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1st chemo treatment on Tues

rhamilton1012
Posts: 19
Joined: May 2011

Well, I saw my MO for the 1st time yesterday and he is awesome. He was informative and took time to answer all of our (DH and I) questions. He was very understanding with my concerns, especially with the child bearing issues. He has me taking 4 cycles (1 every 3 weeks) of T/C followed by years of Tamoxifen.

I had my port flushed for the 1st time ever being accessed today. It was very emotional ~ kinda made everything real. Of course, they used the wrong size needle at first (I had in put in at a different hospital) and had to start over. There really isn't anything pleasant about that whole process. I get my 1st treatment on Tuesday and I'm very anxious. I feel well informed about what side effects I "could" have, it's just the anxiety of which one I will encounter.

Any advice on what to bring to treatment with me, other than something to keep me busy for 4 hours.....

Thank you ladies!

missrenee's picture
missrenee
Posts: 2137
Joined: Apr 2010

So glad you really like your MO--that is so important. Here are a few things I usually brought:

Water--a lot of it, book, magazines, puzzles, snacks (believe it or not some do get hungry--I even ate lunch during most treatments), fleece throw in case you get chilly (some facilities have these but I liked my own). Most of the time, we in the infusion room got into conversations just like at the beauty shop. The time went by really fast. My husband came to every treatment as well. Even though I brought things to do, I hardly ever used them.

Best of luck to you. I know how scary that first treatment is, but I can tell you from my experience--all my fears were totally unwarranted. I did fine, felt fine, had no reactions to the meds during the infusion process. And, my side effects for the few days after were what I would consider pretty minimal--diarrhea/constipation combo, food tasting bad, bone and joint aches from the Neulasta. I had 6 treatments of TAC. This place is a wealth of information. Come here often with questions or problems. There is always someone who can help.

Hugs, Renee

Noel's picture
Noel
Posts: 3100
Joined: Apr 2009

I didn't have chemo, but, I wanted to wish you good luck with it.

CAchick's picture
CAchick
Posts: 277
Joined: May 2011

Hi, I had chemo w/ Taxotere and Cytoxan. I was also scared on the first treatment. Everyone has given you wonderful advice here! I would not let my hubby go with me, either...didn't want him sitting there staring at me...I drove myself home. Ate some crackers on the way home, to ward off nausea.
You can do this! My only other advice is: if you start to feel real different in any way while infusing, hit your nurse button. Just to check it out...
And also, get as much rest as possible during your chemo time period.
BEST WISHES!

jnl's picture
jnl
Posts: 3873
Joined: May 2009

Hoping today and your first chemo went well for you.

Hugs, Leeza

LoveBabyJesus's picture
LoveBabyJesus
Posts: 1680
Joined: Jan 2011

I felt nervous the first time too. This board helped me so much.

I am going to keep it simple: DRINK a lot of water everyday. It helps. Secondly, eat small portions, several times a day (5-6 times). It helps as well - at least for the first couple of days after treatment. If you feel any side effect(s), alert your Dr. right away. They will tell you it's fine, and will take the anxiety away, therefore, you won't feel sick to your stomach (I find I get sick when I am anxious, but you may be different). Finally- and maybe should have mentioned first- keep your faith alive. You will do great.

Many people will help you go through this here, including myself. I am still undergoing treatment. Just started taxol last Friday. So far I've experienced bone and joint pains.

Keep us posted, please.

Good luck and God bless you.

Alexis F's picture
Alexis F
Posts: 3602
Joined: May 2009

Good luck on Tuesday!

Hugs, Lex

poplolly's picture
poplolly
Posts: 346
Joined: Apr 2011

RH

I took a crossword book, a sweater for the cold waiting room, some crackers to snack on, and a book to read. I discovered that I usually just closed my eyes and relaxed during the infusion. I was petrified after the doctor went through the side effects with me. What I discoved, though, is that they tell you the worse case possibilities. I only had a couple of side-effects and they were so much easier than what I'd anticipated. Good luck!

ssmith37's picture
ssmith37
Posts: 22
Joined: May 2011

Good luck to you. You will be in my thoughts and prayers.

Stephanie

Double Whammy's picture
Double Whammy
Posts: 2805
Joined: Jun 2010

and be so amazed that it wasn't as bad as you thought it would be. It's a life-altering experience, that's for sure, but as you've learned here, it's very doable. Other than water, I kept a calendar of how I was feeling, whether I had diarrhea, nausea, constipation, aches, temp, etc. I could look back on the previous cycles and know what to anticipate - and all 4 of my cycles were pretty consistent. In addition, someone here typically had experienced what I was feeling.

I had many side effects, but none of them were anything like I had imagined. I have never regretted that I had chemo, even when I was doing it. It's just something you need to get through and you can do it!

