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1st chemo done yesterday...now what??

marc24
Posts: 92
Joined: Mar 2009

Hello, my mom received her first chemo yesterday, i was extremely nervous for her, but when she left the hospital after 5 hrs of treatment, she felt fine and more than normal..some of the symptoms with her leg disappeared albeit only short term. She was talking, laughing, and she's attached to this purse looking pump for the next two days...this morning seems a bit different, she is obviously more tired and wants to sleep, she asked for a blanket even though its 95 degrees out here in Cali right now, and she is i'm gonna say 85% of herself. Some of her leg problems recur and she describes it as like "ants moving up and down her legs"...

My question is, is this gonna continually get worse, or does she get better?
Also, our family is a "buy dinner rather than make dinner" type, and im beginning to notice a bad habit of us not having alot of food available, we try to purchase as much healthy foods for the pantry, but when it comes to lunch time, we dont have a clue what do to in a normal basis in terms of her daily diet, what should we do since im struggling to think of things she likes to eat and know what to buy that is healthy and good for her condition?? Every pamplet i read and every doctor i ask, they give u "try to buy fruits, and soups"...i kinda need like recipe or like actual name of a food like "spaghetti, boiled ____"..ahhh i feel a little overwhelmed

thanks

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

Marc, what does she like eating, normally? You say your family is a "buy dinner rather than make dinner" kind of family... does that go for lunch too? In which case, if that's what she likes to eat, then buy dinner/lunch and bring it home. No point trying to make her eat things she normally doesn't eat... as for what does she like, the best thing is to ask her. I'm afraid we can't help make suggestions when we don't know what her likes/dislikes are.

As for cooking... you have the whole internet at your disposal ;) Do a google search on soups with ingredients that she likes. Does she like Carrot soup? Then do a google search on "Carrot Soup Recipes" and you'll get a kajillion of them... pick the ones that look easiest to make. Does she like chicken? Why not do up a tray of Chicken Wings, then you can freeze some (already cooked) and bring them out to reheat for meals. Salads are pretty easy to make, so make a bowl of salad and have it in the fridge to use as a side salad with a soup, chicken wings, or sandwich.

Again... it's hard to make suggestions since only your Mom can tell you what she's in the mood for.

As for, is the "tired feeling" going to get any worse? Everyone reacts differently so we can't say how your mom is going to react. Expect the worst and if it doesn't happen, then be pleasantly surprised. Chemo accumulates in the body more and more as each session is completed. Some people get exhausted, others just sail through it. As for her leg problems... I have no idea if that is a side affect of the cancer or if she has something else going on. It's obviously not a side affect of the chemo since she has only had one session of chemo and she had the leg problems before she did her chemo. The legs stuff you really are going to have to discuss with her doctor and see if there's something that can be done for it, or if it will go away after she's had her surgery.

Good luck...and congratulations to Mom for having started the first chemo session!

dianetavegia's picture
dianetavegia
Posts: 1953
Joined: Mar 2009

I like Kraftfoods.com You can search for recipe ideas under chicken. You can search for 'light' foods, too.

Things like boneless chicken breasts are healthy, low fat and so easy to make. Kraft has some 'bake in foil' recipes where veggies, rice or potatoes, chicken, etc. are all baked together. Those could be cooked ahead of time and quickly warmed for your mother. A chicken breast chopped up is great on top of those salads Cheryl told you about.

Healthy eating is a major part of the healing and staying well process. Eating fast foods is not healthy. Even foods from restaurants can be cooked in rancid oil that has cooked many different meals for many days. Cooking at home is the best way to go.

Plenty of fluids, a good diet and getting up and moving around should help your mother feel better soon.

Shayenne's picture
Shayenne
Posts: 2370
Joined: Jan 2009

I eat alot of soups when I am on chemo, I love the chicken and stars soup, it's important for your mom to stay hydrated, while hooked up even.. lots of fluids, I didn't seem to get worse by my 3rd treatment as well, I still stayed the same, but once the nurse came to unhook me, I was tired for about 4 days, but got better as the days went by, chemo does wear you out, but she will bounce back. Also, I go to allrecipes.com for alot of recipes, just type in "casseroles" or anything and it will give you ideas on what to make, and the people even rate and comment on them, on how good the recipes are or not.

Hope your mom feels better, I never had any leg problems on chemo.

