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1st chemo coming up and scared

newbiefromcananda's picture
newbiefromcananda
Posts: 234
Joined: Oct 2009

1st chemo in 5 days and I am really scared I read the good stories but I always seem to remember the scary stories (the allergic reactions) etc please help??? my anxiety is thru the roof , heart rate elevated ....... thanks Lisaxo

Marlene_K's picture
Marlene_K
Posts: 508
Joined: Jul 2009

But try to relax a bit, Lisa. First of all, it's not for 5 days yet, so you will be a wreck by then if you're starting already ;) I know I didn't sleep much, if any, the night before. It's very normal to be afraid of the unknown, but if you go through and read the many posts about side effects, they truly don't seem to be more than an upset stomach, achy bones and/or muscles, headaches, and lethargy. Heck, that's all doable stuff, don't you think? And there are all kinds of things we can take for anyone of those symptoms. I've been one of the lucky ones, I suppose, in that I don't get nausea and generally am just achy for a couple days after the Neulasta shot. I'm a bit tired for about a week and then am better until the next one. I have treatment every 3 weeks, so I do have time to recoup. You're young, Lisa, and I'm very sure you'll do fine! In fact if I could get a betting pool going, I'd put a hefty wager on that. Generally, they give you a relaxant before treatment, so you will feel very at ease (if not snoring) while you get your treatment. The water thing is very important. I drink probably 2-3 bottles of water while I get my treatment and tons more afterwards. An advisor from my insurance company told me water is very important because you want to flush that stuff through your system and OUT!

It's much easier said than done, Lisa... I know! But please take some deep breaths in and let them out slowly. We would all rather not have to do this, but we do to eat up anything that might be floating around. I can't wait til you tell us how well you did!

With hugs & best wishes, Mar

Sher43009's picture
Sher43009
Posts: 602
Joined: Nov 2009

You have to relax. The more nervous you are the worse it will be. I too was scared so I know how it feels. I just kept thinking this is saving my life so it will be fine. Drink plenty of fluids, make sure you eat, take your anit-nausea meds even if your not nauseous and take deep breaths. You'll get through it.
Here's a hug for you!!
Sher

pinkkari09's picture
pinkkari09
Posts: 878
Joined: Sep 2009

It is easier said than done but you should relax and try not to get yourself too worked up. I find myself in your situation often (had 8th treatment of 16 yesterday), I get anxious before every treatment and so far they have all gone well (knock on wood). I have side effects but all are manageable with medication. Suffering with a mild for of general anxiety I find myself using my anxiety meds before treatment too. Don't be afraid to ask your doctor for something if you get too anxious. My thoughts and prayers are with you and keep us posted, YOU CAN DO IT :)
~Kari

Lymph23
Posts: 23
Joined: Oct 2009

I think that nearly everyone who has chemo is scared the first time. I think its the fear of the unknown. All I can tell you is that I was fine all through my chemo 12 sessions except for the normal tiredness, but not sick at all. As others have said drinking plenty of water is really good, take your anti sickness tablets if you need them. Another tip I was told by my chemo nurse was ginger, pineapple and strawberries help and are good for you (whether this is true or not I don't really know, but I think I looked like a strawberry at the end). Please try to stay calm and positive I believe this helps. I did it and you can to. I'm now lucky enough to be 6yrs down the line. Thinking of you please keep us informed how it goes.

Hugs and best wishes.

Lesley

xskeetshooter
Posts: 169
Joined: Aug 2009

i was scared too, but when i did the first 1 i thought that was nothing, dont listen to the horror stories, keep all negative people OUT of your life. time to be a little selfish and look after #1. i had to do 8 chemo only 2 left its been a breeze, my second taxol gave me a little bit of hives, but the nurse is right with you and takes it away . dont worry hun , you will be fine, what helped me everytime i went i asked god for strength it works

laurissa's picture
laurissa
Posts: 773
Joined: Sep 2009

It is scary not knowing and waiting. This site helps alot. What are your meds? Mine are cytoxan and taxatere. The neulasta shot is what hurts me for a couple days, starts about 36 hrs after. I do take a couple vicadins a day for that. Had some left over from a toothache. It is an unexpected bump in the road going through all this. Have faith.

blazytracy's picture
blazytracy
Posts: 158
Joined: Sep 2009

What part of Canada are you from? I grew up in Regina, SK - don't live there anymore - I am now in MN.