Suzanne

PS I had NO pain from the Neulasta.

jnl's picture
jnl
Posts: 3873
Joined: May 2009

Wishing you good luck on Tuesday!

Hugs, Leeza

survivorbc09
Posts: 4376
Joined: Jun 2009

Sending good luck wishes to you!

Hugs, Jan

Megan M's picture
Megan M
Posts: 3001
Joined: Dec 2009

Wishing you good luck! Like the other sisters wrote, focus on the finish line where we will all be celebrating with you.

Hugs, Megan

ender
Posts: 167
Joined: Apr 2011

Hi there!

You and I are on the exact same treatment plan. And from what you tell me about child rearing concerns, it sounds like you are young. So I can relate.

I did an egg harvest before chemo (Im 29), and today I just had my second round of Taxotere/Cytoxan today. I feel so much better mentally than the first time. As you, I was anxious before the first treatment because I did not know what to expect. "I know I will get some side effects, but not all, so which ones will I get??" In the end nothing too bad happened to me. One thing that I would like to say is that I was persistent about not getting the Neulasta shot "just in case my white counts drop too much". That ended up being a very good call. My whites did drop and a week after my first round I got three shots (for three consecutive days) of Neupogen (cousin drug of Neulasta). After the third shot I suffered great bone pain. I was screaming out loud when the "attacks" hit. It was a pulsating pain in my spine and chest cage. Luckily, I was able to treat it well with Vicodin. Today my MO said that Neulasta would be even worse for me. This is because the pain hits when your whites are already plenty but the bone is still asked to produce more. And right when you have had chemo, your whites are still pretty OK. As Neulasta is given the day after chemo, it would be bad for me. Importantly for you is that my MO said that I reacted to strongly, or well, to the Neupogen because I am young. So the chemo affects me more (more side effects), but other drugs also affect me more. A younger body is better at saying "what are you doing to me??" For my second cycle my MO will give me only two shots of Neupogen and start them one day earlier, on day 6 instead of 7, because my whites dropped so quickly but also responded so well to the Neuopgen. As I get the impression you are also quite young, you might want to address the whole Neulasta/Neupogen issue with your MO.

In terms of "what to bring to treatment", I ecco what others have said. I bring snacks, drinks and books, computer etc, but end up not using much of it. My husband comes along and we talk most of the time.

I hope this was useful.

Eva

Texasgirl10's picture
Texasgirl10
Posts: 668
Joined: Nov 2010

Be sure to drink lots of water to help flush out the toxins. I always took a big bag full of snacks, water, a fleece blanket, a book ( that I never read) and my phone. My husband went to every treatment and we usually watched tv, talked, and I would eventually fall asleep.

The anxiety is actually the worse part prior to the first treatment. Once you get in there you quickly realize that it's not so bad. Remember that you are a warrior and you can do this. We will all be here cheering you on.

Good luck.

Dawne

Marsha Mulvey
Posts: 597
Joined: May 2010

Focus on that light at the end of the tunnel...you'll get there!

DianeBC's picture
DianeBC
Posts: 3886
Joined: Jun 2009

Good luck with your chemo! Praying for you.

Hugs, Diane

Alexis F's picture
Alexis F
Posts: 3602
Joined: May 2009

Good luck and drink lots and lots of water!

Lex

rhamilton1012
Posts: 19
Joined: May 2011

All so much for your advice and support. My husband is coming with me too and I'm sure he will keep me company, but he is going to do some studying too (he's a helicopter pilot). We will be there thru lunch so I'll make sure to bring snacks. I think the idea of a daily "symptom" journal is a great idea, that way I know what to expect and when the 2nd time around.

And yes, Ender, I am only 30 and the don't plan on giving me Neulasta unless I need it. Thank you for the info about Neupogen ~ I will def talk to my MO about that.

Again, thank you all so much. You ladies are the best!!!

ender
Posts: 167
Joined: Apr 2011

My thoughts are with you dear. I am glad you have the support of your husband. That has been the best comfort for me. Please get back to me if there is anything you wonder as our situations are similar and I am a few weeks ahead of you in treatment.

Eva

Noel's picture
Noel
Posts: 3100
Joined: Apr 2009

Glad your husband is able to be with you. It will make the time go faster.

Good luck to you and keep us updated as to how you do.

Hugs, Noel

Kylez's picture
Kylez
Posts: 3765
Joined: May 2009

Just want to make sure that you know that I will be thinking about you and praying your chemo goes well for you. Be sure and let us know.

Hugs, Kylez

ldpettit's picture
ldpettit
Posts: 127
Joined: Apr 2011

You have received some great information above... Take heed to it and YES, it's ok to be nervous... but it will be ok. The first one is always tough emotionally.

