • pamness
    pamness Member Posts: 519 Member
    You might not get this before you go, but
    I postponed my beginning of chemo - probably due to anxiety, they put me on an anti-depressent, I went - I did it and am now ned.

    Your first chemo is so scary - at least for me - because I thought I would have a fatal reaction to the drugs - I didn't. I had a horrible time with the oxaliplatin, but the actual chemo infusion - not a problem at all - I ate the sandwich that was offered at lunch. I took emend, decadron, zolfran, compazine, and attivan to manage nausea.

    I will guess you will have a much easier time, I was not the standard. I am fine. I will bet you will be OK. The first chemo is nerve wracking - it gets easier.

    Pam
  • This comment has been removed by the Moderator
  • tootsie1
    tootsie1 Member Posts: 5,044 Member
    Praying for you
    Donna,

    I'll be praying for you that it goes very, very well. I didn't have chemo, but I know I'd be scared if I had to, so I understand the anxiety. I hope by this time tomorrow you'll be thinking, "Wow. That wasn't so bad."

    *hugs*
    Gail
  • dorookie
    dorookie Member Posts: 1,731
    My First Time
    I remember it like it was yesterday. Things went so fast right after I was DX'd, that I had the surgery and before I knew it it was time for Chemo. I had my port put in the day before my first chemo. I remember going in to the IV room and just started crying, I was so scared and didnt even know why. The nurses there came over and gave me hugs and pretty much held my had through it all, they were great. But it went smoothly, I pretty much just slept my treatments away. I would bring in a movie but never seemed to be able to stay awake to finish it. I talked to others, like someone has said you will know who is in the mood for talking and who isnt. It will all be over before you know it and you will be saying that wasnt so bad. And soon you will be an old pro and then it will all be over and you will be well on your way to NED. I will say a prayer for you that you have a nice calm day and that you will do good with little side effects. Good Luck Donna
    God Bless
    Beth
  • daydreamer110761
    daydreamer110761 Member Posts: 487
    dorookie said:

    My First Time
    I remember it like it was yesterday. Things went so fast right after I was DX'd, that I had the surgery and before I knew it it was time for Chemo. I had my port put in the day before my first chemo. I remember going in to the IV room and just started crying, I was so scared and didnt even know why. The nurses there came over and gave me hugs and pretty much held my had through it all, they were great. But it went smoothly, I pretty much just slept my treatments away. I would bring in a movie but never seemed to be able to stay awake to finish it. I talked to others, like someone has said you will know who is in the mood for talking and who isnt. It will all be over before you know it and you will be saying that wasnt so bad. And soon you will be an old pro and then it will all be over and you will be well on your way to NED. I will say a prayer for you that you have a nice calm day and that you will do good with little side effects. Good Luck Donna
    God Bless
    Beth

    I was scared too
    the first time - I was so nervous in the waiting room that I paced the whole time, and when they called my name I bursted out in tears, and that was just to go to the lab for blood work! By the time they actually called me I couldn't stop crying. The nurses explained everything to me, but it really didn't help. When they finally stuck me, I was like, "is that it?" I was actually embarrassed that I cried so hard for a 47 y/o!

    I've actually settled into a routine now, Nick and I go to the hospital cafeteria and have breakfast (this place actaully has decent food), sometimes if short on time we bring it up and eat it while I am being infused. Our infusion rooms have tv/dvd's in them, and I'm tired of their movies, so we bring our own, and a book, and my ipod. They always have donuts, cookies, snacks and drinks. If I am there at lunch they even bring a menu around and we eat lunch there also. Usually by the time lunch is over I am ready to go home. I go back there for my disconnect and then I take Nick out for lunch. It's just our way of making a not so pleasant experience a little more like a date...?

    Good luck Donna, I'm sure you'll be fine.

    Sherrie
  • VickiCO
    VickiCO Member Posts: 917
    dorookie said:

    My First Time
    I remember it like it was yesterday. Things went so fast right after I was DX'd, that I had the surgery and before I knew it it was time for Chemo. I had my port put in the day before my first chemo. I remember going in to the IV room and just started crying, I was so scared and didnt even know why. The nurses there came over and gave me hugs and pretty much held my had through it all, they were great. But it went smoothly, I pretty much just slept my treatments away. I would bring in a movie but never seemed to be able to stay awake to finish it. I talked to others, like someone has said you will know who is in the mood for talking and who isnt. It will all be over before you know it and you will be saying that wasnt so bad. And soon you will be an old pro and then it will all be over and you will be well on your way to NED. I will say a prayer for you that you have a nice calm day and that you will do good with little side effects. Good Luck Donna
    God Bless
    Beth

    I cried also
    The nurses and the other patients comforted me. Like my onc nurse said, everyone in there has a story. You are not alone. I had a pump, so my visits were shorter - 2hours or less - but I made friends, crocheted, read, whatever it took.

    You can do this! Good luck, Vicki
  • kmygil
    kmygil Member Posts: 876
    So?
    Hi Sweetie,

    How did it go? I know the terrified feeling, and it's something of a leap off a cliff when you get your first chemo. Then it's kind of anti-climactic, because most of it is apprehension and once you've done it the first time, well then the journey has started. You will be fine, with ups and downs along the way. Just know that we are always praying.