Hugsss!
~Donna

marc24
Posts: 92
Joined: Mar 2009

yeah this whole day has been tough...the whole morning she was kinda out of it, feeling really fatigue, then from 1pm to 4pm, see seemed to bounce back, then from 4 to now...she is back to fatigue and sleeping alot, we try to keep her eating when she feels like it, she had a soup and 1 wheat bread, then go back again with the sleeping...we are gonna try to keep her eating when she has the energy for dinner...fish and some other stuff, maybe some fruits that are blended...

im in a dilemma here, me and my dad are the only once to alternate help...both of us work, im 24 yrs old and i am a tax accountant, 2nd yr at my job, the economy is horrible and i feel the need to take a leave of absence, but that is pretty much a guarantee that i will probably lose my job if i keep missing more days. I spoke to everyone i work with about the situation with my mother, they are very understanding, but there will be a point in time when busy season hits me and i will be needed asap, i work in a CPA firm and we are dead hectic during tax return time, so now i feel like im being pulled from two places, family vs. my own career....its an easy decision cuz i will chose my family 10 out of 10 times, but i also know i have my own life and its really close to suffering...but i will sacrifice the small problem i have compared to what my mom is suffering from...any advice with those family members that you guys had help from, etc..? how did they balance since i am having trouble now??

kimby's picture
kimby
Posts: 804
Joined: Oct 2007

Marc,

I'm sorry you're going through this. I have to tell you that it was so different for me and my family. I was 43 at diagnosis and worked for the first 14 mos during treatment. My husband would come home from work and manage things that I couldn't. We have had meals brought in during the toughest times by friends and neighbors. I don't work anymore but I stay home and take care of myself while my husband works. I usually drive myself to treatments and doctors appts. I drove myself to rads everyday for 5 weeks. My treatment center is 75 miles from my home so I drive 150 miles on treatment/appt days.

I have 3 sons and only the 17 yr old has seen any real impact on his personal life and that has more to do with the financial toll this has taken and just having to witness the effects of treatment on my ability to take care of his needs, ie meals and laundry. Too bad, but he is more self-sufficient as a result.

Can you ask for help from extended family, friends, neighbors, church members? Is there anyone else? Being a caregiver is tough. That is much harder than being the patient. As a mother, I would hate it if my son's career suffered because of my treatments. I want them to live their lives. I'm sure your mother feels much the same. I know you want to be there for her, but she wouldn't want you to give up your life or your future, either.

JMHO,

Kimby

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

... I can't help you with that one, Marc. I had plenty of caregivers when I got out of the hospital. Neighbours/friends who would walk my dog, do my grocery shopping/laundry, etc.

But once I was healed from my surgery and started my chemo (about 2 months after the surgery), I pretty much could do everything on my own. I live in an apartment and the laundry room is two flights of stairs down from my apartment (no elevator in this 3-storey walk up building). So occasionally, if I was feeling particularly tired, I would have to let a neighbour/friend do my laundry because I didn't have the energy to keep going up and down the stairs. But cooking and getting around the apartment, I was more than capable and fine doing that on my own.

I know everyone reacts differently to chemo, but I don't think I've ever met someone who was so fatigued all they were able to do was sleep on the first treatment. You've got me stumped on that one.

If that's the case, then perhaps you and/or your dad can arrange to have a home care worker come in a couple of days/week to help with the cooking/laundry/housework? I don't think you should put yourself in a position where you lose your job... that's not going to help your mom, you or anyone. If you have other family or neighbours around who can help, that would be great too... otherwise, you really should look at having someone come in as a home care worker.

Cheryl

PamPam2's picture
PamPam2
Posts: 376
Joined: Jan 2009

Hi Marc. I have some suggestions. Your local hospital will have social service staff who may be able to direct you to some help with your mom. She may qualify for Passport program, where home aides and nurses can come everyday. I am a cancer survivor, but when both of my parents needed help this was a blessing. Someone came every day, twice a day for 2 hours each time and did what ever needed done, fixing a meal, light house cleaning, assisting with a bath and so on. Also check with your local department of human services for this type of help. Do you have a local meals on wheels? They bring a meal daily to the home. Also the cancer society has some help available, they have monies available to help pay with home care, they can also pay a family member to help, it is not a lot, but every bit helps. It takes some time and work to find and get these services, but it is worth it. Best Wishes for your mom and family. Don't forget, the family medical leave act is there to protect your job when you have to take time off for your mom.
Pam

tootsie1's picture
tootsie1
Posts: 5056
Joined: Feb 2008

If you're not normally a cook, I would opt for buying soups at the grocery store. Keep trying until you find a brand she likes. There are so many good fruits at the grocery store, too, or even better, at a local farmers' market. I don't know if this is common or not among chemo patients (I didn't have it myself), but I did take care of a little girl with leukemia a few years ago. While she was on chemo, she was crazy about pasta. That's about all she felt like eating. She didn't want sauce on it, just a bit of butter and a touch of parmesan. Good luck with finding some things your mom likes. She's so lucky to have you to care for her.

*hugs*
Gail

nudgie's picture
nudgie
Posts: 1483
Joined: Sep 2006

Try www.cancerproject.org

nudgie's picture
nudgie
Posts: 1483
Joined: Sep 2006

Try www.cancerproject.org

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