Stay hydrated... small portions of meals... You may not notice symptoms on day 1 or 2, but day 3 you may. remember we all react to this stuff differently. I haven't had your combo, but did AC for 4 treatments and now about to have Taxol/Herceptin combo starting next week.

REST!! When your body is tired just rest... you will need it and don't feel guilty for taking advantage of it.

Best of luck - I will keep you in my prayers!

VickiSam's picture
VickiSam
Posts: 9085
Joined: Aug 2009

I am popping in as a 2010 survivor of chemo to reassure you that it's not that bad. While there is plenty to be scared about with any cancer diagnosis, try not to be scared -- and the more positive and relaxed you can be, the better all your surgery and treatments may go. Many knowledgeable people have been involved in helping determine the right treatment for each of us, because we are all different, and new treatments and studies are coming out regularly.

I did not have a Muga test, probably since I had no history of heart problems and was not getting adriamyacin for my chemo. With taxotere and carboplatin, I did suffer with mouth and throat sores (Tom Natural toothpaste helped); the steroids and other meds helped with my nauseated before and during chemo .. after chemo infusions -- nausea plagued me for several days (everybody is different -- just my case, and my body) I did suffer with fatigue and bouts and constipation issues - please do not hesitate to call your Oncologist in attempts to find relief.

Hydrate, rest, and hydrate some more.

Strength, Courage and Hope.

Vicki Sam

grams2jc's picture
grams2jc
Posts: 756
Joined: May 2011

Hi:

Good luck with your 1st chemo. Finished all 8 of mine 4 weeks ago, Yay!!!!!! My only thing to add is to make sure that you have mints or hard candy in those snacks and maybe not snacks that are your very most favorite things, in case they end up tasting bad or have bad thoughts attached for a while. Same way with the blanket, I received a very thoughtful prayer quilt ( had some headless pandas on it ??!!! just a fluke of the quilt piecing) from a church group I didn't even know and pinned the angel pins that I received from friends right on it to remind me others were rooting for me.

You'll do great, it's just scary to think about doing it, and the end seems like a long way away ... it really goes faster than you think it will.

Good luck,

Jennifer

Annette 11
Posts: 378
Joined: Sep 2010

The first time my thoughts were OMG I can't believe I'm here doing this! but you soon feel at home there and most infus. nurses make you feel safe and relaxed. You get used to going.
Everyone said drink alot of water...well I drank so much during the first chemo infusion,half way through, I could hardly make it to the bathroom. So the 2nd. chemo I didn't drink quite as much and the nurse said it was fine. I sipped water through treatment (not guzzle like I did during the 1st. treatment) and drank most of my water when I was done and at home. Like others I brought reading, food, snacks and water...the 4 hours went by quickly. I was lucky...just the normal side effects...it was doable but of course not always pleasant. I Did not get side effects from Nuelasta shot. Good luck to you.
Annette

butterflylvr's picture
butterflylvr
Posts: 944
Joined: Apr 2011

Just popping in to wish you luck next week. Looks like the gals got all the bases convered and I don't need to add in my two cents. Just remember to let your MO know of all the side effects you experience. Gargle with salt water during the first 48 hours of chemo, it helps to prevent mouth sores. I always found out too that the only two liquids that tasted good to me were water and chocolste milk. My tongue felt thick and all liquids tasted thick like gravy and any beverage with sugar was just plain yucky...

You will do fine my dear, as you can see we have all pulled through this and are now on the other side. Good Luck Tuesday and while your sitting there in that infustion chair think of all of us here rooting you on.

Hugs,
Lorrie

stayingstrongfo...
Posts: 116
Joined: May 2011

I usually bring my laptop or ipod and maybe a book or magazine. Depending on what you get you might get sleepy and then a nap is great. I am not sure how your area will be set up but you can usually talk to others getting chemo too but sometimes I don't like that so I pop in the music and pretend I am at the beach :) I was very scared my first time and that is normal but I found I felt good and was tired a few days later but nothing overwhelming. For me it was manageable and I hope it is for you too!! IF you do have access to a lap top take it with you and journal the experience that might help you and we can all comment on it!!:) Blessings to you.

LoveBabyJesus's picture
LoveBabyJesus
Posts: 1680
Joined: Jan 2011

Just wanted to wish you Good Luck today! You'll do great. Please let us know how everything goes. Remember to drink, drink, drink....

Noel's picture
Noel
Posts: 3100
Joined: Apr 2009

Hoping today goes well for you and you can post to let us know how your first chemo goes.

Praying for you!

butterflylvr's picture
butterflylvr
Posts: 944
Joined: Apr 2011

Thinking about you today and wondering how you're doing.

Hugs,
Lorrie

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