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Mom starts chemo tomorrow and I'm scared for her

Ocean1
Posts: 23
Joined: May 2010

Hi. It's been a few weeks since I last posted. My Mom has recovered really well from her hysterectomy. She's still tired easily and has to force herself to do some things but overall healed really well. She gets her port-a-cath in the morning and then goes immediately for her first round of chemo. I know she is scared but not saying it and I am scared for her but not telling her. Anyone with any words of advice on how I can help her get thru this first time or ease her worries or just guidance of any kind it would be appreciated. It's gonna be a long road for her. She is doing 1 time per week for 3 weeks and then off a week of the chemo. The week she is off at the end of Aug., I am having a hysterectomy and she will be taking care of me like I did for about 6 weeks ago. Dr. said it is highly unlikely that my bleeding/spotting will lead to a diagnosis of cancer but still I'm having the hysterectomy to make sure and if it does come back all negative, great, then I won't have to worry about getting uterine cancer when I'm older.

jazzy1's picture
jazzy1
Posts: 1385
Joined: Mar 2010

The whole thought of knowing we've got cancer is enough to scare us out of our boots. But...with the help of great doctors and good support of family (as you're doing for your mom) it's not so bad. Think of it as baby steps...one at a time!!

I had a hysterectomy Feb '09 and 3 weeks later started chemo (taxol/carbo every 3 weeks)for 3 sessions and then 33 rounds of radiation and ended with same chemo as first round). I was scared as don't like drugs and thought it would hurt. Really it was very easy as the RNs were wonderful, guiding me thru the whole process which took 3-4 hours. I had a friend with me as we brought our lunches and kept busy with our chatting about our lives.

Be there for your mom and positive that all will work out for her. The next day I was a bit tired but after 4 days I was back to my normal self. Take the nausious meds prescribed and eat lots of small meals....anything to get food down. Also, drink plenty of fluids for a few days.

One bit of great advice, ask lots of questions and it will help contain your fears. You'll learn so much from others in the chemo room and the staff. They've been there and have experienced what your mom is ready to go thru.

Best to you and your mom....keep us posted on how she's doing...we care!
Jan

Songflower's picture
Songflower
Posts: 631
Joined: Apr 2009

Alot of the women have written great hints for getting through chemo. I assume she is getting carbo/taxol. It is different for everyone. They give you steroids and premedication to help. When the steroids wear off you don't feel as well. Most women do very well with this combination; my girlfriend had it and worked through school every day! Me on the other hand had a reaction to taxol; alot of pain in muscles and joints, swollen face, fatigue, etc. They had to give me pain pills, more steroids, andn I never missed a chemo. If you have problems be sure to ask your Doctor for help. Ativan can help settle you down too and I used it during the reactions to taxol.

Most women shave their heads when they get close to losing their hair. Go out and help her buy a cute wig. I went to the beauty shop; had my head shaved and popped on my wig. I wore a warm cap at night to keep my head warm. Some women wear scarves and some women just go bald and put on some big earrings. The American Cancer Society has a catalog of hats and inexpensive wigs.

Chemo is cumulative so ususally each treatment becomes a little harder rather than easier. She will have times when her white count dips (Nadir) and she should avoid crowds, playing out in the dirt (gardening - molds and fungus), wash hands often, keep the house clean. We bought chlorax wipes and wiped the counters and bathrooms down often. I avoided crowds like plays or such when my white count was low.

be sure to eat a healthy diet. Drink plenty of fluids; it's about 2 quarts a day which is harder to do than you think. Rest when you get tired. You will learn to play it by ear. Just remember if you have problems tell your oncologist so you can get help to deal with it.

Somedays she may want company, some days not. She feel better after she gets the first one in and realizes she can do this!

Good luck to both of you! Also give us a holler for support!

Diane

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