I had my first chemo on Nov. 17th (3 days ago) and I was, too, scared beyond belief! My husband came with me,(thank god) and I have to say that Everything went A-OK! I had posted that subject 1 1/2 hrs after chemo.

I was just fine, everything went very well, everyone was very nice and explained everything in detail what I was getting and how long it was going to take, etc.

Just remember the nurses do know what they are doing and will take very good care of you..don't overstress..take it from me..it IS way better than you think it will be! Take a deep breath and breathe, breathe, breathe... it is ok. ;)

Good Luck,
Tracy

mizcaldwell's picture
mizcaldwell
Posts: 143
Joined: Oct 2009

Lisaxo -

Everyone has given you great advice - and I second it all! But another thing that you can do is ask for an anti-anxiety med. Several posts from several people have said that they took the Ativan (Lorazipam) that was prescribed for nasuea a couple days before because it is actually an anti-anxiety medicine. It can make you sleepy - but if the anxiety is too much, ask your doctor about it - it takes the edge off. You need to be rested and let your body be strong - so call that doctor and talk to them about it! No need to go crazy with the unknown and waiting - it won't be as bad as it seems from five days out. But do talk to the doctor!!

Sending thoughts and prayers your way!

Lori

newbiefromcananda's picture
newbiefromcananda
Posts: 234
Joined: Oct 2009

thank you so much everyone , I take ativan now (since diagnosis really)the closer it gets to the date the harder it is thanks for all the support I will keep everyone informed xoxoxo Lisa

sweetvickid's picture
sweetvickid
Posts: 459
Joined: Nov 2009

Lisa...I am the opposite, so impatient to get chemo started! I want it shrunk and out of my body now. Half the battle is always attitude something which I have always had. Now people are saying I have such a good attitude! LOL If they only knew how pissed off I am at my boobs! Just start brainwashing yourself by saying over and over and over again, "I can't wait to get started and get these cancer cells killed off. chemo is not going to be a big deal" If you say soemthing often enough it becomes a fact.

LadyParvati's picture
LadyParvati
Posts: 328
Joined: Oct 2009

I'm laughing! Vicki, this is my attitude, too! I could hardly wait for surgery--wanted so much to get this show on the road instead of waiting anymore! I think it's very empowering to let our anger give us the energy to get through all of this.

Thanks! Sandy

Marcia527's picture
Marcia527
Posts: 2749
Joined: Jul 2006

Don't be scared. You may be one to sail through. Everybody is different. Try to keep your mind off it and do things to keep busy. Hang in there. Hugs.

newbiefromcananda's picture
newbiefromcananda
Posts: 234
Joined: Oct 2009

thanks again everyone, I know its not easy but nothing has been easy for me, when I found thelump it was 2 cm (good) when the surgeon went in there were 3 tumours (5.5cm, 2 cm and 1.2 cm :( then 4 pos lymph nodes) my port surgery was yesterday and the couldn't find the right vein so it went in my jugular, my 25min surgery was 1 hour , I am bruised++ swollen+++ sore++

