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What questions should I ask????

Posts: 1
Joined: Jun 2009

Hi My dad has colon cancer and starts his 1st round of chemo on 7/7. He has to do 12 rounds. What questions should I ask when I go with him on the 1st day? I understand the basic idea of how he does one week on & one week off the pump.I'm just not sure what else I need to know. He looks to me for the answers and it's hard when I don't have them you know... Any help or suggestions would be great!!!! I feel so lost and don't really have anyone I can ask for help.

lizzydavis's picture
Posts: 893
Joined: May 2009

Hi Hippiecwgrl,

Your Dad is lucky to have you there for support! You will find many people here who will respond to your questions. I am a newbie and have had one round of chemo.

The best things I can recommend are to:
--Ask what is the name of the chemo & the side effects
--Ask for nausea, pain, and anxiety meds to have at home – Ativan was the one which worked for me. I was told to take the pill as soon as I began to have slight queasiness. If I waited until I was very queasy, it would be too late. I followed their advice and it worked.
--Take some crackers and water along with magazines to help the time pass.
--Ask for a 24-hour call number if there is any problem at home.

The Oncology nurses are very helpful and will give you lots of information and answer any questions you have. My first treatment went fine. I did have some nausea at home and the pills helped. I did sleep and that helped also.

I baked a chicken and made a pot of spaghetti and put individual servings in the freezer so that we would have them as needed. It sure did help not having to cook or go out. Soup is great with the veggies. Also, drinking liquids helps.

I hope this info has helped some. Others will respond and there are many websites to view.

You will get through this together. Keep encouraging words for your Dad. A positive attitude and love are so important at this time.

Warm wishes for strength and comfort.


Posts: 124
Joined: Jan 2008

People react very differently to chemo. Some get through it with little trouble, others can barely tolerate it at best. Communication with your father's oncologist and chemo nurses is critical in getting him through treatment. If he is in pain, has nausea, vomiting, diahhrea, etc. - if the drugs they have given him to deal with the side effects aren't working effectively, talk to his doctor/nurses. There are so many drugs available to help. And lots of other tricks too - not just drugs! This board is great for getting advice on specific side effects and how to deal with them.

Nausea was my big problem. The ativan didn't help at all - I had to go for the big guns, a drug called Emend, which helped get me through. The ativan did help me a lot with anxiety issues though.

That is awesome that you are helping your father with this.

KathiM's picture
Posts: 8077
Joined: Aug 2005

All the others had great suggestions...

A couple that I did ask
Who do I call on the weekend if I am in trouble? and
When do I call you with a symptom vs. my primary care?
Can I have a copy of each of my labs/paths/tests? (I started my own patient chart...that way, if I needed someone else, like an ER guy, to know what I was on, I had it...)

Hugs to both of you...we will get you thru this...there are so many, many survivors here that have been there/done that...I am at 4 1/2 years post-diagnosis, so I may be a bit rusty on the new chemos, etc...but

Water, water, water, water....I drank 4 quarts of it the day before, day of, and day after infusion...the bladder/kidneys don't need that stuff hanging out there...so, this flushes it...

Oh, and anything that tastes good to him, let him eat...it's hard to keep weight on when most chemo's change the taste of all foods, adding a bit of metalic taste...my fav was scalloped potatoes...I would bake a big dish the day before infusion (I couldn't stand the smell of baking anything during treatment), kept it in the fridge, and nuked a bit now and again...

Hugs, Kathi

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