    Hugs,
    Kirsten
  • Kathleen808
    Kathleen808 Member Posts: 2,342
    woke up praying for you
    Hi Donna,
    I woke up praying for you today. With the time difference, I figured you were in the midst of your treatment. Know that you are in many people's thoughts and prayers.
    Aloha,
    Kathleen
  • PhillieG
    PhillieG Member Posts: 4,866
    It's normal, I hope it went well
    Hi Donna,
    It's normal to be scared, it's something new and it's not the best way to spend a day. Most facilities have TV's, reading material, and I always bring an Ipod with music or a book on mp3. They usually let you sleep too but it's not always the most restful because they may have to wake you to take your vitals, or to change meds or something. One thing that is really nice about where I go (MSK) is that they have heated blankets so it's like getting a blankie from the dryer. I hope all went well.
    You're in my thoughts
    -phil
  • maglets
    maglets Member Posts: 2,576
    PhillieG said:

    It's normal, I hope it went well
    Hi Donna,
    It's normal to be scared, it's something new and it's not the best way to spend a day. Most facilities have TV's, reading material, and I always bring an Ipod with music or a book on mp3. They usually let you sleep too but it's not always the most restful because they may have to wake you to take your vitals, or to change meds or something. One thing that is really nice about where I go (MSK) is that they have heated blankets so it's like getting a blankie from the dryer. I hope all went well.
    You're in my thoughts
    -phil

    praying hoping wishing
    Hi Donna.....welcome home. I am praying it went well. Do you remember the fuss I made last week? and then it was over and we're on our chemo way. Totally understandable those first time jitters....

    Let us know how you are,
    Best hugs
    Mags
  • mom_2_3
    mom_2_3 Member Posts: 952
    PhillieG said:

    It's normal, I hope it went well
    Hi Donna,
    It's normal to be scared, it's something new and it's not the best way to spend a day. Most facilities have TV's, reading material, and I always bring an Ipod with music or a book on mp3. They usually let you sleep too but it's not always the most restful because they may have to wake you to take your vitals, or to change meds or something. One thing that is really nice about where I go (MSK) is that they have heated blankets so it's like getting a blankie from the dryer. I hope all went well.
    You're in my thoughts
    -phil

    Question for you Phil...
    Hi Phil,

    I also go to MSK and I do love the heated blankets too. Luckily I have no side effects at all (other than cold sensitivity) to my FOLFOX treatments (have had 5 so far).

    I am scheduled for next Friday to have liver and colon surgery and put in HAI pump with Dr D'Angelica and Dr Paty at MSK and my onco is Dr Kemeny. Was this your team? How are you doing now? Dr D'A said 50% chance of recurrence after liver surgery and was wondering about your experience.

    Sorry Donna to hijack your thread a bit. I hope you had a good day today and found that chemo is not so bad after all. It's now in your body fighting all the nasty critters and that is a good thing. I hope you're feeling well.
  • Shayenne
    Shayenne Member Posts: 2,342
    mom_2_3 said:

    Question for you Phil...
    Hi Phil,

    I also go to MSK and I do love the heated blankets too. Luckily I have no side effects at all (other than cold sensitivity) to my FOLFOX treatments (have had 5 so far).

    I am scheduled for next Friday to have liver and colon surgery and put in HAI pump with Dr D'Angelica and Dr Paty at MSK and my onco is Dr Kemeny. Was this your team? How are you doing now? Dr D'A said 50% chance of recurrence after liver surgery and was wondering about your experience.

    Sorry Donna to hijack your thread a bit. I hope you had a good day today and found that chemo is not so bad after all. It's now in your body fighting all the nasty critters and that is a good thing. I hope you're feeling well.

    Hey!! I DIDZ IT!!!!!!
    What wonderful advice you all gave me!! I took them all to my heart, and brought books, my favorite pillow and blanket, I did cry when I got to the dr's, and told her "I was so gonna kick this cancer's [email protected]#!!!! and she just laughed at me and said "Now that's what I want to hear!!!"

    I was taken to the 11th floor (and yes I do drive the 2 hours back and forth to the James in Columbus because I trust them and like them very much there), and that's when I lost it.. they called my name to go in, I got a private room that had a bed in it, tv, computer, a few chairs for your loved ones, and the nurses were all so wonderful. I was mainly afraid of having my port accessed for the first time, and glad I did glob on that cream, I didn't even feel the poke of the needle, she did it so gently! she then also gave me some Zofron? and Decadron for the nausea, and ativan to calm me down.

    Then came the Avastin, and then the FOLFIRI, I even ate! they had menu, and crackers, cookies, hot coffee, tea, whatever you needed! I thought I would throw it all up, but was too hungry to wait and eat, I'm still waiting to eat, having had any nausea yet, and have my fanny pack buddy home with me till the nurse comes to my house and disconnects me on Friday, then I go back for Round #2 on Feb 25!

    I can't believe how horrified I was to do this, and now believe I can do this, I was such a baby, and really everyone, you were all right, that I worked this up to be nothing! thank you for all your prayers, I am just going to wait on the side effects now, I am sure I'll have some, I had some lasagna when I got home, and ate well so far, so we'll see if I have an appetite in the next coming days!

    Thanks you beautiful, wonderful people!

    Hugggssss!
    ~~Donna