Lisa xoxo

jennytwist
Posts: 896
Joined: Sep 2009

on the chemo you'll feel more in control, believe it or not. Everyone reacts differently but it's doable - just remember the end result it getting this horrible disease! I'll keep you in my thought and prayers - you've come to the right place for alot of positive encouragement - tons of wonderful sisters who are right here with you! Take care and try to rest up this weekend and let those around you take care of you!
much love,
Jenny

lisa45_motherof_5
Posts: 1
Joined: Nov 2009

greetings,
i have had 2 chemos and yes the first one felt like i was going to the chopping block. but the gave me tylenol pm and it calmed me. the 2nd chemo was much easier, waiting for my 3rd. i was told too late that there is a eyebrow stick that you can apply daily that keeps your brows from falling out. cost about $42 in alabama. i missed it. you will find so much strength as time passes and you actually make it through each day!!!! i will pray for you! lisa

Marlene_K's picture
Marlene_K
Posts: 508
Joined: Jul 2009

Do you know what this is called, Lisa? And why did you 'miss' it... did you eyebrows already fall out?

Goldenguru's picture
Goldenguru
Posts: 23
Joined: Sep 2009

Hi Lisa -

I was very anxious before my first treatment. I actually cried for most of the first treatment (off and on for several hours). Truly - my FEAR of the chemo was MUCH worse than the actual experience. I have had some side effects - but they have been manageable. I have resigned myself to the fact that life is just much slower right now. I stay home alot. I sleep alot. But, it is doable. Not fun. Not easy. But doable. Hang in there and let us know how you're doing.

chenheart's picture
chenheart
Posts: 5180
Joined: Apr 2003

Awwwww....sweetie! I can't add much to what the other Kindred Spirits have said, but I wanted to at least send you a cyber hug.

I recall being so scared the day of my first chemo; I cried like a baby when they showed me to the chemo room, looked over my charts and then.."hooked me up", so to speak! I don't know that I was thinking about allergic reation, or how long it would take, or anything concrete. Somehow, even after surgery and drains, and discomfort , and tears, and thinking I was going to die~ the chemo made it all even more REAL.
But, ya know what? After that first time, the rest of the infusions were just fine! Actually, the first session went fine too; no adverse reactions, I got to know the most amazing women outside of these boards, my chemo RNs! Advice to you? Make these women ( or maybe they are men) your BFF for the duration of your chemo~ they are angels and will be there to answer questions, comfort and show you the care and professionalism you need.

Keep hydrated; it is important to keep your system flushed as well.

Enough for today! We will walk you through whatever you need as you need it! You aren't alone, as you know...

Hugs,
Chen♥

newbiefromcananda's picture
newbiefromcananda
Posts: 234
Joined: Oct 2009

thanks everyone I will be ok now till tues night ...probably won't be able to sleep......I know I have all of you to get me through this ....I love this site and it is my new bfff :)

xxxx0000000Lisa

carkris's picture
carkris
Posts: 4554
Joined: Aug 2009

This is my second primary 15 years apart. I have pulled into this kicking and screaming. Iasked my onc for an ativan prescription, when i found the area, I just know me. I dont overuse it but if I need I take it. You have been through much already so the infusion will not be any worse, then you will find how you as an individual react to it and make accomodations. At the same time you will have had one in the books. lots of suggestions here and people who have experienced side effects. everyone is different. I had very little bone pain, etc... but had other things. What are you receiving if you dont mind my asking?

newbiefromcananda's picture
newbiefromcananda
Posts: 234
Joined: Oct 2009

I will be getting FEC, docitaxel and herceptin... (I am in Canada) it seems to be abut different here... thanks evryone xxxooo

tasha_111's picture
tasha_111
Posts: 2081
Joined: Oct 2008

I was so scared before my first chemo that I didn't REALLY make up my mind to do it until the morning of. What a wuss... 'Eh? I happened to click onto a film a couple of days before and I think it was Julia Roberts taking care of a young man with cancer, he was so ill and pale and sick I just couldn't watch. Anyway the reality was an anticlimax (thank goodness) The only side effects I got from the "red devil" FEC was that straight after your urine is red and I got hives for two days.. no sickness at all!
I wish you only the best, the anticipation is FAR worse than the reality. Huge hug.. Fellow Canadian

Jxxxxx

newbiefromcananda's picture
newbiefromcananda
Posts: 234
Joined: Oct 2009

hi tasha where do you live I am in Sudbury, What were you taking? Fec then doxcitacel?? that is wha I will be on (and herceptin) thanks for the positives of chemo :) Lisa

tasha_111's picture
tasha_111
Posts: 2081
Joined: Oct 2008

I am in Ontario near Niagara Falls, A lovely little town called Port Colborne... I had 3 rounds of FEC then 3 x Taxotare... that tax was worst first time, then it got better. I guess they are all pretty much alike, Tax, is a derivitive of Taxus..Yew Trees, yeah you can guess i am a horticulturalist.. LOL I can bore anyone to death at 100 yards with my latin.
Hey Sudbury isn't that far! I

I didn't have to have the herceptin so I can't help with THAT one!... But I had, op, chemo and rads. Anything I can help with I will be only too pleased. I was 46 when Diagnosed, nearly 2 years ago.

You will sail through this.... You have a great attitude, and the worst part of all of this is losing your hair, it grows back, mine is a mess now after 3 haircuts at $20 a time! I'm going back to cutting it myself!

Anyway I am on Tamoxifen now and probably will be for the next year .. THEY want to be sure they have got me past menopause before they swap me onto something nicer....fingers crossed!

Any who Good luck, it WILL be easier than you think AND once you get started you won't believe how quickly time flies!

Hugs Jxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Katz77
Posts: 598
Joined: Sep 2009

I was lucky and didn't have to many compliants. Tired, achey esp after 2nd dosing. I was on AC/Cytoxen. Went through Herceptin/Taxol. All's well. Worked and only missed one day. I work in surgery and I guess it kept my mind busy. Very tired at the end of the day. So I took a nap when I got home.
I was like you, terrified. I thought maybe my head would explode, but it's still there.
Think I lost a few brain cells! I don't have support system here. Just moved to NM, and fam back in TX. Have my husband, but he was more scared than me. Poor guy. Ur a nurse, right? It's the lose of control. It's that way for alot of people, but w nurses we have to be in control or we miss things w our pts. right? Ask questions no matter what they are, no matter how small. This site is wonderful for that also. You will do fine and survive.
I had a stupid saying, they thought I was a little bit off... "I like chemo, it makes me strong and it likes me." Dumb, but it helped my mind. good luck and take enterainment and a favorite snack and reading material. I like my IPOD, helps me relax. I'm a headbanger of sorts. Go figure how that helps relaxation. Will be thinking of you. Peaceful thoughts : )

Kat11's picture
Kat11
Posts: 1931
Joined: May 2009

I so remember last July how scared I was to have chemo. I just finished chemo last week. I still have to continue with the herceptin and have to do 6 weeks of rads. The chemo was not as bad as I thought it would be. Just take the nausea meds, eat something before you go or bring food with. Bring a chemo buddy with and something to do. Hang in there, you will get through this.

Mama G
Posts: 763
Joined: Nov 2009

It's so scary. Think about me on Wed, cuz I'll be getting my 7th treatment at the same time you will. Let's hold hands, from Florida to Canada. The first chemo was not so bad. Just baby yourself afterward and try to keep crackers, apple pieces, soup, bananas, and any other comfort foods around to munch CONSTANTLY! If you let your tummy get empty the nausea sets in. Good luck. I'll be praying and thinking of you on Wed.
God bless,
L

mlmjt1
Posts: 540
Joined: Jul 2009

I remember how scared I was with my first chemo but the infusion itself really wasnt much of an issue. THe staff is really caring and they explain everything to you. Its hard when you dont know how you will react to it and all, that is true. Just be sure to drink lots of liquids, about 8 to 10 glasses of fluids...popsciles and jello count as liquids. Its ok to rest and try to eat small and often.

Hang in there and let us know what chemo cocktail you will be getting.

Hugs
Linda t

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